Part 5 Perceptions of the Future of Democracy in Canada by rraul

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									Part 5 Perceptions of the Future of Democracy in Canada
Part 6 Belonging and Participation in Social and Political Life in Canada


Jack Jedwab
Executive Director
Association for Canadian Studies
April 29, 2005


Part 5 Perceptions of the Future of Democracy in Canada

What do Canadians think about the prospects for democracy? In 2004 they were generally more
optimistic about the way our democracy worked than they were ten years earlier and looking
ahead the view is that the perceived gains may be reversed. This trend in opinion seems to apply
across the provinces though it is more pronounced in Alberta and British Columbia where
somewhat more significant declines are projected by respondents. Those same two provinces are
most inclined to think that our democracy works well while Quebecers and respondents in
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are less inclined to think that democracy works well, though a
majority still hold a positive view.

How well does democracy work in Canada: Works well
                  Atlantic Canada Quebec Ontario             Man/Sask     Alberta   BC     Canada
10 years ago      50.6              44.8     57.9            57.9         64.4      57.7   54.6
Today             63.8              55.7     63.9            56.5         70.9      78.9   63.7
10 years from now 54.7              46.9     50.8            42.7         52.0      53.1   50.3


Quebecers and Albertans are most inclined to agree that referendum are a good way to decide
important political questions with Atlantic Canadians least favorable to this approach.

Referendums are a good way to decide important political questions
          Atlantic Canada Quebec Ontario Man/Sask Alberta                 BC
Agree     54.3            72.0       59.2      57.9          66.6         61.6
Neutral   30.1            11.4       27.5      17.4          20.6         18.5
Disagree 10.8             5.3        7.9       13.0          10.7         19.8



Part 6 Belonging and Participation in Social and Political Life in Canada

                                                              rd
Last week marked National Volunteer Week (April 17th to 23 ), a week dedicated to honoring
and recognizing Canadians who volunteer. The week’s objective is to acknowledge the time and
energy contributed by Canada’s 6.5 million volunteers and raise awareness of volunteerism in
general. When it comes to churches or religious organizations, sports, leisure or cultural groups,
trade unions, business or professional associations and political parties, it will be observed that
region, age and gender are important factors in determining the type of activities in which we
become engaged.

Canada
                    Belong and           Belong but don’t      Used to belong          Never Belonged
                    Actively             participate
                    Participate
Sports, Leisure     38.6                 5.6                   34.5                    19.6
or Cultural Group
Church or           26.6                 27.6                  24.0                    20.7
Religious
Organization
A Trade Union,      20.2                 19.4                  22.7                    35.6
Business or
professional
organization
Political Party     4.5                  8.4                   11.7                    73.9

Region


Belonging and actively participating is most common in sports, culture and leisure followed by
Church or religious organizations and trade union, business or professional associations. There
are however regional variations in patterns of belonging and participation. For example Atlantic
Canadians are as likely to be involved in sports, culture and leisure as they are in church groups.

Belong and Actively Participate
                           Sports,        Church or         A Trade        Political
                           Leisure or     Religious         Union,         Party
                           Cultural       Organization      Business or
                           Group                            professional
                                                            organization
Atlantic Canada            35.3           34.9              20.0           2.4
Quebec                     32.5           22.3              24.8           6.4
Ontario                    43.7           24.3              14.2           5.5
Manitoba/Saskatchewan      36.2           34.8              17.4           5.7
Alberta                    33.3           34.3              31.7           1.0
British Columbia           42.5           25.5              20.7           1.4




Age is clearly a determining factor in rates of participation and belonging. Younger people are
more likely to participate in sports and leisure activities while older people are more inclined to
belong and participate in Church or religious organizations. Belonging to Union and Professional
Associations peaks at the 45-54 cohort when it is nearly as strong in terms of participation as
sports and leisure.
Belong and Actively Participate
              18-24          25-34          35-44         45-54         55-64          65 +
Sports,       58.4           40.6           39.7          32.7          31.3           33.3
Leisure or
Cultural
Group
Church or     18.3           24.2           26.2          24.9          31.8           33.5
Religious
Organization
A Trade       8.7            23.2           22.4          30.5          16.7           13.4
Union,
Business or
professional
organization
Political     6.4            1.1            3.9           4.0           6.1            6.7
Party




On the basis of gender, women are more likely to participate in sports and leisure and religious
organizations while men are more present than woman in union, professional associations and
political parties.

Belong and Participate
              Male            Female
Sports,       35.1            42.0
Leisure or
Cultural
Group
Church or     22.5            30.6
Religious
Organization
A Trade       27.2            13.1
Union,
Business or
professional
organization
Political     6.1             2.9
party

								
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