Democracy 360- Provinces

Democracy 360: Provinces

Democracy-360-Header-2

Bonus Democracy 360 Data: The Provinces

Democracy is too important to be measured using only voter turnout. While important, voter turnout isn’t able to address what happens on days between elections, or why Canadians choose to cast a ballot or not. In response, Samara Canada created the Democracy 360, a report that highlights quantifiable indicators, centring around three areas that are essential to a healthy democracy: communication, participation and political leadership. Samara’s Democracy 360 paints a rich picture of the way that Canadians engage with—and think about—politics.

Though the wider project brings together several data sources, the provincial break-down below features Samara’s survey data and shares significant and interesting differences between the provinces. Please see this document for a full list of questions that are significant. As well, please see the Democracy 360 for the national story. 


crosscountry-plain

 

 

Largest Provincial Differences

Across all provinces, Canadians experience most of their political life in the same way and hold similar views on how politics work. However, there are a few survey questions where interesting differences can be seen.

  • When it comes to the number of Canadians who report having been contacted by email, phone, mail or in person by political leaders, there’s a 22 percentage point difference: Residents of Newfoundland report the lowest levels (50%) and residents of Manitoba report the highest (72%). 

  • On social media, Canadians from PEI are the most likely to follow a politician (at 45%), while those from Saskatchewan are the least likely (15%). 

  • Ontario and Alberta have the highest number who are “very” satisfied with the way democracy is working (16% and 15% respectively) and Quebec has the highest number “not satisfied at all” (15%). 

  • Canadians in Ontario are the most satisfied with the way Members of Parliament are doing their jobs (53%), while those in Quebec are the least satisfied (37%). 


360-British-Columbia


British Columbia

British Columbia represents the “democratic pulse” of Canada as British Columbians’ participation rates align closely with Canadians’ rates nationally.

  • British Columbians display a similar level of satisfaction as Canadians nationally:

    • 64% of people in BC are satisfied with democracy compared to 65% nationally. 

    • 44% of people in BC are satisfied with the work of MPs compared to 46% nationally. 

    • 41% of people in BC are satisfied with the work of political parties in Canada compared to 42% nationally. 

  • BCers differ with some digital behaviours:

    • 25% of people in BC have discussed politics via email or text—6 percentage points lower than Canadians nationally. 

    • People in BC are the second least likely in Canada to follow politicians on social media (17%) after Saskatchewan (15%). 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

British Columbia’s turnout in 2011: 55.9%

Saanich—Gulf Islands had the third highest voter turnout in 2011 (73.9%).  None of the ridings in BC fell into the bottom 10 of voter turnout. 


360-Alberta




Alberta


Albertans are among the most satisfied with the way democracy is working and are the least likely in Canada to work within their community. 

  • Alberta ties with Ontario for second place when it comes to their residents’
    democratic satisfaction with Canada (72%). Both are just slightly behind the most satisfied province, Saskatchewan (73%). The national average for satisfaction is 65%. 

  • When it comes to satisfaction with MPs’ job performance, Albertans are just as satisfied as the rest of Canada, with both at 46% satisfaction. 

  • Albertans are the least likely in Canada to have worked with others to solve a problem in their community—34% of Albertans have done so compared to 40% nationally. 

  • People in Alberta and New Brunswick are the least likely to be seen in the streets protesting (16%); the national rate is 22%. 

  • 26% of Albertans have used email or text to discuss politics compared to 31% nationally. 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR ALBERTA

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Alberta’s turnout in 2011: 52.3%

Alberta has the lowest province-wide federal turnout in the country. Among the 10 ridings with the lowest turnout in 2011, Alberta is home to three: Fort McMurray-Athabasca (with the lowest turnout in the country at 40.3%), Calgary East (45.9%) and Calgary Northeast (47.8%). 


360-Saskatchewan




Saskatchewan

People in Saskatchewan are the most satisfied in Canada with the way democracy works and how MPs and political parties do their jobs. They also participate at a higher-than-average rate in their communities.

  • Saskatchewan’s residents are the most satisfied with the way democracy is working compared to other provinces (73%). 

  • Saskatchewan is home to the second highest number of Canadians satisfied with the work of MPs (52%), the most satisfied live in Ontario (53%). 

  • Saskatchewanians are more likely than other Canadians to be satisfied with the way political parties are doing their jobs (50%). 

  • 53% of people in Saskatchewan have worked with others in their community to solve a problem compared to 40% nationally. 

  • Over half (58%) of the province has contributed time to a charitable cause and 47% has been active with an organization, compared to 53% and 38% nationally. 

  • 27% of residents have donated to a political party, which is second highest after PEI (28%) and 8 percentage points higher than the national average (19%). 

  • Second to Islanders, Saskatchewanians are the most likely to have attended a political meeting or speech in the past year(36%) compared to 29% nationally. 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR SASKATCHEWAN

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Saskatchewan’s turnout in 2011: 59.6%

The riding Blackstrap had the highest voter turnout in Saskatchewan at 69.3% in 2011, ranking 17th overall in Canada. 


360-Manitoba




Manitoba

Manitobans report the highest rate of contact by politicians and political parties in the country.

  • People in Manitoba are the most likely in Canada be contacted, by phone, email, mail or in person by political leaders (72% in Manitoba vs. 63% nationally). 

  • 38% of Manitobans have contacted an elected official in the past year—7 percentage points higher than the national average (31%).   

  • 28% of Manitobans have used email or text messaging to discuss politics, which is slightly less than Canadians on average (31%). 

  • Manitobans are the most likely to be “very” satisfied with the way MPs are doing their jobs (6% of Manitoba vs. 4% nationally). 

  • Manitobans are more likely to be satisfied with the way Canadian democracy is working than Canadians on average—70% of Manitobans vs. 65% of Canadians. 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR MANITOBA

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Manitoba’s turnout in 2011: 55.7%

Among the 10 ridings with the lowest turnout in 2011, two are in Manitoba. Churchill had the second lowest turnout in the country in 2011 (43.8%) and Winnipeg Centre had the ninth lowest (48.2%).  Manitoba had no riding in the top 10. 


360-Ontario




Ontario

Ontarians are among the most satisfied in Canada with way democracy works and how MPs and political parties do their jobs. 

  • Ontario has the highest number of Canadians that are “very” satisfied with democracy (16%) and ties with Alberta for second place for overall satisfaction (72%) with the way democracy is working.  People from Saskatchewan have a slightly higher level of satisfaction (73%), compared to 65% nationally

  • Ontarians are the people most satisfied in Canada with the way MPs are doing their jobs. 53% of people in Ontario are either “very” or “fairly” satisfied with MPs, compared to 46% nationally. 

  • Ontario has the highest number of Canadians that trust political parties “a great deal” (7%), yet Ontarians’ overall trust of parties to do what is right is slightly below the national average (40% of Ontario vs. 42% of Canada). 

  • 48% of Ontarians are “very”or “fairly” satisfied with the way political parties are doing their jobs—the second most satisfied province next to Saskatchewan (50%).

  • Two-thirds (66%) of the province report being contacted by federal political leadership in the last 12 months, while one-third (33%) have reached out to contact an elected official.   

 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR ONTARIO

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Ontario’s turnout in 2011: 57.6%

Among the 10 ridings with the highest turnout in 2011, four are found in Ontario: Nepean—Carleton (71.2%), Carleton—Mississippi Mills (71.7%), Ottawa—Orléans (71.7%) and Ottawa Centre (72.4%). Among the ridings with the lowest turnout, Ontario is also home to two which are in the bottom 10: York West (48.2%) and Windsor West (48.8%). 


360-Quebec




Quebec

Quebec is the least satisfied province with democracy in Canada and is the most likely province to engage informally in politics by protesting and boycotting.

  • 51% of people in Quebec express some level of dissatisfaction with the way democracy is working—the highest among the provinces and 16 percentage points higher than the national average (35%).   

  • Quebeckers are most likely to say they are not satisfied with the work of MPs (63%) compared to 54% nationally. 

  • Quebec residents are the least satisfied with the way parties do their jobs (34%) compared to 42% nationally.   

  • Almost half of the people in Quebec (44%) have boycotted or bought products for political reasons; this is the highest number in Canada and 7 percentage points higher than the national average (37%). 

  • 24% of people in Quebec protest, the second highest behind PEI (26%) and higher than Canadians on average (22%). 

  • Canadians in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec are the least likely to report contacting MPs (25%) compared to 31% nationally. 


ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR QUEBEC

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Quebec’s turnout in 2011: 63.5%

Among the 10 ridings with the highest voter turnout in 2011, two are in Quebec: in Verchères—Les Patriotes turnout was 71.4% and in Louis-Hébert’s turnout was 73.8%. No ridings with turnout in the bottom 10 were located in Quebec. 


360-Newbrunswick




New Brunswick

Compared to Canadians on average, people in New Brunswick are slightly more satisfied with the way democracy works, but they are more dissatisfied with MPs and political parties’ work. 

  • 67% of New Brunswick is satisfied with the way democracy is working, which is similar to the national average of 65%. 

  • Over half (59%) of the province express dissatisfaction with the way MPs are doing their jobs compared to 54% nationally. 

  • Two-thirds (66%) of New Brunswick residents don’t trust political parties to do what is right and 63% are dissatisfied with their work. This is one of the highest levels of dissatisfaction in Canada (both 58% nationally).   

  • People in New Brunswick (70%) are the second most likely after Manitobans (72%) to be contacted by politicians or political parties, compared to 63% nationally. 

  • New Brunswickers are the second most likely, after Islanders (45%), to follow politicians on social media (28%), compared to 23% nationally. 

ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR NEW BRUNSWICK

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

New Brunswick’s turnout in 2011: 65.6%

New Brunswick had the second highest province-wide voter turnout in Canada. The riding Miramichi had the ninth highest turnout in 2011 at 71.4%. Among ridings with the lowest turnout, none of the bottom 10 were found in New Brunswick. 


360-PEI




Prince Edward Island

People in PEI are the most engaged politically in their communities.

  • Over half (57%) of PEI has worked with others to solve a problem in their community—more than any other province and 17 percentage points above the national average (40%). 

  • PEI residents are the most likely to be seen marching the streets or organizing in public spaces—26% have protested in the past year. 

  • People in PEI are nearly twice as likely (63%) to contact an elected official than Canadians elsewhere (31% nationally). 

  • Residents of PEI are the most likely to use email or text to discuss politics (53%), attend a political meeting (45%) and donate to a political party (28%), but the least likely to organize an event about politics (3%). 

  • 51% of Islanders are satisfied with the work of MPs in Canada, making PEI the third most satisfied province after Ontario (53%) and Saskatchewan (52%). 

 
ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

PEI’s turnout in 2011: 74%

PEI has the highest turnout federally in Canada and among the 10 ridings with the highest voter turnout in 2011, two are found in PEI: turnout was 77% in Cardigan and 75.7% in Malpeque. 


360-Nova-Scotia




Nova Scotia

People in Nova Scotia are more socially and politically involved in their communities than Canadians on average.

  • 49% of Nova Scotians report  working with others to solve a problem in the community and 48% are active with an organization—compared to 40% and 38% nationally. 
  • Nova Scotians are the most likely in Canada to give their time to a charitable cause (59%) compared to  53% of all Canadians.   
  • Over a third (36%) of people in Nova Scotia have discussed politics via text message or email, second only to PEI residents (53%). 
  • Nova Scotians (39%) are the second most likely, after Islanders (63%), to contact an elected official in the past 12 months—8 percentage points higher than the national average (31%). 
  • 40% of Nova Scotia residents express some dissatisfaction with the way democracy is currently working—the highest level of dissatisfaction in any province outside of Quebec (51%). Nationally, 35% of Canadians express some level of dissatisfaction. 


ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR NOVA SCOTIA

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Nova Scotia’s turnout in 2011: 61.3%

No ridings in Nova Scotia were found in the top or bottom 10 for riding-level voter turnout in 2011. 


360-Newfoundland




Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the most disengaged provinces from formal politics and the least trusting of political parties. 

  • Half of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians report some form of contact by a federal political party or politician in the last year—the lowest in Canada. Nationally, 63% of Canadians report being contacted. 

  • People in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec are the least likely in Canada to attend a political meeting (24%) or contact an elected official (25%). Nationally, 29% of Canadians have attended a political meeting and 31% have contacted an elected official. 

  • Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are the least likely across Canada to use email or text messaging to discuss politics (21%)—10 percentage points less than all Canadians (31%). 

  • People in Newfoundland and Labrador are 50% less likely to donate to a political party compared to all Canadians (10% of Newfoundland vs. 19% nationally). 

  • Only one-quarter (27%) of Newfoundland and Labrador has boycotted products for political reasons—the lowest in Canada and 10 percentage points less than Canadians on average (37%). 

  • Newfoundland and Labrador is the most distrusting province towards political parties—69% express some level of distrust compared to 58% nationally. 

  • Newfoundlanders and Labradorians share the same level of satisfaction with democracy as all Canadians—66% of the province report some level of satisfaction compared to 65% of Canadians. 

  • People in Newfoundland and Labrador have one of the highest levels of dissatisfaction with the work of MPs in Canada (59%) compared to 54% nationally. 

 
ELECTORAL CONTEXT FOR NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Canada’s turnout in 2011: 61.1%

Newfoundland and Labrador’s turnout in 2011: 53%

Among the 10 ridings with the lowest turnout in 2011, Newfoundland and Labrador is home to two: Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor’s turnout in 2011 was 44.8% and Random—Burin—St. George’s turnout was 45.4%. 


Methodological Note

The Samara Citizens’ Survey was conducted in English and French using an online sample of 2406 Canadian residents over 18 years of age living in ten provinces. Data was collected between December 12 and December 31, 2014. The survey has a credibility interval of 1.99 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Responses were weighted to ensure they reflect a nationally representative sample of Canadians, in consideration of gender, region, age as well as whether respondents were born inside or outside of Canada, whether respondents spoke English, French or another language at home, and self-reported voter turnout. Questions that asked about Canadians’ activities were limited to the last 12 months. The provincial breakdown only includes statistically significant information (p value <= .10).

The link to our methodology for Samara's Democracy 360 will be live on March 25th at 5:00am EST. In the meantime, should you wish the full methodology, please email Laura Anthony at [email protected]