19 August 2014

What keeps Canada together?

The above is the title of a survey commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies and carried out by Leger Marketing earlier this year. The answer to what unites the country, from the 1,509 Canadians included in the survey, was clear. Of the 11 possibilities offered, the top two choices by a wide margin were the Charter of Rights and Medicare. Even hockey wasn't close.

Except among the youth (18-24 year olds) who ranked Medicare (surprising) and hockey (not surprising) as our top two ties. Francophones ranked the Charter first but chose hockey and respect for provincial jurisdiction slightly ahead of universal health care. A couple of the old unifiers, threat of Americanization and the monarchy, ranked dead last, suggesting a certain confidence in the country.

One suspects the top two choices of Canadians would definitely not be those of our federal government, which appears to have little use for the Charter and only reluctant support for Medicare. The monarchy would, no doubt, rank high on its list. But then in 2011, a survey known as an election showed that over 60 per cent of Canadians would prefer not to have the current party running the government, so it's hardly surprising we disagree on what's important to us.

1 comment:

  1. My sense is that the Conservatives have little use for anything that unites us as a country. The Charter has survived Harper's reign because the Tories are powerless to scrap it. Health care they won't touch for fear of public backlash. Yet as for social cohesion, Harper never met a wedge issue he didn't love at first sight so long as it didn't blow up in his face.