Report of Phase 1: Research, Development & Design
SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Public opinion research over the past 10 years has revealed that Canadians have become less convinced of the value of living in a democracy as opposed to other systems of government. A 2017 PEW Centre study, for example, revealed that just 44% of Canadians are fully “committed to representative democracy” as a good way to govern Canada; 42% are less committed; 7% support non-democratic forms of government (i.e. military rule, or strong leader without interference from elected officials or courts). Further, an America’s Barometer survey in the same year found that while two-thirds (65%) of Canadians said democracy was preferable to other forms of government, more than a third (35%) doubted the value of a democratic system of government, saying either having a democracy didn’t really matter (22%) or that an authoritarian government may be preferable in certain circumstances (13%). Notably, the number of “democracy doubters” had jumped 11-points in 5 years (from 24% in 2012 to 35% in 2017). In Greater Vancouver, more particularly, the shifts were more dramatic than the national picture.