Preferred Over PR, FPTP
Majority agrees with mandatory voting, online ballots
In a random sampling
of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1345 Canadian voters, the
Proportional Representation (PR) system of electing governments draws the
approval of a majority of voters (54%) when a simple description is given,
while Canada’s current First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system draws approval from
about 4-in-10 (42%) and the Ranked Ballot system receives approval from just
more than a third (35%).
When these three
electoral systems are described in more detail, and their drawbacks explained,
however, ratings for PR stay the same (52%), those for FPTP decline sharply
(from 44% approval to 30% approval), while approval for Ranked Ballots vaults
into first place at almost 6-in-10 (56%).
PR preferred overall
Canadians are asked,
after rating each system for approval twice, which of the three they preferred.
PR wins this direct measure with one third of the vote (33%), while Ranked
Ballot comes in second at a quarter (23%) and FPTP is third with just less than
a fifth of the vote (18%). One tenth like none of these three (10%) and one
sixth don’t have an opinion (15%).
PR is especially
preferred by the youngest (42%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 43%), in BC
(40%), among New Democrats (46%) and among college grads (38%).
Ranked Ballot is
preferred especially by younger voters (under 45 - 27%), the wealthy ($80K to
$100K - 35%), in Atlantic Canada (29%), among Liberals (30%) and among the best
educated (post grad - 26%).
FPTP is preferred by
the oldest (23%), males (23%) rather than females (14%), the wealthiest ($100K to
$250K - 25%), in Alberta (22%) and among Conservatives (28%).
Majority agree with mandatory voting
More than one half
of Canadian voters agree voting should be mandatory in Canada (55%), more than
a third think it should not (38%) and fewer than a tenth have no opinion (7%).
Approving of mandatory voting is characteristic of the youngest (59%), females
(58%) rather than males (51%), the least wealthy (67% - often a proxy for age),
in Quebec (67%), among New Democrats (60%), among the least educated
(secondary school or less - 64%) and among Francophones (67%).
One half agree with online voting
One half of Canadian
voters agree the country should use online voting in federal elections (51%),
and this is especially common to the youngest (61%), the wealthy ($80K to
$100Km - 65%), in Ontario and Quebec more than elsewhere (54% each), among Liberals (57%), mothers of children under 18 (55%) and among college grads (57%).
“We have found
electoral reform notoriously difficult to poll, because explaining each system
adequately is challenging. We found, when the simple facts were presented, PR
is favoured, as usual, because it sounds the most representative. When
respondents are presented with the reality of small parties and coalition
governments, they change their minds, and many who supported FPTP previously,
move into the Ranked Ballot column, presumably because this system always
results in a majority, and voters value that. In other news, Canadians are
ready for mandatory voting, especially the younger voters, where the impact
will be felt the most. They are not quite as enthusiastic about online voting,
but this system still draws majority support" said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at
email@example.com or at (416) 960-9603.