Thursday, May 07, 2009

Two new polls indicate STV headed for defeat; Angus Reid Strategies & Mustel Group both say First Past The Post in clear lead

Two public opinion polls released Thursday indicate that the Single Transferable Vote is headed for defeat in the May 12 provincial referendum on electoral systems.

Angus Reid Strategies reports late tonight that our current First Past The Post electoral system is favoured by 55% of respondents versus 45% who want STV.

That represents an 8% drop in support for STV since the last poll conducted in late April by ARS.

The Mustel Group issued a poll earlier today that said 43% of respondents would vote for First Past The Post, 33% for STV and 24% were undecided.

The referendum rules require STV to be passed by a 60% majority and also have 60% of the 85 provincial ridings vote in favour by 50% + 1.

As you likely know, I am president of NO STV, the officially designated group opposing the Single Transferable Vote.

While I am obviously pleased with the results of these two polls, NO STV will continue to work hard right through until voting day to defeat STV.

You can read more about our position at the NO STV website, which also includes links to the British Columbians for BC-STV website.

Here are the relevant portions of the two polling firms releases:

Angus Reid Strategies


Awareness of the referendum on electoral reform has risen in the last week with only nine per cent of people “not aware at all” (-8), while those who are “very aware” have increased to 57 per cent (+12).

This rise in awareness seems to have lowered the chances of BC-STV being implemented in the next provincial election.

Support for the existing system is at 55 per cent (+8) while BC-STV attracts the support of 45 per cent of voters (-8).

Amongst those “absolutely certain to vote,” the existing system leads with 56 per cent.

The Mustel Group

Electoral Reform

Eligible voters are leaning toward the status quo when asked which option they are likely to choose on the referendum.

43% will vote for the existing system, 33% plan to vote for the BC-STV and 24% are undecided.



Chris said...

That's a shame. STV was a real chance at change for BC. Not that an old political insider like you would understand.

DPL said...

Hi Chris. You must admit that Tielman has a preference diffent that your's and apparently by many others. But as you have an opinion so does everyone else who has bothered to try to figure which of the two choices is better. Sure the FPLP isn't maybe the best of all possible systems, but at present it either that or STV and it appears that the majority favour FPTP. I'm still not too sure just how STV would mkae my life any better so lets all see what happens on vting day. Tieleman has declared his position and works for a group that opposes STV. That's his opinion and the opinion of that group and yes he does have a lot of background in things political. Maybe you do as well. The big poll as is so often said is right there in the booth.
While we are there, lets drop Gordo and many of his chums from office

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,
Just wondering if your NO STV group has published the list of who contributed money to the group?
Will you be doing this? Would be interesting to see where the money came from. Maybe the govt gave both groups the same amount? If so, you guys did a much better job.

Anonymous said...

Ps, I'm glad you're blogging and commenting on the issues on radio, etc. I may not always agree with you but I will defend to the death your right to be wrong!! lol

Jeff Barkley said...

I'm very glad to hear this, Bill. I think a lot of people were looking at STV from a perspective of frustration with the current situation in BC. That situation has been caused by having a BC Liberal party that even lies with their party name, and a completely bought off mainstream media. Changing the way we vote would not "fix" that, only a progressive media and a knowledgable public can do that. The Campbell Liberals and CanWest would just change their methods of cheating to accomadate STV and either nothing would change or it would get worse.

If people do not educate themselves, or are lied to by the CanWest media, they will still be voting for Campbell and a multitude of new, smaller partys, that are "affiliated" with the Liberals or whatever they choose to call themselves after they destroy the Liberal name, as they did with the Social Credit name.

Bill Tieleman said...

To Anonymous 9:47 a.m. - both sides were provided $500,000 of public funding for each of their campaigns.

NO STV has raised a small amount of additional money through contributions.

We will be fully disclosing all income and expenditure through Elections BC after the vote.

I can't speak for the Yes side but they appear to have raised far more money based on their contribution page alone.

Anonymous said...

I am voting yes to STV and have urged 200+ friends/collegues in my email list to do so.

I threw a Soiree to discuss STV with more than 30 friends.

STV will be implemented next time round. The people who are against STV are folks who benefit from current FLAWED system personally.

Unknown said...

"We will be fully disclosing all income and expenditure through Elections BC after the vote."

Why wait? Afraid of exposing yourself?

STV might have some flaws, but I have yet to see the "NO" side, or anyone against STV, give an actual good reason why FPTP is worth keeping, and why it's even worth having.

"Sure the FPLP isn't maybe the best of all possible systems"

It's one of the worst 'democratic' systems ever devised. Ever wonder why voter turnout is so low? It's because so many votes are simply wasted. Anyone who votes for somebody outside of the established Powers That Be will never get their vote to be truly worth anything.

Tieleman, and his NDP insiders, do not want STV because it will hurt them, not because or anything altruistic.

Bill Tieleman said...

Jes - your comments are simply ridiculous.

I can tell you that our total private contributions will be less than $20,000 unless they come in on the weekend!

How much has the Yes to STV side raised - $200,000? More?

As to your other comments, we have BC Liberal, Green, Social Credit, BC Conservative, BC Refederation, NDP and non-aligned supporters all backing No STV - saying otherwise is absurd.

Lastly - if I wanted to create backroom work I'd be supporting STV, not opposing it! Look at Irish politics and figure it out yourself - the backrooming under STV would be astonishing.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I was at a Green party office the other day and they report that a recent poll shows the STV set to pass with over 60% approval.

Clearly polls can be bought and paid for just like politicians.

Tired of stv said...

I'm really tired of coming here and reading about nostv.

Maybe you should have created a separate site?

Having to wade through the stv stories to find any other stories has resulted in my not reading this site very much lately... if at all.

Unknown said...


Thank you for answer my post, as nasty as it was :) I do enjoy your 24HRS writing, despite your objections to electoral change.

1. Even if the contributions are so small, why hide it? It's not a huge issue, but certainly kind of perks the interest that you'd wait until AFTER.

2. The main pushers for No STV appear to be those who want to keep the current power structure. Yes, there are supporters for your side from all sides, but you could say the same thing for the Canucks, or BC Lions. Look at the Power Brokers, not the sheep.

3. Your side still haven't given us a good reason for keeping FPTP. Why keep such a dearly flawed system? Is there a good reason? The NO side hasn't presented any ... just attacks. What positive benefit does FPTP really serve the people? Hell, even the name indicates a race of speed, rather than an actual total vote.

4. You do realize, I hope, that if STV is voted down, we won't get another chance for such a vote for decades. Do you think the BC Liberals (Or NDP, though that's a longshot, unfortunately) are going to hold a referendum for another system? of course not! The Powers That Be will just say voters rejected change, and put the issue in the garbage for another 30 years.

5. Your side keep bringing up Ireland, but totally ignoring the vastly different cultural environment of the Emerald Isle (religion, family, cliques, etc).

Their political climate bears very little resemblance to ours, and the voting system (STV) is not the main reason why.

Overall, this election looks like BCers will get more of the same crap: BC Liberals and FPTP. Serves them right.

Bill Tieleman said...

Jes - one of the reasons why the NO STV side doesn't go on at great length about FPTP is simple - we are a coalition of people who do not all support FPTP.

Some of our supporters believe Mixed Member Proportional is far better, others PR List.

So while we have no hesitation saying vote for FPTP, NO STV does not have a position beyond opposition to STV.

That said, I will say personally that BC and Canada have done well under our current electoral system - not that there couldn't be improvements - and that our province and country are the envy of the world.

Changing electoral systems doesn't change politics or politicians - Ireland under STV does have very nast politics but the pro STV side keeps saying everyone cooperates and gets along under STV - simply not true.

As to disclosure, we are following the rules as Elections BC laid them out. There are no big revelations in our donations and as I said, they are minor compared to the Yes side.

By the way, how much money and how many people working for the Yes to STV campaign came from outside the province? That's a disclosure you should demand.

We have no outside help and no outside money - it's a made in BC campaign.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Carol James et al have been playing possum, and are at long last going to address overwhelming polled confidence for Gordo on economic management. A fatal blow can be tossed at him, on the private-dams issue alone.

Damn each and every MLA and media pundit who didn't stand up and shout after Don Brenner (CJ, Supreme Court of BC) signed a Magna Carta for power theft in broad daylight. That enabled Gordo to say he is bound by law to allow same, while taking election dollars from beneficiaries. It is hardly paranoid to ask why a judicial administrator felt the need to take a case that would benefit the Libs.

If Gordo was a vampire, Carol would be like the slayer who won't drive the stake.

If economic management drives voter interest, then why not focus on Gordo's political duplicity and complicity in brazen theft?

I understand that Carol doesn't want personal attacks; but that shouldn't preclude scrutiny of a public record.

Either Gordo is shown to be a corrupt economic administrator, or he wins by default, and a stronger campaigner will lead the NDP in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness the NO side is winning because STV as proposed would be in place for another three elections and would entrench a terribly dysfunctional system of overly large impossible-to-represent ridings and a dubious method of transferring surplus support in a way so complex that computers would be needed to count the results which otherwise would take days to tally. It also could enable certain groups to dominate the selection of representatives in what are now separate adjacent ridings, such as Shaughnessy's surplus saving Gordo's bacon from the fire of Point Grey's voters.

Congratulations Bill on a job well done. It's not over yet of course but you and your colleagues have won the war of words on STV, and that despite some questionable techniques by the YES side.

North Van's Grumps said...

If BC-STV ends up with 60+% of the required support, hopefully the political party that forms the next provincial government, after May 12th, 2009, will write a law that requires Members of the Legislative Assembly to adopt the same method of voting.

DPL said...

Anon 5:01. I figure you are getting a little bit off the subject at hand. Lots of people dislike Campbell but just like Ms. James, how they vote is for them to decide if they wish to tell anyone.I read somewhere that a couple of NDP candidates claim they will vote for STV I understand Bill Vanderzam will be voting in favour as well. It's the ones who don't vote either way that are the losers. somebody here says if we don't support it now, the next opportunity may not come up for some time.
Got an email today from Fair Vote canada out of Toronto looking for money. Man that's spreading the STV team far out of he province

Anonymous said...

Bill, how well does STV work in Australia? We know it is used for elections in both their senate and in several state/territorial elections. A lot has been written about it to boot.

Seems like Australia is a more fitting comparison to BC.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your info on financial disclosure. I believe you when you say you don't have much $ as there's no reason to wreck your personal rep by lying to us now and then we find out later.

Yes, STV is more complicated than FPTP but everything in life is more complex. And the people can handle it. Just look at TV these days, with all the choices and everything. Same with everything in society, more choice.

Viewed objectively, it's crazy that we would stick with a system that's been around since the 19th century. Of course, we should improve it. STV, flawed as it is, is a step forward towards inclusion, not exclusion. I find it sad that an intelligent guy like you would not see that.

When you think about it, FPTP really takes us back to the days when women had no say, when they weren't allowed to vote. Back then, 50% could not contribute. Now, 60% are made impotent.

I admire you but I think you have really dropped the ball here by focusing on the little picture and not the big view. I think it will haunt you because deep down you are a democratic and FPTP is an outmoded democratic systems.

I just wish I had got on this earlier and contributed more to the debate. As it is, I'm going to email all my friends asking them to vote yes. I hope everyone else who reads this does too.

off-the-radar said...

I voted no to STV. In 2005 I voted yes. But in the past four years I've done more research.

I actually don't want FPP and I do want effective multiple member representation as per New Zealand and Germany.

Unfortunately STV is not what Germany and New Zealand have. STV is NOT better than FPP STV is worse.

Look at the Irish, a charming lovely people and country but a corrupt system of government stretching back decades.

And thanks Bill for being straight up and writing so well on this issue.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Tieleman, you are a credit to this province, not just for your principled stand on STV but also for your superb reporting of the Basi-Virk trial.

And anyone who believes that the political fraud that is BC-STV is anything more than a glassy-eyed idealists wet dream, must either date the tooth-fairy or ride unicorns.


Bill Bell said...

Hey bill...can we trust any polls right now....remember our campaign in the early 90's with Harcourt and how they were being manipulated?
Don't tell any body but I am hoping that the globe and Mail poll is the one that is most accurate...oops did I sign this with my real blog name?

Anonymous said...

Again, private-damns is a Lib- killer. Jenny Kwan's people refuse to talk about it, during an election. Shame!

I accessed micro-film at the library, and viewed some 1972 campaign stories in the Vancouver Sun. I forgot that the landslide Barrett victory followed mediocre polling. Ergo: a BIG ISSUE can kill a party. One Sun article at the time, completely wrote off Colin Gabelman; Gabelman not only won, but became a Cabinet minister.

Again, silence should not have followed Don Brenner's (CJ, Supreme Court) personal handling of the Kitimat power case that concocted de facto legality for sale of excess power. Brenner was head first in the Queen of the North case, and numerous others that benefitted the Libs et al. We need a Royal Commission into politicization of the justice system. That, and of Rich Coleman's use of a Corrections database to exclude people from Vancouver housing.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Anon 8:37 is a fool.

I know Don Brenner and he is as honest as the day is long. He follows the law. In each of the cases you cite, that's precisely what he did. You might not like the outcome (I didn't either) but the conspiracies are a little rich.

Don has unimpeachable integrity.

DPL said...

Gableman not only became a Cabinet Minister he was the guy who set up the FOI system in BC. He was dead against those little secret notes beween governmentfolks that used to target people. If my memory serves me he was the Attorney General. He had this idea that people actually counted in the scheme of things. Something Gordo's crew have never figured out.

BustaGrill said...

And how wonderful it will be, Bill, to look yourself in the mirror and know that you ran the most honest, principled campaign that you possibly could have. At least you did not put out fear-mongering, dishonest conjecture about what BC-STV would or would not do for British Columbians. At least you can know that you won because you engaged in principled debate on the facts, rather than scaring the uninformed masses with deceptive TV adds.

haidachieftain said...

Newspaper tricks voters that no STV side ahead in the polls based on an online survey
The Times Colonist Sat/May9 -- three days to the May 12 referendum/election -- published that the no side has a 55 per cent lead. The yes side requires super majority of 60 per cent to win. Yes side has the majority, fact. Odd humour, that the article's picture, is the NDP Leader, looking at a chalk board of polls with the reverse poll numbers.

Quote. “A poll by Angus Reid Strategies releases yesterday shows 55 per cent support for retaining the existing firs-past-the-post system[.]” “The rise in awareness seems to have lowered the chances of BC-STV being implemented in the next election,” the pollster says.”
The phrase mocks the phrase the yes side says that knowing about STV increase the yes vote. For the record newspapers should support advancements in Democracy.

Ironic that another Anges Reid poll says yes side has a 65 per cent lead.

Earlier Angus Reid poll referendum advertised, "When presented with the question that will appear on the ballot, 65 per cent said yes to BC-STV while only 35 per cent chose to keep the current first-past-the post system. Angus Reid Strategies conducted the online survey March 9 to 12. Times Colonist did not cite that.