Monday, December 15, 2008

Canada Still Getting the Government it Deserves

A plausible explanation has emerged for much of the confusion and anger that surrounded the recent Parliamentary circus in Ottawa. According to a new Ipsos Reid poll shows that far too many Canadians do not understand our system of government. According to the Canadian Press:
For example, results of the Ipsos Reid survey show 75 per cent of Canadians asked believe the prime minister, or the Governor General, is head of state. Bzzzz - wrong.
It's actually the Queen...

Given a choice how best to describe the system of government, 25 per cent decided on a "co-operative assembly" while 17 per cent opted for a "representative republic."
Canada is neither.
Only 59 per cent correctly picked constitutional monarchy.
In a similar vein, 51 per cent wrongly agreed that Canadians elect the prime minister directly.
To me this is the result of Canada's neglect of the education system. The answers to these questions should be deeply ingrained before a child graduates primary school.

Ultimately, if people do not understand their system of government and have at least a basic understanding of the issues they are voting on you cannot claim that it is a democratic system at all. For the moment we can only hope that there is significant crossover between the 51% who believe that we directly elect the Prime Minister and the 49% who decided not to vote in the last election.

1 comment:

Sajjad K said...

Too true!

I was told that the Queen is merely a figurehead, the Governor-General has no will of her own (and must follow the Prime Minister's) and that Canada is a democracy too many times.

Every time I say others are wrong they think I'm stupid or ranting.


God save The Queen.