Canadians are losing trust in our electoral system


Published October 28, 2019 at 11:21 pm


Now that the 43rd federal election is over, many Canadians are coping with the possibility that the government may face an inability to actually get anything done due to the fact that it’s now a Liberal minority—a fact that doesn’t exactly elicit trust from citizens.

In fact, a new survey from Proof Inc. finds many Canadians are feeling disillusioned towards our electoral system.
The survey focused on how Canadians feel about party leaders in general, our democracy system, and the country’s key government institutions.

“In a healthy democracy, citizens should feel confident in how the electoral system operates and how it reflects their votes in the outcome,” Proof Inc. CEO, Bruce MacLellan, said in a news release.

“After this 2019 election, we’re seeing troubling signs of mistrust–especially in Western Canada’s Prairie provinces,” he continued.

Canadians’ trust in the election system has been trending downward for the last two years. In 2018, 56 per cent of Canadians said they trusted the system, in 2019, that number was down to 52 per cent, and after the latest election, it has fallen to 48 per cent—less than half of Canadians.

As for party leaders, despite a rocky campaign fraught with scandals, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saw his trust rating among Canadians rise four points to 39 per cent. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer saw a decline in trust from Canadians, as his trust rating dropped four points to just 22 per cent. Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the federal NDP party, saw the most dramatic swing, as his trust rating among Canadians skyrocketed from just 18 per cent before the campaign, to 39 per cent after it.

“The national leaders’ debate and the greater overall attention being paid to politics in the lead-up to Election Day gave Jagmeet Singh an opportunity to showcase his strengths to the nation—and he performed well,” MacLellan said.

“Between his engaging use of social media, and the clear contrast he drove with other leaders on a crowded debate stage, Singh effectively built on a previously middling score. While those skyrocketing trust levels are impressive, the party’s reduced seat count suggests the NDP didn’t have the resources to channel that surge into results at the ballot box,” he continued.

When looking at support in the electoral system from supporters of the four main parties, Conservative supporters had the lowest at 35 per cent trust in the electoral system and 24 per cent trust in the government.

Further, 40 per cent of NDP supporters and 32 per cent of Green Party supporters trust Trudeau, while trust for Singh and Elizabeth May is at 51 per cent and 36 per cent respectively among Liberal supporters.

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