The Case Against a Referendum in a Nutshell

We do not support a referendum for the following reasons:

–          Most major decisions in our country have not been carried out by referendums; these include patriation of the Constitution, implementation of the Charter of Rights, the change from open oral voting to the secret ballot, allowing women to vote in 1918, and extending the vote to non-property owners and to Japanese and Chinese Canadians and all First Nations people.

–          The issue is too complicated for a simple ballot question. When people do not have the time, interest, or understanding to become informed they will automatically support the status quo.

–          With no restrictions on spending, wealthy people or organizations, able to purchase large amounts of expensive media advertising, will have a disproportionate influence on the outcome.

We  do support an all-party, nation-wide, consultative committee whose recommendation would be implemented by Parliament. We note that parties representing 67.3% of the popular vote in the 2015 election support electoral reform.

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