A new poll suggests Canadians prefer a national referendum on any changes to the electoral system in the country. Nonetheless, most Canadians do not believe there is any problem with the present system.

A new Insights West poll finds around two-thirds of Canadians are in favour of a nationwide referendum on proposed changes to the existing guidelines. 62 percent Canadians say they are “very” or “somewhat” happy about the “First-Past-The-Post” system. Only one in four Canadians finds it dissatisfying.

The online poll reveals 71 percent people in Quebec are satisfied with the present electoral system. 68 percent of those who voted for the Conservative Party, and 67 percent of those for the Liberal Party, also favour the present system.

Seventeen percent of Canadians believe a nationwide referendum is not required. They believe a vote in the House of Commons should be enough to settle it.


Insights West

Canadians were also asked about three possible electoral systems which could be used in future elections. Most (45 percent) agree on Party-List Proportional Representation, but 32 percent do not think electing all members of the House of Commons through the process is a good idea.

“For all the talk about electoral reform that Canadians have been exposed to over the past few months, the only consensus is on the need to hold a referendum on any proposal that is made,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The level of dissatisfaction with the current system is not especially high, and the possible systems that have been discussed currently get mixed reviews.”

Conservative critic Scott Reid has asked Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef if she thinks Canadians are “too immature” to handle referendums. “In 2007, the government of Ontario held a referendum on whether to change its voting system to mixed-member proportional,” Huffington Post quoted Reid as saying last Monday. “My question for the minister for elections, from Ontario, is simple.

“Did she vote in that referendum, or did she regard the referendum as being such a disservice to Ontarians like her and me that she withheld her vote as a protest against an entire, illegitimate process?”

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