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Public Policy

Three in ten public opinion polls publicly released in Canada are about public policy. These polls are often sponsored by polling firms or the media to generate interest or by third parties looking to influence the policy narrative.

Public opinion is a key ingredient in public policy discussions and stories. It provides a number of particular inputs. Firstly, it provides a judgement on whether the policy is good. Secondly, it identifies barriers to implementing the policy. Thirdly, it identifies the conflict embedded in the policy choice.

On many public policy issues the public has become more liberal (permissive). For example, consider the trends on assisted dying, capital punishment, and marijuana.

Broad changes in public opinion are, however, only part of the story. The implementation of broad policy choices is often the easiest part of aligning public opinion and policy. Broad values and concerns are often in conflict and many issues reflect the tension between values and specific policies.

When the Governor General is the News

Governor General's are generally not very newsworthy and tend to be front and centre for charity work and official functions. It is, therefore, noteworthy that one year into her appointment Governor General Julie Payette is...

Physical and Mental Health Assessments of Canadians [Ipsos/Global News Poll]

A recent Global News Poll conducted by Ipsos is a compelling look at how we think about our health. Most notably, there is a strong connection between our physical and mental health that would...
Photo by Josh Johnson on Unsplash

Views of Our Southern Neighbour [Pew Research Center]

The United States is Canada's closest neighbour but our affection for the country has clearly taken a sharp decline since the Trump Presidency began. Presidents have an impact on how Canadians think about the...
Attitudes about role of courts in Canada

Politicians versus Courts [Ipsos/ Global News]

Doug Ford threatened to overrule a court decision with the notwithstanding clause recently. The court decision invalidated a law that was to reduce the size of Toronto's city council. Ford justifies his decision to...
Results of a recent question on banning handguns in Canada

Handgun Ban is Supported by Majority of Canadians [Nanos/ CTV]

Almost half of Canadians fully support (48%) a total ban on handgun ownership by anyone other than police/ security professionals according to a recent survey by Nanos Research for the CTV. Support for a...

Under Strain the Most Pressing Worry | Health Care System

Compared to the rest of the world, Canadians see the health care system as being accessible but under stress according to a recent Ipsos global survey. The 28 country survey benchmarks Canadian views with...

The Poor | Personal Responsibility and Blame are Key Themes

The Angus Reid Institute recently released polling results on poverty in Canada which provide a startling view of poverty. Despite the fact that many of Canada's poorest people are not able to complete online...

Support for Trans Mountain Steady

At the end of May, the Government of Canada announced plans to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (for news coverage see). The decision by the federal government does not end the intergovernmental conflict....

49% Believe Health Care System Able to Meet Needs of Seniors [Ipsos]

In a new poll released last week for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Ipsos found that almost half of Canadians are at least somewhat confident (49%) that the health care system will be able...

Sex Worker Not Viewed as Good Job | Recent Poll

Not surprisingly Ontarians think that prostitution is harmful to women and girls. As such they would not support prostitution as a a career for their daughter, sister or family member. The poll, conducted by...