Poli-sci students create poll on proportional representation

Political science students at UNBC want to know what you think on possibly changing the province’s voting system to proportional representation.

As part of their academic learning, third-year undergraduate students are designing and conducting a province-wide survey seeking B.C. voter opinions on changing to proportional representation. British Columbia voters will vote in a referendum this fall to decide whether to change away from the current first-past-the-post system to a proportional representation system of voting.

The UNBC survey is set to be released Monday March 12 at 10 a.m. It will be open until Monday March 19, at 4 p.m. The results of the poll will be available after April 6. A link for the survey will be released soon.

The students are learning social science research methods, including public opinion polling. This survey is a classroom project, and not a University of Northern BC initiative. It will follow ethics in research requirements.

“A different electoral system would change the landscape of B.C. politics,” said class spokesperson, Saje Gosal. “Our class wants to find out what B.C. voters think about this before the November vote.”

The students are seeking to obtain a representative segment of B.C. voters to answer the survey.

“Our class has studied the B.C. government’s consultation process that just ended,” said Shaylee LaFontaine. “Our poll will complement that work, and we feel improve it, so that British Columbians can be more informed about how they collectively feel about the choices in this referendum.”

Each year, students in Political Science 320, Canadian Politics and Policy, a required course for political science majors, designs and conducts a survey. Past surveys have explored supervised injection sites, liquor sales in grocery stores, the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and youth political participation. The results of these surveys have helped inform public policy changes. The course is taught by instructor Jason Morris, but is a student-designed and led project.

For the survey link please see the Twitter handle @unbcpols320 or the Facebook link