Twitter is mercilessly mocking the federal government’s fancy new “survey” website
The federal Liberals have spent the past two months backing slowly away from their campaign promise to do away with first-past-the-post balloting at the federal level. In October, Justin Trudeau mused that switching to a new voting system is now less urgent because Stephen Harper has been defeated and “Canadians now have a government they are more satisfied with.” (That is, a government led by Justin Trudeau.) The policy switcheroo, and the self-aggrandizing explanation for it, have created one of the first major rifts between Trudeau and his lefty base.
This week, the feds launched MyDemocracy.ca, a survey website that’s supposed to gauge the nation’s attitude toward electoral reform. In theory, that’s a fine idea—but the survey prompts have come under criticism for their odd wording, which often seems as though it was designed to propagandize for various Liberal policy positions, rather than elicit spontaneous responses. Here, for instance, is a prompt about ranked ballots: “A ballot should be easy to understand, even if it means voters have fewer options to express their preferences.” And here’s another: “Voters should be able to express multiple preferences on the ballot, even if this means that it takes longer to count the ballots and announce the election result.” Survey respondents can click buttons to indicate agreement or disagreement with those statements, but they can’t select any other options or write in their own.
Canadian Twitter users have spent the afternoon mocking the survey, because of course they have. Here are some of the best tweets we’ve seen.
Most of the action has coalesced around the RejectedERQs hashtag (“ERQ” stands for “election reform questions”), where people are writing their own “survey” prompts. The National Post’s Andrew Coyne posed a hypothetical:
“Would you rather fight one horse-sized party, or many small parties the size of a duck?” #rejectedERQs
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) December 5, 2016
This is only about 30 per cent more ridiculous than the actual survey prompts:
Would you prefer a slightly more complex ballot that meant a more representative government, even though it's covered in bees? #rejectedERQs
— SteveJMoran (@SteveJMoran) December 5, 2016
Food for thought:
"Do you think a party with the most seats should have to negotiate with other parties, even if one of them is the Nazi Party?" #rejectedERQs
— Chris Selley (@cselley) December 5, 2016
"Do you prefer questions with a low degree of vagueness, or those that aren't unclear?" #rejectedERQs
— Josh Elliott (@joshelliott14) December 5, 2016
Jeez, these questions are hard.
— Jeremy Martin (@JMartin_JD) December 5, 2016
Maybe this whole “democracy” thing is a bad idea.
ok, I see it now. some of these questions on the government’s electoral reform survey are definitely a bit weird pic.twitter.com/NqJ19KWv8f
— cedar rapids chiller (@iD4RO) December 5, 2016
Anyhow, here’s the real question we should probably all be contemplating:
Do you think a majority government should follow through on its flagship promise OR pretend it never happened. #rejectedERQs
— YOWtopia (@yowtopia) December 5, 2016