IMAGINING THE DEFINING ISSUE OF THE 42ND ELECTION
FEBRUARY 21, 2014
Now that we’ve all had a chance to pick through the entrails of a fairly low-key federal budget, let’s ask the questions: What does it tell us about the next election? How do we place this budget within the evolving political landscape? What does this fiscal plan reveal about broader changes to our society and democracy? Finally, how does this connect to what we believe to be the most fundamental political challenge of our age – the diminution of the middle class and the collapse… [More...]
ARE WE APPROACHING A CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY?
JANUARY 3, 2014
2.0 The Longer Term Patterns of Trust in Government
Let’s start with the deep historical context in upper North America. Perhaps the biggest change among a plethora of structural changes in our society has been the shift from a more trusting collectivist society to a more individualistic society – one that is wary of the state and public institutions. The deferential and conformist societies of the post Second World War gave way to the counter culture and protest of the sixties and seventies and the transformation continues… [More...]
(AND WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO ABOUT IT?)
[Ottawa – October 17, 2013] As most Canadians blithely ignore the Speech from the Throne (our past research shows about 10 per cent follow this event), we thought it would be worthwhile to review what is truly on the minds of Canadians today. Whereas the north of the Queensway crowd is all atwitter about the throne speech, the preoccupations and attention of average Canadians are decidedly elsewhere. What are those concerns? Is there a correspondence to the framing document for the government’s agenda and the salient concerns… [More...]
IS THE FOREIGN-BORN VOTE SWINGING BACK TO THE LIBERALS?
[Ottawa – April 19, 2013] The two largest demographic forces in Canadian society are aging and immigration. Both of these are profoundly altering the political landscape and both of these forces have been favoured CPC fortunes in recent years. Here we will focus on how immigration is altering political fortunes of different parties and speculate as to how this augurs for the future. We will also look at attitudes to immigration itself, how this is evolving in Canada and how this links to party preference (and other factors).
Examining Longer Term Shifts in Values, Social Class, and Societal Outlook
By Frank Graves
Presentation to the School of Public Policy and GovernanceUniversity of Toronto
Click here for Frank Graves’ presentation to the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The presentation addresses a number of important issues, including the shifting values and priorities of Canadians, the changing outlook on Canada’s middle class and economy, and the perceived health of democracy in Canada.
Left-Right, Forward-Backward (March 21, 2013)
[Ottawa – January 9, 2013] Follow the link below for our complete five-part series titled “Looking Backward, Looking Forward”.
In this series, we examine some of the broad social forces changing our society that have been largely hidden from mainstream discussion or even working in ways opposite to the received wisdom.
Click here for the full report: Looking Backward, Looking Forward – Complete Series (January 9, 2013)
FORCE FIVE: THE NEW POLITICAL MARKETPLACE
[Ottawa – January 5, 2013] Why political technology is widening the gap between the public interest and politics and why citizens seem helpless in dealing with this
Our most recent soundings of democratic health reveal a deeply mistrustful public, perhaps more so than at any time in the past thirty years. Some of this mistrust is rooted in the broad value shifts that we discussed earlier. A less deferential, less respectful of authority, and more sceptical public pose deep challenges to governments. Increasingly, it appears that political parties are attempting to solve… [More...]
ADDENDUM TO LOOKING BACKWARD, LOOKING FORWARD: PART 3
[Ottawa – January 4, 2013] In yesterday’s release on social media, we discussed its linkage to democratic health and to socioeconomic status (SES) – i.e., income and educational attainment. We provide two additional pieces of background evidence. The first doesn’t directly link social media and democratic health but it does show the recent trend lines in how Canadians rate the health of democracy. The trend line is not auspicious and shows that a much longer decline in trust in government, which is pervasive to the advanced western world and began in… [More...]
FORCE THREE: SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T HELPING
[Ottawa – January 3, 2013] Internet 2.0 (surely we are at least at 3.0) is transforming our society in ways we couldn’t even have imagined twenty five years ago. The Internet is the new mass media and social media is now the avidly consumed by most Canadians, particularly those below our median age of 41 years (it was around 26 at the last Centennial celebrations of 1967).
This isn’t merely a change to our popular culture; social media is at the heart of the North American economy with the Facebook IPO the… [More...]
Click here for a presentation by Frank Graves for the 2012 State of the Federation conference: Values and Identity (December 1, 2012)