26 September 2012

I'm happy Canadians are happy

According to the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, Canadians are a happy bunch. A report by the Centre claims that over 90 per cent of us say we are satisfied or very satisfied with our lives. It says further that according to a Gallup World Poll, we are the second happiest country in the world, trailing only Denmark. That's up from fifth place five years ago. Apparently we are happy and getting happier.

Speaking for myself, I wasn't asked but if I was I would certainly answer "very satisfied." I am concerned about the very big problems we all face, such as global warming and the encroachment of corporate power on democracy, but at a personal level I am also aware that for ordinary people no time or place in history has offered more opportunity for satisfaction with life.

Interestingly, young Canadians are more satisfied than older Canadians, an increasing gap. The young are becoming happier with their lives while seniors are actually becoming less happy. An interesting area for speculation which I will leave up to my readers.

There may be a message for political parties here. A party that approaches the electorate attempting to feed off dissatisfaction may not do as well as a party that keeps firmly in mind voters are generally happy with their lot. Attack ads notwithstanding, the optimistic approach should outdo the pessimistic approach.

Anyway, to quote Bobby McFerrin, "Don't worry, be happy." You're a Canadian.

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