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Report of Phase 1: Research, Development & Design

SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

May 2018

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.

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