August 11, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - A survey conducted by Kamloops’ Member of Parliament suggests local residents support a referendum as part of the national debate on electoral reform.
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says a mail out survey was sent to every household in the riding with 76.8 per cent of the 800 responses agreeing with the Conservative Party stance a referendum on electoral reform is needed. Currently the Liberal government is moving forward with a committee on electoral reform.
“The fact that it’s relatively consistent with a poll done by Iposos-Reid reenforces it,” she says. “We’re a little higher.”
The Ipsos-Reid poll she cites suggests 73 per cent of Canadians want a referendum on electoral reform. The Kamloops-area survey was sent to "thousands and thousands" of households, McLeod says, but only 800 responses were collected.
“That’s a good response for a mail out survey,” she says. “A lot of people just throw it in the garbage.”
During the 2015 election there were 93,877 eligble voters in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding.
McLeod says she's glad to see area residents discussing the electoral reform but is concerned the Liberals are trying to rig the process.
Residents of B.C. are used to be asked to vote on electoral reform issues, as there have been two votes on the subject in recent times, she says.
While McLeod believes a referendum is necessary what would be on the ballot is up for debate. She points to New Zealand’s move to a new voting system. There citizens were asked by referendum whether it was an issue that should be discussed, which was approved. Then government moved forward and held a second vote on the type of electoral reform to be instituted.
Alternatively, in B.C. a group of experts brought forth an electoral proposal they thought was ideal for the province, and residents voted against it.
One of the federal Liberal’s campaign promises in 2015 was to look at electoral reform.
“If we’re going to change how are going to vote, it must be by referendum,” she says.
McLeod plans to speak directly to residents at the end of August at local events and plans to hold community meetings.
A local group led by Murray Todd, a former federal Liberal canadidate, is holding meetings to collect and then submit comments to the federal electoral reform committee and McLeod. They plan to hold a town hall meeting in mid-September.
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