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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.

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...

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...

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...

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...
Public opinion about capital punishment in Canada

[CORA Archive] Waning support for capital punishment

Capital punishment has not been a feature of the Canadian justice system for some time. A a moratorium was instituted in 1967 and the practice was abolished in 1976. With the discovery of a...

Canadians don’t feel any less safe in public spaces compared with 2016 [Ipsos, Global...

It would take too long to list the extensive number of attacks on innocent people at public places in 2017 -- Manchester, Barcelona, Las Vegas -- are just some of the notable ones that...

International Trade Involvement is Net Positive but 1 in 4 have Protectionist Orientation

A recent Global Attitudes Survey 2016 by the Pew Research Center provides an interesting window into how Canadians see trade independent of specific agreements or specific trade agreements. Canadians are trade positive, in part because political...

Few Canadians are Asked to Bribe a Government Official but Many See Bribes as...

One in ten Canadians think that it is sometime acceptable to pay a bribe and few are actually asked for one by a government official. Comparatively, Canadians tend to reject the idea but young...

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...

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...