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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.

The Trump Effect: Canadian and World Perceptions of Our Southern Neighbour

It will come as no surprise that the Trump administration is not perceived as positively as the Obama one. The Gallup poll released recently highlights the depth of the effect and provides a useful...

Too Soft! Confidence in Courts Wanes Slightly from 2016

It is a stark number - 62% of Canadians think that the justice system is too soft in dealing with people who have broken the law according to a recent Angus Reid Institute survey...

Pipeline Drama | Political Theatre Upstages Fundamental Policy Debate

The expansion of the Kinder Morgan or Trans Mountain pipeline has been effectively hijacked and turned into political theatre over the past few months. Overall Canadians support the expansion and, importantly, the B.C....

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...
Opinions about Mandatory Vaccinations

Majority but Not Universal Support for Mandatory Vaccination for Childhood Diseases

A recent Research Co. survey shows that Canadians are not fully supportive of mandatory vaccination of children when it comes to childhood diseases like polio and measles. Almost one in five would leave this...

Canadians Increasingly Believe NAFTA Benefits Canada [Angus Reid Institute]

As Canada is about to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, it is interesting that Canadians have become more positive about the role of NAFTA in Canada. More than half (56%) now think the...

News Media Gets Positive Grade [Pew Research Center]

News media organizations are under fire. Economic realities, social media impacts, and the politicization of news and facts, particularly in the U.S. has placed traditional journalism at a crossroads of sorts. Recently released information...
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...

[Feature] Tax That! Many Canadians Would Support Small Business Tax Changes

The small business tax changes introduced by the Canadian Government were a communications and policy failure that required significant back-tracking by the government. In simple terms, the government sought to restrict income splitting and...

Getting High — the Growing Support for Legalizing Marijuana

The Government of Canada is not out of touch with Canadians when it comes to legalizing marijuana. In fact, a majority of Canadians have been in favour of legalization for 10 years or more...