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Pew report quote about electoral reform

A Pew Research Center analysis of public opinion on democracy and political representation was released March 13, 2024. Citizens in 24 countries were asked an open-ended question:

“What do you think would help improve the way democracy in your country is working?”

In seven of the 24 countries studied, electoral reform ranked in the top five.

In Canada, Nigeria and the UK, electoral reform ranked second among the 17 substantive topics coded, right after “better politicians.”

Pew report electoral reform compare countries
Pew report electoral reform compare countries

Polls in Canada over the past 20 years have shown strong public support for switching to proportional representation, an electoral system based on the principle that seat share should match vote share. So, if 30% of voters support one party, it should get about 30% of the seats.

Pew’s new research shows that not only do Canadians overwhelmingly say yes to proportional representation when asked directly, electoral reform is top of mind for us when asked an open-ended question about improving our democracy.

It’s worth noting that the electoral system doesn’t operate in isolation: its impacts are felt in all aspects of a democracy. Making sure election results reflect how people voted and ensuring that all votes matter are critical to the overall quality of democracy.  Many of the other top five concerns expressed by Canadians, from wishing for more cooperation to improving diversity in Parliament, could be remedied by proportional representation.

Seventy-six percent of Canadians would support a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, a non-partisan body that could address the deep concerns Canadians have with their democracy in a thoughtful setting outside the hostile arena of partisan politics.

In February, 2024, 39 Liberal backbench MPs and three Conservative MPs broke ranks with their parties’ positions and joined the NDP, the Bloc, the Greens and independents in voting for Motion M-86 for a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

For the sake of all Canadians, it’s time for our political leaders to put their self-interest aside and put the interests of Canadians and their democracy first.

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