“This (the S-A’s results) spells trouble for the future of rail. As long as the city relies on a razor-thin majority favoring rail, it will subject success of the project to the whim of just 2 percent of the electorate changing its mind,” Mr. Djou writes.
More Like 17 Percent
Mr. Djou didn’t mention the City-sponsored poll by professional survey company QMark in his June 3 piece, probably because he likely submitted it before the QMark results were announced.
Had he known about the 57-40 basic split between those who expressed support for rail and those who opposed it, it’s doubtful the “razor-thin majority” phrase would have found its way into print.
As a staunch defender of the democratic process, Mr. Djou presumably would acknowledge that a 17-percent margin constitutes a near-landslide, if not an outright mandate to build Honolulu rail.
QMark polled 100 residents in each of the nine Council districts; pro-rail support ranged from 50 percent (a majority of those who expressed an opinion) in District 5 to 68 percent in District 8. District 4, which Mr. Djou represented on the Council, registered 55 percent support for the project.
Support Is Growing
The headline on Mr. Djou’s commentary at both Hawaii Reporter and the Star-Advertiser is City Should Work Harder to Build Consensus on Rail. With the QMark poll showing an even bigger pro-rail percentage than the 2008 Charter vote, it looks from here like the City has been doing its job. (The entire poll can be read at the City's rail website.)
When asked whether they understand the proposed rail system, 68 percent of the 900 who were polled said they feel either very well or somewhat informed. Only 30 percent responded that they are somewhat or very poorly informed.
Just how much of that minority constitutes the unyielding opposition that has fought rail for decades isn’t known. What is known is that Mr. Djou’s continued support of the democratic process would help move the rail project toward its successful completion.