YES 1677 64.48%
NO 924 35.52%
TOTAL 2601 about 33.8% turnout
It is interesting that 1300 people that were View Royal residents signed the petition to call for the referendum which is 16.9% of the population, but the referendum passed by an almost two to one margin.
376 more people signed the petition than voted against the borrowing, that is 28.9% of the people angry and motivated enough to sign the petition that then did not vote against the borrowing.
Historically in BC borrowing that has been sent to referendum through the alternative approval process petition have failed to pass. This is the second example in this region of a strong petition for the referendum and then the public voting for the borrowing. In the case of the Victoria referendum on the new bridge, once again the petition managed to get a lot more support than the vote against the borrowing on election day. I am not sure what I should read into that.
I could understand the results if the No vote in both cases was close to the number petition signatures but it was not in either case. There are only a few things I can think of:
- Getting people to sign the petition is easier than getting them to vote - I am not convinced of this because people do not tend to sign unless they really do believe
- People signed just so that they could vote and were planning to vote Yes from the start. That is a huge expense to put on a council for a project you support, I can not see more than a handful signing for that reason
- People were persuaded the projects were a good idea. In the case of View Royal the Town did a good job informing people that it was a good idea long before the petition to borrow money.
- The change in the project borrowing costs made people vote Yes. Maybe?
I am not convinced of any of those as being a big enough impact to explain the dramatic fall from 1300 to 924 in the people opposed to the borrowing?
About the only factor I can see in the two referendums that could have caused the results were that the petition process was all one side and the election was all the other side. During neither of the two recent referendums was the side opposed to the borrowing very active or visible during the actual election. In both cases it was almost as if the petition was enough and actually campaigning was not needed.