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Majority election believes, wants to investigate interference: poll

OTTAWA –

A new poll shows a majority of Canadians want the federal government to conduct an independent investigation into foreign interference in the past two federal elections, but still feel the country’s electoral system safe water.

Market research firm Leger surveyed 1,544 people between March 10 and 12, asking a series of questions about Canada’s electoral system and allegations of foreign interference.

The results showed that 71% of Canadians felt the electoral system was secure, while 29% felt it was not.

And the majority, 69% of respondents, said they generally trust the results of elections in Canada. One in five said they didn’t trust the results and another 11% said they didn’t know.

Polls cannot be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not considered a truly random sample.

Allegs that China interfered in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections dominated the debate on Parliament Hill for weeks, following a series of media reports published by the Globe and Mail and Global News. load.

The reports, based on leaks from security sources, allege in detail that China tried to intervene to support candidates deemed friendly to Beijing and to ensure the Liberal Party won minority in 2021.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he will soon appoint a “famous Canadian” with multiple duties to investigate the allegations and make recommendations on what action the government should take next.

Opposition parties are demanding a public inquiry into what happened.

The poll shows a strong partisan divide in opinion about elections in general.

“People tend to distrust our electoral system, etc., it tends to be partisan,” said Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Leger.

“It is those who tend to be right-wing voters who tend to show more distrust of traditional institutions in our democracy, like elections.”

The poll found that 93% of respondents who voted for the Liberal Party felt the electoral system was safe. Conservative voters were divided, with 52% saying they felt the system was safe and 48% saying they felt it was not.

Supporters of the Liberal Party and the NDP were more likely to say they generally trust the election results in Canada, with 92% of Liberal voters and 81% of NDP voters.

Confidence in the elections is slightly lower between Bloc Quebecois supporters, at 75%, and Green voters, at 64%.

Just 55% of Conservative voters said they generally trust elections, while 36% say they don’t. Lowest confidence among Canadian People’s Party supporters.

Bourque said he would be surprised if there was so much doubt about the election results in the wake of former US president Donald Trump, who continues to dismiss the legitimacy of the 2021 presidential race.

“Our system of government is based on fair and open elections, and only seven out of 10 Canadians believe that is the case today,” he said.

Unlike other results, calls for an inquiry do not follow party allegiance.

“It seems to me that Canadians want to get to the bottom of this issue,” Bourque said, adding even if people don’t believe foreign interference influenced the outcome of the election. , the idea of ​​it happening is still “scary” and Canadians don’t want it to happen again.

A third of respondents said the possibility of foreign interference was “so important that it greatly affects the legitimacy of the election results.”

But the poll also shows that a third of Canadians have never heard anything about foreign interference.

“Sometimes we’re so focused on what’s going on on the Hill that we forget, but the rest of everyone’s lives are really happening at the same time,” says Bourque.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 14, 2023.



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