The results of a recent poll reveals that despite the media moving to the right, and our government now to the far right, Canadians are still comfortable smack dab left of centre.
The Republicanizing of Canada has not met with rave revues.
It’s widely said these days that Canada is moving politically to the right and that Canadians are becoming generally more conservative in their outlook on public matters. It’s an assertion based sometimes on hope, often on conjecture, occasionally on fragmentary evidence, but never on serious facts and deep analysis. Indeed, the latest Focus Canada survey by the Environics Institute so completely demolishes the assertion that perhaps now it can be laid to rest.This supports the Abicus survey suggesting that the Conservative messaging is not resonating with Canadians.
There have been some drifts in public attitudes, mostly by Canadians becoming more socially liberal. Focus Canada finds Canadians much more tolerant or supportive of gay marriage and abortion – and less favourable to capital punishment – than a decade or two ago.
This will be the perfect time to have issues that are of concern to Canadians, brought forward. This next election has to be about healthcare, care for seniors, our veterans, education, climate change, poverty and social Justice.
We've had five years of rootin' tootin' cowboy speak. Time to ride it off into the sunset and become Canadians again. Polite, a little boring, but wonderful.
By the Numbers
- On crime – the Harper government’s big thrust – Canadians are way offside with the government’s approach. Eighty-two per cent of Canadians don’t fear crime in their neighbourhood, and 77 per cent aren’t afraid to walk there at night.
- By a whopping 58 per cent to 36 per cent, Canadians prefer prevention programs and education over tougher punishments as a way to combat crime.
- Seventy-seven per cent of respondents “strongly” or “somewhat” support federal gun regulations.
- Canadians’ top spending priorities are education, health care, elderly programs, the environment and reducing child poverty.
- support for defence spending – which soared with the Afghan engagement – has returned to the low levels of the 1990s.
- A staggering 88 per cent believe the gap between rich and poor has widened in the past decade, and 81 per cent believe the government should reduce the gap.
- By 55 per cent to 41 per cent, Canadians believe the tax system is “unfair” to ordinary Canadians, but they are overwhelmingly willing to think taxes are a public good to provide a good quality of life.
- By an astonishing 90 per cent to 4 per cent, Canadians believe they have a better quality of life than Americans.
- Asked for the most important symbol of Canadian identity, the largest number chose health care.
And the notion that we are heading in the right direction, has little to do with the current government, which is moving us away from our priorities, but the course that this country has been on for decades.