The 2016 PEI Plebiscite on Democratic Renewal

On November 7, 2016, the plebiscite on democratic renewal in PEI concluded. As a result of the recommendations made by the Special Committee on Democratic Renewal on April 15, 2016, DMP was one of the five options Islanders were able to choose from. The other four options were First-Past-The-Post (FPTP), First-Past-The-Post plus Leaders (FPTP+), Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), and Preferential Vote (PV).

According to the Interim Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, DMP received a significant level of support in this plebiscite. In the initial round of counting, DMP received nearly three times as many votes as FPTP+ and more than twice as many votes as PV. By the third round, DMP had taken 41% of the vote for change. The majority of the votes cast for DMP were then redistributed to MMP, pushing it over the edge to win the plebiscite. However, it is important to note that 26% of DMP’s supporters chose not to endorse MMP. This demonstrates that DMP was able to bring a significant number of people on board with reform that MMP could not.

Further evidence of DMP’s broad appeal can be found by looking at the distribution of the second choice preferences. DMP was the second choice of more voters than any other option. Moreover, DMP received more first and second choice votes than FPTP, suggesting that it has broader support than the current system.