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8 Feb, 2023 16:05

Majority of Canadians say their country is ‘broken’ – poll

Half of the people are ‘angry’ about what they view as the country’s mismanagement, a new survey shows
Majority of Canadians say their country is ‘broken’ – poll

Over two-thirds of Canadians – 67% – believe their country is “broken,” according to poll results published Monday by the National Post and Leger. Respondents across the political spectrum see a large divide between the issues they deal with in their daily lives and the issues their government chooses to focus on.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed with Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre’s claim that “It feels like everything is broken in this country right now,” though Poilievre’s name was not mentioned. Just 25% disagreed with the statement, with the remainder undecided. 

Half of respondents reported feeling “angry” with the way Canada was being managed, with two out of five of those being “very angry.” Women were slightly more likely to be angry than men, and inhabitants of the midwestern provinces – Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan – were more upset than those on either coast.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents named “rising costs and inflation/interest rates” as the primary issue affecting Canadians, with “the state of healthcare” also commanding 59% of the vote. “Affording a place to live” came third, named by 43% of respondents, and “jobs and the economy” rounded out the top four with 40%. 

This contrasts with where Canadians believe the federal government is focusing its energies. Just 28% see Ottawa concentrating, like them, on rising costs and inflation, while 27% said “environment/climate change” was the government’s primary focus. Another 25% said the government was chiefly concerned with “Canada’s response to the war in the Ukraine [sic],” while only 14% of poll respondents listed the Ukraine conflict as a significant issue affecting their own lives. Fully 22% of respondents confessed they had no idea what the federal government was prioritizing.

Local government was seen as slightly more in touch, with 37% of poll respondents reporting their provincial leaders were most focused on healthcare, 28% on rising costs and inflation, and 27% on jobs and the economy. However, 17% of respondents said they did not know what their local government was prioritizing.

Conducted late last month, the poll surveyed 1,554 Canadians randomly recruited from an online panel.

Canadians are far from alone in their economic malaise. Recent polls show two-thirds of Americans believe their country is on the wrong track, and the economy is widely considered to be the primary challenge facing the US.