First-ever survey shows 71% of Canadians want legal restrictions on powers of party leaders to control politicians in their party – only 20% disagree

Same high level of support for change across the country from almost every type of Canadian

This is a summary of the first-ever national survey of 1,007 Canadians on the question of restricting the powers of political party leaders to control politicians in their party. The results show that a large majority of Canadians (71%) want legal restrictions on party leader powers to give more freedom and power to politicians in each party, while only 20% do not want these legal restrictions (9% did not answer).

Environics collected the data from May 9-12, 2013. The survey asked 1,007 Canadians ages 18 or older whether they supported or opposed passing new laws to restrict the powers of political party leaders to choose their party’s election candidates, choose which politicians in their party sit on committees, and penalize politicians who don’t vote with their party.

Broken down by region, the result was more or less 72% support across Canada (with B.C. a bit lower at 67%). Broken down by category of person surveyed, it was also more or less 72% or so across the board — male and female; of every age from 18 to over 65; employed, self-employed or retired; student; English or French; high-school education or university educated; single or married or divorced or widowed; small family or large; rich or middle class — with only a few variations (unemployed people and people with low incomes and people with less than high school education all were about 55%-60% in support (25%-32% opposed) while homemakers were lowest with only 49% support (42% opposed).

About the poll: The data was gathered from May 9 through May 12, 2013 through Environics national omnibus survey. Results are based on a sample of 1,007 Canadians, and the corresponding margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

 

Survey Question

Currently, leaders of political parties in Canada have some powers over politicians in their party. They can choose their party’s election candidates, choose which politicians in their party sit on committees, and they can also penalize politicians who don’t vote with their party in parliament. Some people have proposed new laws to restrict the powers of political party leaders and to give more power and freedom to politicians in each party.

Would you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose passing such laws?