Liberals accused of trying to skew results of electoral reform consultations
The House of Commons sits empty ahead the resumption of the session on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 17, 2016 5:41PM EST
OTTAWA - A leaked draft of an online federal survey to be launched next month has raised suspicions that the Trudeau government is trying to skew the public consultation process to favour the status quo.
The questions in the draft survey are broad and at no point ask respondents for their opinions about specific models of voting systems.
Although most experts and Canadians consulted by an all-party committee favour a proportional voting system, the survey does not ask participants if they believe a party's share of seats in the House of Commons should reflect its share of the popular vote.
Government insiders say the leaked survey was just a field test and the final survey will be quite different; however, it will not ask about specific voting models.
NDP democratic reform critic Nathan Cullen says the government is spending $2 million on a "pop psych survey" that's intended to argue against a proportional voting system and maintain the status quo.
But Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef says the government is using new and innovative ways to consult as many Canadians as possible about the principles they value most in an electoral system.