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Survey on electoral reform to gather public opinions

All Yukoners aged 16 or older will receive an invitation to participate.
A voter is shown at a Whitehorse polling station during the Yukon election on Monday April 12, 2021. An official count has confirmed a tie in the Yukon election, pushing the process to the next step of a judicial recount. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Kelly

A public survey has been released to gather intel on how Yukoners feel about changing the electoral system.

The survey is part of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, a legislative group tasked with collecting information on how the territory would handle changing the current system of running elections.

In order to participate, all Yukoners aged 16 or older will receive an invitation by email or mail from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics with a five-digit PIN. The PIN allows the survey to be accessed online.

“The results of this survey will be used in the Committee’s report that will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly later this year,” reads the intro to the survey.

The survey, which takes around 20 minutes to complete and includes 35 questions, was launched Feb. 15. The committee must finish its work by the 2022 fall legislative sitting.

The first set of questions asks about the respondent’s voting habits – whether they vote regularly and what motivates them to vote or not vote. For example, whether they’re more motivated to support a local candidate, platform, political party or party leader.

The second section of the survey asks the respondent about the most important goals of a voting system – whether having a local representative is important, or whether political parties and platforms should take priority.

It also asks how the respondent feels about having a majority government versus a minority or if a political system should prioritize local representation over the popular vote being directly translated to seats.

The survey includes specific questions on four voting systems, along with quick definitions:“In a plurality system, the candidate who receives more votes than any other candidate is elected. Our current electoral system is a plurality system.

In a majority system, the party or candidate winning more than 50 per cent of the votes cast in a riding is awarded the contested seat.

In a proportional representation system, the distribution of seats is broadly proportional to the distribution of the popular vote among political parties.

A mixed electoral system blends different voting systems. Members in some ridings are elected directly (the candidate who receives more votes than any other candidate) and members in the remaining ridings are elected from party lists based on each party’s vote share.”

Respondents are asked to rank these systems of preference, in addition to answering questions about how effective they think different elements are.

Changing electoral systems could also include adding more MLAs to make a bigger assembly, and Yukoners taking the survey are asked if they would support that increase.

Electoral systems aren’t the only consideration in the survey. It also asks whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 and if the residency requirement should be lowered to six months, rather than the current year requirement.

Contact Haley Ritchie at