Communication

COMMUNICATION

In a representative democracy, good communication is necessary for Canadians to be adequately represented in Parliament. How else can an MP know what their constituents think? But in politics, as in other parts of life, communication needs to be a two-way street. In assessing the contribution different kinds of communication make to the state of our democracy, we consider how Canadians reach out to MPs, how MPs explain themselves to Canadians and how much Canadians discuss politics among themselves.

Communication Key Findings:

  • Canadians are generally more interested in talking about politics than in the previous report card, and politicians have reached out to talk to a majority of them.
  • This outreach may not be consistent or conducted in a way that resonates with all Canadians, yet it provides an opportunity for Canadians to engage with politics and hear others’ political perspectives.
  • MPs have increasingly tuned into social media.

CANADIANS DISCUSS POLITICS

The percentage of Canadians who reported having a discussion about politics in at least one of five ways.

Click on charts to compare with 2015

Why this indicator matters: How much Canadians discuss politics tells us how engaged they are with issues, policies and the democratic system as a whole. Discussion is often the first step towards action.

Discuss via email or
text message

%
34 31

Discuss face to face
or over the phone

%
54 52

Circulate, repost
or comment

%
33 35

Follow a politician
on social media

%
34 23

Follow a political
group on social media

%
21 17

Canadians Contact Political Leadership

The percentage of Canadians who reported having contacted an elected official in the last year.

Click on chart to compare with 2015

Why this indicator matters: All Canadians are served by elected representatives, and ensuring MPs understand their views requires them to ask questions or share concerns directly with their MP.

Tap or hover over region to view percentage

Alberta Atlantic British Columbia North Ontario Quebec Sask-Man

View percentages for all regions

Alberta:
32%
Atlantic:
35%
BC:
35%
North:
DATA NOT AVAILABLE
Man/
Sask:
29%
Ontario:
35%
Quebec:
26%

Political Leaders Contact Canadians

The percentage of Canadians who reported having been contacted by a party, candidate or Member of Parliament—via email, phone, mail, in person, or social networking—in the last year.

Click on chart to compare with 2015

Why this indicator matters: Canadians rightfully view constituent representation as an important aspect of any MPs’ job, and doing so effectively requires elected representatives invite Canadians’ participation, report on their own actions, and work to understand their constituents’ concerns and ideas. It’s also important that Canadians, even if they don’t engage, are aware that efforts have been made to reach them.

Tap or hover over region to view percentage

Alberta Atlantic British Columbia North Ontario Quebec Sask-Man

View percentages for all regions

Alberta:
57%
Atlantic:
62%
BC:
64%
North:
DATA NOT AVAILABLE
Man/
Sask:
66%
Ontario:
61%
Quebec:
68%

Members of Parliament send “Householders”

The percentage of Members of Parliament who reported having spent money on at least one “householder” pamphlet between January and September 2016.

Click on the chart to compare with 2015

Why this indicator matters: MP “householder” paper pamphlets are delivered up to four times a year to all households in a riding and are paid for by the House of Commons. MPs use them to report on their activities in Ottawa and in the local constituency.

Source: House of Commons Records

Members of Parliament on Social Media

The average percentage of Members of Parliament using four popular social media platforms.

Click on charts to compare with 2015

Why this indicator matters: The adoption and effective use of social media suggests willingness of MPs to engage with Canadians on interactive platforms.

Twitter

%
99 84

Facebook

%
99 89
*All MPs, but one, use Facebook

YouTube

%
88 83
NEW FOR 2017
%
56

With Snapchat increasing in popularity, seven MPs have started using this new platform. Thumbs up to these early adopters!

Source: Full Duplex