The Liberals have been adamant for a long time now that they want a new way brought in for Canadians to elect MPs but once again, Canadians are sending Justin Trudeau and his Liberals a simple message. They aren’t interested.
The results of that ridiculously vague survey at MyDemocracy.ca are in and they’re pretty clear.
While there are some things that bother them about how Parliament runs, of the three hundred and thirty-eight thousand people that filled out the survey, most are happy with the system as is.
A full 67 percent say they are somewhat or very satisfied with the way democracy works in Canada. That includes 50 percent that say somewhat satisfied and 17 percent that are very satisfied.
By comparison just 9 percent are very unsatisfied.
These numbers hold across the country as well, and there is no one region begging for change.
A funny side note; the group most likely to say they want to change the system are those that describe themselves as not interested in politics at all. So people not interested, likely who don’t vote, are the people most dissatisfied with the system.
And while the survey shows there is some support for aspects of other systems, like calling for more collaborative government - parties needing to work together and negotiate their positions, the survey was designed in a way that allowed participants to express all kinds of contradictory viewpoints.
To those that say this report shows that Canadians want proportional representation, I give you figure 3.2.1 which shows 53 percent of Canadians agreeing with this statement:
“It should always be clear which party is accountable for decisions made by government, even if this means that decisions are only made by one party.”
By comparison just 31 percent disagree with that idea and 16% are neutral.
What this survey really shows, my doubts about the validity of the entire exercise as a representative sample aside, is Canadians are generally satisfied with the system but would like to see politicians working together more. That is hardly a shock.
They want MPs to represent their local constituents rather than the party or the MP’s desire - 72 percent say MPs should do what their constituents want.
The survey also shows Canadians rejecting mandatory voting by a wide margin and rejecting lowering the voting age with two thirds saying no.
There is a small majority that support online voting but only if the security of the vote can be guaranteed, which of course at this point, it cannot.
Now you think with all the hoopla around this that the Trudeau Liberals would be touting the results loudly. I mean they spent days talking about this website and online survey in the House of Commons, they sent 13 million postcards to homes across the country.
And now, they are somewhat silent because they didn’t get the answer they were looking for.
So far Trudeau and his Liberals have held town halls across the country, heard from a Commons committee and surveyed hundreds of thousands of Canadians on electoral reform and what have they discovered?
Canadians don’t want what the Liberals want.
There is a good chance electoral reform will die here. Or Trudeau could push on.
Remember the other part of his promise. Not only that the 2015 election would be the last election under ‘first past the post’ but also that they had a time line for bringing in legislative changes.
We are now into the 15th month of the Trudeau era, they have three months left to meet their own commitment.
Let’s hope this is a promise he never keeps.