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BC-STV supporters outnumber opponents online

Vote Yes BC-STV has successfully passed the NO-STV campaign – along with all major party candidates – in online supporters, suggest numbers released today by British Columbians for British Columbia Single Transferrable Vote.

British Columbians for BC-STV has more than 4,000 members on Facebook, while the NO-STV campaign has a little more than 150. The BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell and BC-NDP leader Carole James have failed to break 2,000.

"The support for electoral reform in BC is a real grassroots initiative, instead of having support from a few elites, we have lots of support from thousands of British Columbians," Tony Roy, director of communications at British Columbians for BC-STV told The Tyee.

New media such as Facebook acts as, "a real lever for us to increase our vote," Roy said.

Bill Tieleman, president of the NO-STV campaign expressed no concern over the Facebook numbers."At best they’re a minor indication of interest, but they’re not anything like a public opinion poll," he said.

"It’s an interesting way of getting the word out, but it’s mostly people who are fairly hardcore supporters who join, it’s not worth spending a lot of time on."

Blaize Reich, a professor at Simon Fraser University’s Segal school of business, indicated the numbers do not reflect the possible outcome, but the trend behind them could be an indicator.

"I think the numbers themselves or not that interesting as an indicator as the trend," Reich said.

The STV campaign went from roughly 3,000 members in late march to more than 4,000 in early April, she said.

"Were trying to get people on Facebook, get them to start talking about the issues then we have a pretty good chance of getting them as supporters," Reich said.

Talking about the Facebook group’s effect, "The yes side benefits, the more people that know about it, the more people talk about it," which benefits the group when it comes to getting the message across, said Reich.

Morgan J. Modjeski is a reporter for The Hook

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