Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Michael's Musings

Democracy, trust, environmental crises, costs of an aging society major issues for Canadians
By Michael J Morris
EKOS Politics discovered recently that perhaps somewhat surprisingly the deepest concern Canadians have about the future is not an economic fear which tops the list but "the acute decline of our democratic and public institutions".
Given the current mess centring around the Senate scandal at the federal level, and now the shocking allegations about Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, Canada's largest city, little wonder that good and decent Canadians are shaking their heads in disbelief at the sorry state of politics, seemingly at all levels.  The public expect progress on improvements but I am sure not overly optimistic that anything will happen on that score anytime soon.
In a report on its web site EKOS Politics on October 17,  the polling firm explained that the concerns were grouped into the deepest, moderate, and lowest level concerns. 
"Somewhat surprisingly, it is not an economic fear which tops the list, suggesting that the public expect progress in areas other than economic fronts. A sense of acute decline in our democratic and public institutions leads the list. This mirrors other research showing that many trust indicators have reached historical nadirs and continue downward," the report said.
Second, the consequences of an aging population are also weighing heavily on the minds of Canadians, specifically the unmanageable costs of caring for Canadians in their "Winter years". 
 We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg on that one as the baby boomers enter their retirement years, and to me, it is serious indictment of the provincial and federal governments to start planning years ago for the aging tsunamai. They have known since about 1950 there would be a day of reckoning. 
Almost tied with it at the top of the list  is the spectre of a severely degraded future environment. That one is pretty obvious too.
EKOS found that the next item also relates to non-economic forces – notably ethical collapse and soaring corruption. 
A pure economic fear arises as the fifth item -- "the notion of a darkening economic outlook for future Canada." 
"So, democracy, trust, environmental crises and the costs of an aging society appear to be what is keeping Canadians up at night. It may be that we have entered an era of purely retail or consumer politics but we suspect that the declining outlook on the country and the government’s recent woes are linked to a sense that these deeper ingredients of public interest are not central in the agenda or governing style of the current government," the report notes.

EKOS suggests that Canadians see the current state of problems and democracy so broken that it cannot begin to speak to the true longer term values and interests of the public. "This may be why younger Canada is tuning out almost entirely. The public interest, universalism, and a search for moral community are the themes that run through the top trade-offs. This is shockingly distant from the current state of political discourse and the permanent campaign."

The EKOS report should serve as a wakeup call,  most especially to those in government at all levels, that Canadians deserve better. After all, EKOS researchers spoke with people like you and me before preparing the report.  My email is

Click here for the full report: Full Report (October 17, 2013)

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

No comments:

Post a Comment