Most Canadians trust the election results but want an investigation into allegations of meddling. survey – National

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

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 show that 71 per cent of Canadians think the electoral system is safe, while 29 per cent think it is not.

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And the majority, 69 percent of the respondents, said that they generally trust the results of the Canadian elections. One in five said they did not trust the results, and another 11 percent said they did not know.

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A survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not considered truly random samples.

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

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The reports, based on leaked security sources, detail claims that China tried to intervene to support candidates seen as friendly to Beijing and ensure the Liberals won a minority in 2021.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would soon appoint a “prominent Canadian” with a broad mandate to investigate the allegations and make recommendations on what steps the government should take.

The opposition parties demand a public investigation of what happened.

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The poll shows a wide partisan divide in opinion about the election overall.

“Those who tend to distrust our electoral system and so on, it tends to fall along party lines,” said Christian Burke, Leger’s executive vice president.

“It is precisely those who tend to be right-leaning voters who tend to show greater distrust of the traditional institutions of our democracy, such as elections.”

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The NDP MP calls for a public investigation into election interference

The poll shows that 93 percent of respondents who voted Liberal believe the electoral system is safe. Conservative voters were split, with 52 percent saying they thought the system was safe and 48 percent saying they thought it was not.

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Liberal and NDP supporters were most likely to say they mostly trust the results of the Canadian election, with 92 per cent of Liberal voters and 81 per cent of NDP voters.

Confidence in the election was slightly lower among Bloc Québécois supporters at 75 percent and among Green voters at 64 percent.

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Only 55 percent of Conservative voters said they had confidence in the election overall, compared to 36 percent who said they did not. Confidence was the lowest among supporters of the People’s Party of Canada.

Burke said he would be surprised if there was so much doubt about the election results before the rise of former US President Donald Trump, who continues to reject the legitimacy of a 2021 presidential race.

“Our system of government is based on fair and open elections, and only seven out of 10 Canadians think that’s the case right now,” he said.

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Unlike the other results, calls for an investigation did not follow party allegiance.

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“It seems to me that Canadians want to get to the bottom of this,” Burke said, adding that even if people don’t believe foreign interference influenced the election, it’s still “terrible” and Canadians don’t want it. it will happen again.

A third of respondents said the potential for outside interference was “so important that it greatly jeopardizes the legitimacy of the election results.”

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But the survey also found that one-third of Canadians have never heard of foreign interference.

“Sometimes we get so focused on what’s going on on the hill that we kind of forget, but other people’s lives are actually going on at the same time,” Burke says.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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