Regardless of the wording, the  campaign or the outcome of the referendum, the conclusion should not and cannot be ‘No more transit’ for Metro Vancouver.  Matt Taylor’s video does a good job of explaining why.

Now, even before the wording is chosen, let’s make a New Year’s resolution; let’s all agree that the referendum will not be about whether transit will proceed.  Our future depends on transit, our region will continue to be shaped by it, there must be proper funding.

The transit referendum can be about choices, just not no choice.

Indeed, if there is an illusion that such a possibility exists, if ‘None of the Above’ is a viable choice for funding options, then maybe the best strategy is for an overwhelming majority of citizens to vote ‘No’.

A near-unanimous ‘No’ vote would send end a message to the provincial government that a referendum is fundamentally unfair when it deals only with transit, and only with Metro.  That it is unjust to put at risk our already chosen future.  And we reject it.

So no matter whether there is disagreement about the projects, the technology, the priorities, the funding mechanisms or the politics, we will all agree on one thing: ‘No’ will not mean ‘No More Transit.’  What it should mean is ‘No More Referendums.’

Comments

  1. Wouldn’t abstention send a clearer message than “no”?
    If very few people vote, the referendum will be meaningless. That would never be confused with saying no to transit improvements.

  2. Gordon, I think you need a new calendar. April 1 is still four months away. You can’t possibly think that anyone in the BC Liberal party is going to interpret a “none of the above” vote as a protest against the referendum.

    And Peter, turnout is going to be pretty low regardless of how the pro-transit crowd votes. Name one Canadian politician who has ever thought that low turnout was anything other than apathy or tacit approval of the status quo.

    Let’s start with a typical municipal election in which only 30% of the electorate bothers to show up.

    For the sake of this hypothetical example I’ve split the vote evenly between yes and no.
    A: 2
    B: 8
    C: 1
    D: 4
    N: 15

    As you can see, divide and conquer has worked as expected.

    Now let’s say Gordon is able to convince 75000 supporters to follow his lead and vote no.
    A: 2
    B: 5
    C: 1
    D: 2
    N: 20

    How about Peter convinces those same voters not to cast a ballot at all:
    A: 2
    B: 5
    C: 1
    D: 2
    N: 15

    Do you think the provincial government is going to see anything strange in either of those results? If so I have a really good deal on a tunnel under the Fraser.

    If you want to protest the referendum wouldn’t the following be more obvious?
    A: 2
    B: 5
    C: 1
    D: 2
    N: 15
    Spoiled ballots: 5

  3. I agree with Peter if the vote is going to be clearly rigged to fail…and right now it seems that it is a spoiled ballot is better than a no.

  4. Yep, spoiled ballots, especially if they’re all spoiled by writing “NO IS NOT AN OPTION” across them. That’d get some press…

  5. Just to be clear if it is a legitimate question not clearly designed to fail (I am looking at you Christy) people should not spoil their ballots.

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