A survey conducted by Léger Marketing for Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle (MDN) concludes that Quebecers everywhere demand electoral reform. Nearly 70% believe the government of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) should honor its promise to reform the current voting system, and they deem it important that this be accomplished soon.
Several facets of the electoral reform were touched upon in the survey, among them: i) the principles listed in the Multiparty Agreement signed on May 9, 2018, and reiterated during the election campaign as formal commitments by the Coalition Avenir Québec, Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire and the Green Party of Québec; (ii) the public’s understanding of the current voting system; (iii) the merits of substantially reducing the discrepancy between the votes cast and the allocation of deputy seats in the National Assembly. The survey’s results demonstrate an eagerness for change.
Quebecers stress the importance of restoring the bond of trust between citizens and their political institutions. To accomplish this, they want governments to take into account the diversity of opinion among citizens. 82% also think that “political parties should seek co-operation more than they do discord”. A spirit of co-operation ought to prevail as much for implementing this voting reform as it should for conducting routine government affairs.
Another clear consensus surfaced on the following point: there is merit in adjusting overall shortcomings in representation through the allocation of seats to regional deputies whenever there is a significant distortion between the votes cast and the number of deputies elected from local constituencies. The sense of injustice is higher whenever the distortion is significant, highlighting all that is wrong with the current system.
If politicians and parties really want to address political cynicism and declining voter turnout, this poll offers a clear path: reform the voting system––soon. Then citizens will regain trust in political institutions, especially if parties commit to work together once elected.
“The Prime Minister has all the authority he needs to reform the electoral system. More than 75% of Quebecers voted for parties that were in favor of a compensatory mixed-member proportional system and today 70% of the voters think that the CAQ should fulfill its promise. Since his election, the Prime Minister has spoken often about his intention to introduce a bill by autumn. As his slogan put it so well in the last campaign, the time to act is “NOW” !”
– Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, president of Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle
“People sense the injustice of the current system. They know the diversity of ideas is poorly reflected in the National Assembly and that this institution must better reflect the composition of the Quebec population, particularly with regard to women and cultural diversity. They know that a party with less than 50% of the vote ought not to pick up an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly. The public is ready to move; so can the government. It’s got to !”
-Françoise David, vice-president of Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle
The Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle commissioned a survey by Léger Marketing to learn more about the public’s understanding of electoral reform. The survey was conducted between May 1 and May 11, 2019, with a representative sample of 2,506 Quebecers.