The Pollcast: The summer of electoral reform

As the committee on electoral reform hears from experts this summer, MPs are talking to their constituents about what electoral system they think is best for Canada. In the first of a series of interviews, host Éric Grenier is joined by two Liberal MPs, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Joël Lightbound, to discuss what they're hearing.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by Liberal MPs Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Joël Lightbound

Host Éric Grenier is joined by Liberal MPs Joël Lightbound (left) and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (right) to discuss electoral reform on this week's episode of the Pollcast. (House of Commons)

The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.

The summer of electoral reform is upon us, and your Member of Parliament wants to know what you think about it.

As the special committee on electoral reform grills experts and meets with Canadians over the summer, MPs are quizzing their own constituents on what system they think best fits the needs of the country — and whether or not a referendum is required to put a new electoral system into place.

On this week's episode of the Pollcast, host Éric Grenier is joined by two Liberal MPs to hear their views on electoral reform, as well as what their own constituents are telling them.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith is the MP for the riding of Beaches–East York in Toronto and Joël Lightbound is the MP for the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hébert.

Upcoming episodes will feature MPs from the opposition parties.

According to the Liberal government, all options are on the table. These include a form of proportional representation or a preferential ballot. The latter system is one that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he personal supports, raising concerns that the Liberals will adopt the system that could benefit them most, no matter what the committee concludes.

But not all Liberal MPs agree that the preferential ballot is the way to go.

"I don't think alternative voting or a ranked ballot system will get at the real crux of the problem," said Erskine-Smith, "which is the distortion in outcomes that first-past-the-post engenders. So, I'm not in favour of it."

But Erskine-Smith noted that single-transferable voting (STV) has an element of ranked balloting and could be a viable solution.

Listen to the full discussion below — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.

We ask two Liberal MPs - Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Joel Lightbound - what they think about electoral reform.

Follow Éric Grenier on Twitter.

Download the CBC News app for iOS and Android


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?