Open Votes


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Votes: 117

Allow Canadians to vote online for bills before parliament and let the result be recognized in the House before the actual MP vote begins.

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Submitted by open-ouvert on August 01, 2014 - 6:30 PM

Thanks for your suggestion. The House of Commons actually passed a resolution earlier this year asking the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) to examine the feasibility of implementing e-petitions. We are still awaiting the results of OGGO’s study, but we will certainly review whatever recommendations they make, and consider what action we might be able to take on this issue.

Submitted by Robyn on July 07, 2014 - 12:58 PM

Perhaps something along the lines of the USA's 'we the people' website ( could be a good alternative? Canadians do have the ability to submit a petition to the House of Commons but as far as I can tell we have no similar website where we can view existing petitions, sign them, or create new ones to be visible. The existing petition system in Canada could be modernized.

Submitted by Mark Stacey on June 05, 2014 - 3:36 PM

I strongly agree that it would be great for Canadians to give feedback on bills being discussed in Parliament. But "dgjones" has a good point; this feedback shouldn't be misrepresented. If we call it a "poll" or a "vote", it would be very misleading. Votes are for making decisions, not offering feedback. Only a small percentage of Canadians would be expected to vote on any particular bill (only a small percentage would be aware of it in most cases). That term seems inaccurate in this case. There's no way to incentive "universal participation", no way to easily tell who bothered to read about the bill or vote on it. By framing this feedback as being a "vote", I think it would undermine it's legitimacy. Polls on the other hand are expected to be representative of a particular population. A well-designed poll should accurately portray public opinion, within reasonable confidence intervals. This means voluntary participation would not work; the result wouldn't be representative, they would be worthless. Another concern would be the choices available in this "poll" or "vote". Who would get to decide? What if people opposed a bill for entirely different reasons? It's better to let people leave comments so they can say what they mean. "Comments received" sounds good to me. It still gives Canadians a way to voice their opinion, but it isn't misleading. It would be cool to have some sort of "upvote" system as well, such as we are using here for these suggestions. A comment getting a large number of upvotes doesn't give the false impression of consensus, but it would have the effect of highlighting the comments with the most support.

Submitted by dgjones on May 30, 2014 - 8:45 PM

I disagree. A poll is one thing, a "vote" entirely another. But here we would have neither. As there is no universal participation nor way of determining whether the data is representative of anything, it should be gathered and circulated as "comments received."