By Eric Elliott
The Liberal Party has set up an online survey to learn what you think about electoral reform. After months of the all-party committee gathering opinion while travelling across the country on the taxpayers dime, yes, they claim they want to hear what Canadians think about electoral reform.
Except, not really.
At no point did the survey actually ask me what I thought about electoral reform. Nor did it ask me if I thought a referendum was something that the government should consider when addressing this issue.
Instead, it goes through a mundane, irrelevant and mostly useless process of determining your values, before going into your preferences and priorities for Canadas democracy. The survey briefly touches upon issues such as mandatory voting while politicizing online voting with qualifiers on every question in an obvious attempt to sway you from the current paper ballot method.
In the results, the survey spits out a Buzzfeed-style answer, pigeon-holing you into where you fit along the political spectrum so that you know where you sit on the issue.
The whole process is an insult to Canadians intelligence. Theres no doubt that its difficult to understand the differences between various voting systems such as mixed-member proportional representation and single-transferable vote. That said, if the government truly believes that it wants to hear what Canadians think, why then are they telling Canadians what they think? How ludicrous would it be if we were to transfer that to other aspects of life such as Christmas wish lists telling children they actually want that homey sweater rather than the new Lego set?
It doesnt make sense in that case and it certainly doesnt make sense for the future of Canadas democracy.
At the end, the survey told me that I was an Innovator someone open to new ideas to improve the way parliament works, someone who favours co-operation over competition when it comes to policies and prefers governments that seek compromise with other parties.
But I already knew all that. Why didnt the government let me state what I thought about the real issues?