The Ottawa-based Institute on Governance and the Environics Institute in Toronto conducted a comprehensive survey on electoral reform. The below were results from the over 2000 responses from respondents over 18 (MP Brassard’s survey results in brackets – where applicable):
24 per cent thought the system needed a major overhaul (Brassard survey: 30%)
29 per cent didn’t think any changes were needed (Brassard survey: 42%)
38 per cent said they thought only minor changes were needed. (Brassard survey: 28%)
45 per cent opposed making it mandatory to vote in federal elections. (Brassard survey: 40%)
36 per cent Mixed Member Proportional
34 per cent Single Member Plurality – i.e. current system
21 per cent Pure Proportional Representation
17 per cent Ranked or Preferential Ballot
(Brassard survey: FPTP – 42%, minor changes only 28%, Proportional – 25%, Ranked – 4%, Other – 1%)
To see MP Brassard’s full results of his survey click here
Ottawa’s Institute on Governance and the Environics Institute in Toronto provided a brief description of the 4 examples of voting models for their survey as follows:
Single Member Plurality (current system): Canadians vote for a single candidate running in their electoral district. The candidate who wins the most votes in the electoral district is elected to Parliament.
Pure Proportional Representation: Canadians would vote for a political party and the number of seats each party gets in Parliament is based on the number of votes it receives nationally.
Mixed Member Proportional: Canadians would have two votes. First, they vote for a single candidate running in their electoral district (like in the current system), and second, they cast a separate vote for a party. The number of seats each party gets in Parliament is proportionate to the number of votes each party receives from both types of ballots.
Ranked or Preferential Ballot: Canadians would rank all of the candidates running in their electoral district from most preferred to least preferred. If a candidate wins 50 per cent or more of the first choice ballots they are declared the winner. If no candidate wins at least 50 per cent, the candidate with the least first choice votes is eliminated from the race. If a voter’s preferred candidate is eliminated, their vote is automatically transferred to their second choice on the list. This repeats until one candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the votes.