Class Project Finds Thirst for Electoral Reform
Prince George, B.C. – A third year political science class at UNBC has found there’s a thirst for electoral reform in Prince George – at least among younger people.
Class spokesperson Kari-Ann Gandy said the findings – the result of over 350 completed surveys – were consistent with their hypothesis.
However, she also noted that the results were very skewed because the class couldn’t get permission to conduct polling at large retail outlets in town.
“We polled quite a bit at UNBC and CNC – just based on places that said yes to polling. But we did find that young people (between 18 and 29) wanted change,” Gandy said. “There was also a trend between the political party that they voted for in the last election and a desire for reform.”
For example, she said they found 60 per cent of respondents who voted for the NDP in the 2015 federal election strongly agreed with the need for electoral reform while 38 per cent somewhat agreed (27 per cent who voted for the Liberal Party strongly agreed).
Gandy said the study did not assess why people wanted reform or what kind of electoral reform they were seeking.
Was she surprised by what they found?
“No, I wasn’t. I was pleased with our results. I think that’s great. I probably would have liked more time to survey because we only had a week due to the time constraints we had.”
Gandy said they chose the topic because it was a major plank in the Liberal Party’s platform in 2015 and noted they chose it prior to the party reneging on its pledge to bring in electoral change.
Moving forward, she said the class is now considering whether to present their findings to Prince George City Council.