About that Vox Pop survey

December 7, 2016

For non-Canadian readers, electoral reform is a big deal in Canada after the man we chose as Prime Minister promised during the campaign that the 2015 election would be the last one with First Past The Post voting.

Word about a survey popped up last week, primarily due to the Prime Minister’s decision to send every Canadian of voting age a postcard inviting them to complete the online survey the government has sponsored as part of the electoral reform process.

For me so far, electoral reform has been the activities of others, of intense interest to the interested, but external to my inner thoughts. But it’s an important decision, and as individual and intimate as one’s time in a voting booth.

I understand the ridicule directed at what I came to consider a well-structured survey. Someone called it a push-poll, but couldn’t articulate its point. I’d suggest the point of the Vox Pop Labs interactive online survey was to push laggards like me into beginning our internal dialogues.

I can march along with the Liberal band without a lot of daily thought. Be nice to others, look after the environment, pay one’s debts, make contributions when they ask — standard stuff.

But do I want government to consist of endless compromises to accomodate every single-issue group in Canada?  No, I chose a strong majority on the survey. Do I want to be able to boot the wretches out?  Not on a daily basis.  Once every four years would be fine.

The crunch came when I had to choose whether to use the electoral process to concentrate power in my own cultural tribe, or distribute it “fairly” to all of the other tribes. That’s where I drew the line. I don’t want to give up power at this stage in life.

The other decision point was easier: I don’t want to vote for a party list. I am not a Leafs fan. I want to know the man or woman who will represent me, and I’ll make up my own mind. Proportional representation is out because it has too many working parts. Sorry, Lizzie May, I like you but I don’t like PR.

To my surprise I realized my likely vote in a referendum would be FPTP or Ranked Ballot. Subject to other inputs. Vox Pop forced me to start the internal dialogue. Creepy, especially for those who prefer to keep their politics on the outside.


Update, 7 December

My friend and correspondent Tom Stutzman asked what I meant by “keeping their politics on the outside.”


Pundits treat electoral reform as something to write about.  They remain detached and are affronted when someone asks them, “What’s in your soul?”  

They react about the way they would to a salvationist at the door.  This poll asked Canadians quietly to take stock of their innermost thoughts on the subject of electoral reform.  It gets the reader’s attention prior to the ensuing learning activity.  That’s Trudeau’s B.Ed. showing through.

Canadian pundits don’t want to be taught much, especially about themselves.

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