Electoral reform (closed)
This engagement is now closed. It ran from 2018-10-04 to 2018-12-14.
Find the results
Results at a glance
We carried out a public engagement on electoral reform from October 4 to December 14, 2018. We heard from 840 individuals, two community organizations and one Yukon First Nation government.
As electoral reform is a broad subject that means different things to different people, we asked you what you thought was the most important topic for a commission on electoral reform to focus on.
In the survey results:
- 61.5 per cent of respondents said “options to ensure our electoral system captures the intentions of voters as well as possible” was most important;
- 20.5 per cent of respondents said “options to improve how political parties and elected representatives operate” was most important;
- 13.6 per cent of respondents said “options to improve how citizens make their voices heard” was most important; and
- 4.5 per cent of respondents said something else, such as “not having a commission” or “not pursuing electoral reform.”
Electoral system reform was also a priority for Yukoners who provided feedback by email or at meetings. In contrast to the survey results, the second most common priority for these Yukoners was about improving how citizens make their voices heard and, more specifically, improving the accessibility of the electoral system so that everyone who is eligible to vote has the ability and opportunity to do so.
We also asked you how important it was for the commission to focus on the following topics.
Capturing the intentions of voters as well as possible
Asked about making sure our electoral system captures the intentions of voters as well as possible, survey respondents agreed it was important or very important for the commission to focus on:
- public education on our current and other types of electoral systems (83 per cent);
- public engagement with Yukoners on possible options for electoral system reform (83 per cent); and
- research, reports and other work on electoral system reform done by other Canadian governments (68 per cent).
If the commission hears from Yukoners that there’s a desire to change to a different electoral system, survey respondents agreed it was important or very important for the commission to:
- consider the different approaches and outcomes of electoral system reform work done by other Canadian governments (72 per cent);
- recommend a public education plan about other electoral systems (71 per cent);
- identify the strongest electoral system for Yukon territorial elections (71 per cent); and
- identify the potential costs and savings of other electoral systems (58 per cent).
Improving how political parties and elected officials work
Asked about improving how political parties and elected officials work before, during and after elections, survey respondents agreed it was important or very important for the commission to focus on ensuring:
- elections are fair and transparent (89 per cent);
- political fundraising and spending is fair and transparent (87 per cent);
- the legislature is open and accountable (83 per cent); and
- elected representatives reflect the diversity of Yukon (50 per cent).
Improving how Yukoners make their voices heard
Asked about improving how Yukoners make their voices heard, survey respondents agreed it was important or very important for the commission to focus on ensuring that people:
- have flexible and accessible voting options (83 per cent);
- understand how government works (82 per cent);
- have the information they need to vote (81 per cent);
- are registered to vote (76 per cent); and
- have options other than voting to make their voices heard (70%).
Other things we found out
- All three topics of electoral reform identified in the engagement are related and that while strengthening one part will help strengthen others, all three are needed for a healthy democracy.
- There are some strongly opposing views on the need for electoral system reform, with some people wanting to modify or wholly replace the current “first past the post” system with some form of proportional representation and others saying we should not try to fix something that is not broken.
- There is a desire for the Government of Yukon to be upfront about whether or not it is willing to change the electoral system or how votes get turned into elected seats in the legislature.
- Informed choice is important to many people who think there should be public education (for example, objective and easy to understand pros and cons of different electoral systems) before further public engagement or any public vote on the commission’s recommendations.
- There is a clear sentiment that adversarial politics and partisanship comes at the expense of the public good and that people prefer seeing elected representatives be honest, respectful and working together in the best interest of all Yukoners.
- People generally support improving options for how Yukoners make their voices heard and particularly for people who face barriers or accessibility issues. People also think elected officials and the government need to listen in order for these options to make a difference.
What was this engagement about?
We want to improve our democracy and we wanted your input to make sure we head in the right direction.
In fall 2018 we asked what issues are most important to you when it comes to how Yukoners make their voices heard, the system we use to elect territorial governments, and how territorial political parties and elected officials work.
In spring 2019 we will strike an independent commission on electoral reform. We will ask it to work on the priorities Yukoners have identified and to make recommendations to us in a final report in late fall 2019.
Download the electoral reform information pamphlet.
How will my input make a difference?
The priorities you and other Yukoners identify will inform the mandate of the independent commission on electoral reform.
Give your feedback on the engagement process
Feedback indicated that some people thought the engagement questions indicated the Government of Yukon is not serious about electoral reform, while others thought the questions favoured wholesale electoral reform.
How did we do at this public engagement? Tell us by completing a short questionnaire.