The study concludes that a lack of information about the referendum was what doomed the referendum to defeat.
The study also suggests that had Ontarians had more information about the electoral reform referendum, specifically had Ontarians had more information about what MMP was (proportional results, two votes, infrequent majorities, list candidates) and who proposed it (who the Citizens' Assembly was and how they were chosen), the results would have been 63% in favour, and 37% opposed.
It concludes that:
This is probably heartening, and yet disappointing, for electoral reformers. And perhaps opponents should show more relief than smugness.
Some have dismissed the claim that ignorance about the referendum was the cause of its defeat, arguing that there were plenty of commercials and ads informing the public about the referendum. Or, presumably there was enough information out there for people to educate themselves - the cure for apathy is "not to be apathetic" obviously. Duh.
Well, for political geeks, those ads were pretty apparent because we tend to pay attention to them. I tend to notice ads and spots for things I'm interested in - I think the average person does.
For those who are apathetic to politics, it was just a lot of noise mixed in with a lot of other political noise - along with the latest Britney Spears gossip and a new release of Halo.
Whatever Halo is.