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[Ottawa – February 26, 2013] – Offering a menu of four choices; equality, diversity, prosperity, and safety, we asked Canadians to choose our greatest achievement over the past twenty years. There was considerable division about what constituted the biggest Canadian success story. Not only was there considerable support for three of the four choices, the first place choice varied according to political party preference and other demographic factors.

Summing across all these divisions the clear winner overall was equality. This is quite interesting in light of the fact that there is mounting evidence that Canada has actually slid badly on some key indicators of equality over the reference period. This suggests that the question is not simply tapping knowledge of recent history but also value preferences. The breakdowns of support strengthen the interpretation that this question is more revealing about preferences than it is about historical accuracy.

Progressive parties are far more likely to favour equality and diversity than supporters of the Conservative Party. Interestingly, equality was rated most highly by Bloc Québécois supporters where it eclipsed all other choices by a dramatic margin. For the university educated, diversity was actually (insignificantly) ahead of equality in terms of Canada’s greatest achievement. Prosperity tied overall as second choice with diversity, but support for the former is much stronger among Conservative supporters and older Canadians. Despite the emphasis on safety and security in recent political messaging, it doesn’t appear to be seen as a major achievement compared to the other choices.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (February 26, 2013)

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