21,000 minutes of listening time logged on electoral reform telephone town hall

SMITHERS Over 3,400 constituents logged almost 21,000 minutes of listening time and posed dozens of questions during last night’s electoral reform town hall hosted by Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen and guest Katelynn Northam, an electoral reform campaigner with Leadnow.

“The calibre of the questions was outstanding and we covered a lot of ground, taking questions on issues ranging from the mechanics of alternative voting systems to fears about losing local representation to skepticism about the government’s will to actually change a system that bought them a huge majority with only 39% of the popular vote,” Cullen said after the call that he hosted from Regina, Saskatchewan. “One thing that came through particularly loudly and clearly on the call is the mood for change in how Canadians vote for MPs.”

“Folks here in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, as with millions of people around the country, are telling us they want every vote to count.  We’re seeing a groundswell for electoral change everywhere that holds tremendous promise to strengthen our democracy and country for generations to come.”

While the 63-minute call meant only a fraction of the 64 questions logged last night could be answered directly or in summary, Cullen, also the NDP’s Democratic Reform critic, will continue to personally answer all riding queries to his offices and social media accounts.  Constituents called in from Hwy 16 communities and the furthest corners of the riding, including Tache, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, Hagensborg, Stewart and Massett.

Three polls were conducted during the town hall and drew 558 responses as follows:

  1. Should parties win about the same percentage of seats as the percentage of votes that parties get:

    YES: 83%
    NO:  17
  2. What is the most appropriate way for the government to reform our voting system:

    MULTIPLE PARTIES AGREEING: 20%
    REFERENDUM: 39%
    TRY NEW SYSTEM, THEN HAVE REFERENDUM: 41%
  3. Should Canada change to a proportional voting system?
    YES: 81%
    NO: 19%

Cullen has hosted electoral reform town halls in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, Penticton, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Toronto and still has events in Atlin, Queen Charlotte and Vancouver.  Cullen is travelling to every province and territory in Canada with the electoral reform committee until Thanksgiving.