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Canadian Referendum Demonstrates Sweeping Mandate for Choice Voting

On Tuesday, May 17, the Canadian province of British Columbia held parliamentary elections and a referendum on whether to replace its antiquated plurality voting system with choice voting.

With record voter turnout of more than 1.6 million, voters overwhelmingly supported proportional voting. Although the reform initiative fell just short of the required 60% threshold, the campaign garnered an unambiguous yes-vote of 57.4%. It also won a majority of the votes cast in a remarkable 97% of districts from all over the province, with broad support in both rural and urban districts.

This near-perfect sweep occurred despite the limited resources of the reform initiative and strong opposition from the political status quo.

 [More on the British Columbia election here].