26 March 2009

If truth doesn't support your arguments

... there's always push-polling. Which is the No side's latest technique to preserve the electoral status quo.
No STV has retained Ipsos-Reid Corp. to do argument testing, asking British Columbian polling questions that electoral reform supporters says are "based on simply untruths." But a spokesperson for No STV has rejected that charge, noting the reformers simply "don't like a lot of the things that we say about STV based on what we believe are the facts."

Note to said spokesperson: BELIEF is irrelevant to FACT.
In an email, Fair Voting BC campaign manager Susan Anderson-Behn alerted senior supporters to the poll - which reportedly asked respondents if they would be more or less likely to vote for STV if they knew:
  • "only two small countries in the world used it"
  • "you would be less likely to have women representatives"
  • "MLAs would have less accountability"
  • "small towns would have less representative(s)"
  • "the politicians would have less power overall"
  • "there would actually be less proportional representation"
"These questions were all asked negatively, so that there was no way to respond to any of the questions positively... Most of them were based on simple untruths about STV... which need to be responded to," wrote Ms. Anderson-Behn.

Among the ironies of the No campaign is that its leaders and staunchest proponents of the status quo are well-known NDP insiders and pundits David Schreck and Bill Tieleman, the spokesperson mentioned above. And the arguments they're using against STV have nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with retaining party power.

Clearly, NDP insiders don't want the power to rest with the voters, as it would with STV. Power in the hands of voters under a proportional system would be a veritable disaster! Because it would mean British Columbians getting the representation they voted for!

Note to proponents of the status quo: An electoral system should never be about satisfying party ambitions. It should be about representing what the VOTERS want and IF that means certain parties don't get to hold power, so be it. Under STV, the parties and their candidates would have to earn votes.

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