Canadians Call Commons ‘Posturing’: POLL

This is a release from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute:

As new speaker of the House of Commons Greg Fergus attempts to reset the tone of debate – perhaps unsuccessfully so far – there is apparently much work to be done to bring back decorum to parliament in the eyes of Canadians.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians critical of their House of Commons. Asked to describe the sentiments that come to mind when they think of the exchange of ideas between their parliamentary members, the top descriptive terms are “posturing” (54%), “useless” (46%), and “dishonest” (38%).

In fact, of the 10 items listed, five positive and five negative, respondents are more likely to choose all five negative terms then their rosier alternates.

All You Need To Know About Federal Politics

The negative assessment of debates in the House of Commons is not just coming from afar. Those who watch parliament proceedings frequently are more likely to describe the discussions as “dishonest” (58%) and disrespectful (45%) than those who aren’t avid followers.


While the nation can feel divided these days, the country is largely unified in its negativity regarding its political representatives.

Every group of partisans among past Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat and Bloc Québécois voters are more likely to describe debate in the House as “posturing” than not.

Some of this disenchantment may also be due to Canada’s tradition of party discipline. Three-quarters of Canadians say that MPs vote to follow the views of their leader, so any real debate about issues is largely performative.

More Key Findings:

  • Men (15%) are twice as likely as women (8%) to say they watch parliamentary proceedings frequently. Women (24%) are twice as likely as men (11%) to say they never tune in.
  • Those who are regular watchers of House of Commons debates are less likely to describe them as “uninformative” (27%) as those who only occasionally (37%) or rarely (40%) watch, but the frequent watchers who describe the sessions as “informative” are still a minority (17%).
  • Younger Canadians are more likely to use positive terms such as “impassioned”, “informative”, “productive”, “respectful” and “truthful” to describe discussions in the house, but they are also more likely than older ones to say they don’t know enough to offer an opinion.

Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/

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