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Trust in Canada’s Leaders and Democratic Institutions

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Trust in Canada’s Leaders and Democratic Institutions

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With the dust settling following a fraught federal election campaign, new survey data shows worrying trends in Canadians’ trust in the electoral system, party leaders and more.

Since 2016, Proof Inc. has studied trust in Canada through an annual survey of Canadian adults. On the heels of the Fall federal election, Proof went back into the field to gather a fresh, updated perspective on Canadians’ trust in party leaders, our democracy and the country’s key government institutions.

With the dust settling following a fraught federal election campaign, new survey data shows worrying trends in Canadians’ trust in the electoral system, party leaders and more.

Since 2016, Proof Inc. has studied trust in Canada through an annual survey of Canadian adults. On the heels of the Fall federal election, Proof went back into the field to gather a fresh, updated perspective on Canadians’ trust in party leaders, our democracy and the country’s key government institutions.

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Trust in Canada’s Leaders and Democratic Institutions

  1. 1. in Canada’s Leaders and Democratic Institutions October 28, 2019 TRUST 2019 Post-Election Study
  2. 2. WHY WE STUDY TRUST Trust is what makes economies and democracies work. Trust should be coveted and built, nurtured and protected. At Proof, we are curious about what drives trust among Canadians, and we want to tell the unique and distinct story about this country and how that story may evolve over time and through events. We believe people and leaders should be trust builders and hope insights from this study point the way forward.
  3. 3. Since 2016, Proof Inc. has studied trust in Canada through an annual survey of Canadian adults, conducted online in late January or early February. On the heels of the Fall federal election, Proof went back into the field to gather a fresh, updated perspective on Canadians’ trust in party leaders, our democracy and the country’s key government institutions. To determine trust, our answers entail a 7-point scale with the top three scores (7, 6 and 5) representing trust. The score 4 is neutral and the bottom three (3, 2 or 1) represent mistrust. The Proof Inc. CanTrust Index: 2019 Post-Election Study is based upon an online survey of a sample of 1,000 Canadians 18+ years of age and was conducted October 21 - 25, 2019. It is nationally representative by region, age and gender. THE CANTRUST INDEX
  4. 4. Cracks are appearing in trust in elections and election outcomes, and leaders aren’t helping.
  5. 5. The biggest differences in trust are regional, with Western Canadians showing the lowest trust.
  6. 6. Q: To what extent do you trust that the current election system in Canada is fair, using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust a lot. Q: To what extent do you trust that the current election system in Canada adequately represents the votes of its citizens, using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust a lot. Fewer Canadians believe the electoral system is fair and representative. CURRENT ELECTION SYSTEM 56% 51%52% 47%48% 44% Current Election System in Canada is Fair Current Election System Actually Represents Votes of Citizens 2018 Total Early 2019 Total Current ELECTORAL SYSTEM
  7. 7. Trust in these two attributes of the Canadian election system tends to be lower in the Prairies (Alberta and Manitoba / Saskatchewan). Women are less likely to trust that the electoral system is fair and representative. Q: To what extent do you trust that the current election system in Canada is fair, using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust a lot. Q: To what extent do you trust that the current election system in Canada adequately represents the votes of its citizens, using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust a lot. *Small base Faith in the electoral system is generally higher in Ontario, and among males. It is lowest in the West (combined 33 percent for the Prairies).ELECTORAL SYSTEM T3B TOTAL BC AB MB/SK* ON QC ATL* VAN CMA EDM CMA* CGY CMA* TOR CMA MTL CMA Total 1000 134 109 66 387 232 72 72 41 56 205 93 Current election system is fair 48% 50% 35% 29% 53% 49% 55% 49% 47% 27% 57% 54% Current election system actually represents votes of citizens 44% 43% 29% 30% 50% 44% 49% 39% 41% 20% 54% 44% T3B TOTAL MALE FEMALE 18-24* 25-49 50+ Total 1543 753 790 119 802 622 Current election system is fair 48% 49% 47% 41% 44% 54% Current election system actually represents the votes of its citizens 44% 44% 43% 36% 40% 50%
  8. 8. Q: The level of trust as it relates to the following category of organization for doing what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust them a lot. Select one response for each Category: news media. Canadians’ trust in media is in steady decline. NEWS MEDIA 51% 40% 36% Trust In the Media 2018 Total Early 2019 Total Current THE MEDIA
  9. 9. Trust in these two attributes of the Canadian election system tends to be lower in the Prairies (Alberta and Manitoba / Saskatchewan). Females are less likely to trust that the electoral system is fair and representative. Faith in the media is highest in Quebec, and lowest among Western Canadians (combined 24 percent for the Prairies)THE MEDIA T3B TOTAL BC AB MB/SK* ON QC ATL* VAN CMA EDM CMA* CGY CMA* TOR CMA MTL CMA Total 1000 134 109 66 387 232 72 72 41 56 205 93 News media 36% 31% 25% 24% 37% 45% 44% 37% 40% 17% 38% 56% T3B TOTAL MALE FEMALE 18-24* 25-49 50+ Total 1543 753 790 119 802 622 News media 36% 40% 33% 33% 35% 38% Q: The level of trust as it relates to the following category of organization for doing what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust them a lot. Select one response for each Category: news media. *Small base
  10. 10. Q: Please rate the following institutions on how much you trust them to do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society, using a seven point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust them a lot. *Small base The East and West are divided on trust.INSTITUTIONS TOTAL BC AB MB/SK* ON QC ATL* VAN CMA EDM CMA* CGY CMA* TOR CMA MTL CMA Total 1000 134 109 66 387 232 72 72 41 56 205 93 Local Police Services 61% 53% 64% 57% 61% 65% 64% 48% 70% 62% 58% 57% RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) 62% 52% 64% 62% 63% 64% 68% 45% 63% 66% 64% 66% Canada’s court system and the judges within it 52% 48% 43% 35% 57% 54% 55% 42% 40% 52% 56% 58% Canada’s election system 47% 43% 39% 26% 51% 50% 60% 38% 46% 32% 54% 50% Canadian Parliament 42% 36% 27% 26% 48% 48% 45% 33% 34% 24% 50% 51% Canadian Senate 34% 28% 25% 15% 41% 32% 45% 32% 29% 25% 43% 32% None of the above 20% 27% 22% 31% 20% 17% 13% 34% 21% 22% 19% 19%
  11. 11. Q: Thinking about Canada and the province and city you live in, please rank the people in each role according to where you live for how much you trust them to do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society, using a seven point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust them a lot. Select one response for each. Women are less trusting of many Canada’s institutions compared to men.GENDER DIVIDE TRUST IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS – BY GENDER 64% 57% 49% 40% 61% 47% 45% 33% RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Canada’s court system and the judges within it Canada's election system News Media Men Women
  12. 12. It was an uneven election for party leaders.THE LEADERS Despite SNC-Lavalin and blackface, TRUST in Prime Minister Trudeau saw a RISE from 35% in early 2019 to 39%. TRUST in Andrew Scheer FELL by four points amongst Canadians (22%) and was flat amongst supporters (55% to 54%). TRUDEAU SCHEER
  13. 13. THE LEADERS TRUST in the NDP leader skyrocketed to 39%, a 21-point RISE from early 2019. TRUST in Elizabeth May ROSE four points to 28%. It was an uneven election for party leaders. MAYSINGH
  14. 14. Q: Thinking about the following Canadian political party leaders, please rate how much you trust each one and their ability or potential ability to do what is right for Canada and Canadians using a seven-point scale, where ‘1’ is trust very little and ‘7’ is trust him/her a lot. Trudeau recovers, Scheer slips, Singh skyrocketsTHE LEADERS TRUST IN PARTY FIGURES 43% 25% 24% 26% 35% 26% 18% 24% 39% 22% 39% 28% Justin Trudeau (Liberal) Andrew Scheer (Conservative) Jagmeet Singh (NDP) Elizabeth May (Green) 2018 Total Early 2019 Total Current
  15. 15. The early 2019 findings offer a useful snapshot of supporters’ trust in their leaders.SUPPORTERS’ TRUST TRUST IN LEADERS BY OWN SUPPORTERS 61% 55% 54% 80% Liberal trust in Trudeau Conservative trust in Sheer NDP trust in Singh Green trust in May
  16. 16. The post-election findings show that Singh and May received a bump from party supporters, while Scheer and Trudeau stand pat. TRUST IN LEADERS BY OWN SUPPORTERS 66% 75% 55% 79% Liberal trust in Trudeau Conservative trust in Sheer NDP trust in Singh Green trust in May SUPPORTERS’ TRUST
  17. 17. How do we create a trust building society to support our democracy and economy? How do leaders use power, or pursue power, in ways that build trust?
  18. 18. 416-920-9000 • communicate@getproof.com CONTACT US

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