Canada unimpressed with Trudeau government's #mydemocracy survey
- 6 December 2016
- From the section US & Canada
Canadians are skewering the federal government's new attempt to engage the population on electoral reform.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to scrap Canada's first-past-the-post voting system in the last election.
But after his party won, Mr Trudeau has been accused of trying to backtrack on his promise.
An online poll, described by one opponent as "a dating website designed by Fidel Castro", is the latest stumble.
People accuse the poll of being misleading and confusing, and another example of how the government is stalling on taking action.
Twitter users are making fun of the federal government's online survey by co-opting the government's #mydemocracy hashtag. They have also added the tag #rejectedERQs (electoral reform questions).
The survey asks people about their political values and preferences, like how they feel about online voting and proportional representation.
For instance, one question asks "Which would you prefer: Members of Parliament that always support policies that they think are best for their constituents, even if their constituents disagree OR Members of Parliament that always support policies their constituents want, even if the MPs themselves personally disagree?"
Others made fun of how the survey assigned respondents a sharable label like "guardian", "co-operator", or "challenger" that the questionnaire said best aligned with their views on how a democracy should function.
A twitter user created a template to replace the official answers with fictional or historical characters.
Political opponents were also critical, calling the Liberal Party's questionnaire for Canadians about electoral reform poorly worded and insincere.
The survey did not ask if people wanted a referendum on electoral reform, which the official opposition in Ottawa is demanding.
Mr Trudeau has told reporters his government is popular, so electoral reform is less of a priority.
"They now have a government they are more satisfied with. And the motivation to want to change the electoral system is less urgent," he told Le Devoir in October.
Federal Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef said the online survey will "empower all Canadians to take part in a value-based conversation about their democracy, about the way they would like to be governed".
The first-past-the-post voting system tends to favour larger established parties. Under the system, whoever has the most votes wins their district, regardless of whether they win a majority.
Federal politicians are weighing a range of options that could change the way Canadians elect government, from ranked ballots to proportional representation and online or mandatory voting.