PEI

Electoral reform plebiscite should be honoured, says poll

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan should honour the results of the province's recent electoral reform plebiscite, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Premier has questioned plebiscite results

Mixed member proportional representation came out as the winner in the plebiscite, but the voter turnout was low. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan should honour the results of the province's recent electoral reform plebiscite, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The poll, commissioned by the P.E.I. Coalition for Proportional Representation, and conducted by Mainstreet Research, found 56 per cent of Islanders felt the results of the plebiscite should be respected.

Automated voice calls to landlines and cellphones asked Islanders, "Should Premier Wade MacLauchlan's government respect the results of the recent plebiscite and move to a new voting system or ignore the plebiscite results and maintain the current system?"

Plebiscite results questioned

The plebiscite supported a change to mixed member proportional representation, but MacLauchlan has questioned its validity, given a voter turnout of 36 per cent.

Ignoring these results could lead to an erosion in Islanders' support for their democratic institutions.- Quito Maggi, Mainstreet Research

Given the results of the poll, Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research, cautioned against dismissing the plebiscite results.

"Recent elections around the western world have taught us there is a huge discontent with what is being called the 'political elite'," said Maggi in a news release.

"How P.E.I. residents will react at the ballot box to the dismissal of these results is too early to say, but perhaps there are hints to be seen in Europe and America … It seems that ignoring these results could lead to an erosion in Islanders' support for their democratic institutions."

The poll reached 1,772 Islanders on November 10, 12 and 13. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of 2.33 per cent.

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