Thursday, February 08, 2007

Survey on Canadian Attitudes Regarding Charter of Rights

In conjunction with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada's conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) asked polling firm SES Research to do a detailed survey of the attitudes of Canadians towards the Charter.

Among the more interesting findings:
  • "Much has been made of equating Charter values to Canadian values, but we found that the Charter is by no means central to Canadian identity".
  • "[There is] a clear generational divide on this question — younger Canadians tend to idealize the Charter more than middle-aged and older Canadians".
  • "(F)ewer than 6 Canadians out of 10 gave the Charter a thumbs-up, while 4 out of 10 gave it a thumbs-down or couldn’t be sure".
  • "When we asked Canadians whether the courts or Parliament should have the final say in rights issues, a clear majority, 54 percent, said the courts, while a significant minority, 31.2 percent, said Parliament should have the last word, and 14.8 percent were unsure. Perhaps surprisingly, the strongest regional support for the courts having the final say was in Quebec at 68.5 percent (...) In effect, majority support for the courts holding sway nationally is delivered by Quebec, ironically the one province whose legislature has never signed on to the Constitution Act of 1982".
The February 2007 issue of the IRPP journal, Policy Options, has a special section on the anniversary of the Charter.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:44 pm


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