The Governance Monitor: Immigration and Systemic Racism
The Governance Monitor tracks the impact of the election campaign on Canadians’ confidence in government.
The Governance Monitor measures social media engagement (activity) and sentiment (negative / positive) across an ideological spectrum of the Canadian population – far left (five percent), left (30 percent), center ( 30 percent), right (30 percent) and far right (five percent) – against the OECD’s strong predictors of public confidence.
- After a steady decline in confidence in the government since last weekend, the Daily Trust Tracker recorded a positive three-point rebound, to 55% on September 14.
- Along the ideological spectrum, there are high levels of engagement on the far left and left regarding trust in government in British Columbia, the Atlantic region and Ontario. The right is more present in the Prairie provinces, Ontario and Quebec. The far right is most prominent in the Prairie provinces, and its highest concentration is in Alberta.
- Immigration and Confidence in Government: the center and right cohorts feel positive about the government’s ability to deal with immigration issues. The left has a negative feeling of confidence and the far right has an extremely negative feeling on this issue.
- Systemic racism and trust in government: all ideological cohorts have a negative sense of confidence in the capacity of public institutions to improve systemic racism; stronger negative sentiment is present at both ends of the spectrum.What this meansThere are significant differences in why ideological cohorts trust – or don’t trust – government on important issues surrounding immigration and systemic racism.On immigration issues, negative sentiment on the left and far left is based on the belief that the government is not doing enough to support new Canadians. The far right, on the other hand, is negative towards immigration and the government because it believes that new Canadians receive preferential treatment.On the issue of systemic racism, although there is negative sentiment across the ideological spectrum, it exists for different reasons. Center, left and far left believe the government is not doing enough to tackle systemic racism. The right tends to be on the defensive of Canadian institutions like the RCMP. The far right sees government assistance to marginalized Canadians as racist in itself.Broadly speaking, the commitment and sentiments of all ideological cohorts reflect different views on the role government should play on issues of justice and equity in Canadian society, a topic that has been discussed. raised in the debate of English-speaking leaders.
Why is this important
In an increasingly polarized world, governments are tempted to develop “corner solutions” that play with the feelings of one ideological cohort while ignoring those of another. This strategy may work in the short term – by mobilizing a particular ideological cohort or a specific region of the country, for example – but in the long term it will undermine trust in public institutions and democracy itself.
To work towards consensus on issues of immigration and systemic racism and to build trust in government, a new government will need to address not only the different views of ideological cohorts on the government’s ability to deal with them, but also the specific reasons for their point of view.
On the issue of immigration, in response to mixed feelings about trust, the government could lead a national discussion on the importance of immigration to Canada’s future and the inclusion of new Canadians in society. Confidence will increase on the left if the government is seen to be helping new Canadians adapt and be a part of their new country, and on the right if new Canadians are seen to be treated equally.
Strongly polarized views regarding the government’s ability to tackle systemic racism also pose a challenge for a new government. Again, a national dialogue aimed at increasing understanding of the impact of systemic racism on the effectiveness of our public institutions, such as the RCMP, could be used to develop a common strategy moving forward.
It should be noted that such actions on these two issues would demonstrate that the new government is both open and responsive – two of the key elements of confidence in the OECD government.
The governance monitor looks beyond the electoral horse race to generate insightful ideas and expert analysis on how # Elxn44 affects the faith and confidence of Canadians in our government and its institutions.
For more information: Brad Graham, Vice-President of the Institute of Governance, [email protected]
© Institute of Governance & Advanced Symbolics Inc. September 2021
This is the fifth in a series of articles produced jointly by the Institute on Governance and Advanced Symbolics for TVO.org and iPolitics. Throughout the federal election campaign, these articles will analyze the extent to which Canadians trust government and what that confidence could mean for the future of our country.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by all columnists and contributors to iPolitics are the sole responsibility of the author. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and / or positions of iPolitics.