Canada Suffering from a Huge Democratic Deficit

ciw.ca/en/Home.aspx – CIW Report Release – Canada Suffering from a Huge Democratic Deficit
January 27, 2010

Fewer Canadians are voting or volunteering for formal political groups, nearly half say they aren’t happy with the way Canada’s democracy works, and an overwhelming majority say that federal government policies have not made their lives better, according to the Democratic Engagement Domain Report (PDF 2MB) released on January 27 by the Institute of Wellbeing. The Report also noted that women and minorities are underrepresented in the political process. Since 1997, the percentage of women Members of Parliament has remained low at about 20% of total seats. On the positive side, Canadians are becoming more involved in informal democratic activities such as online discussions, social networking, protests and petitions. They want to have a greater say in the decisions that are shaping their world. The report puts forward a number of positive ways that Canadians can become more engaged in their own Democracy. Download the Report Highlights (PDF 345KB), the full Report (PDF 2MB), or read Improving Canada’s Democratic Engagement: 10 Ideas for Positive Change (PDF 87KB).

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF WELLBEING The Institute of Wellbeing was launched in June 2009 and is independent and non-partisan. Its mission is to regularly and publicly report on the quality of life of Canadians, encourage policy shapers and government leaders to make decisions based on evidence, and promote a new understanding of wellbeing and a dialogue that reshapes the way we talk about wellbeing. The Institute’s signature product is the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, (CIW). The first CIW Report was released in June 2009. The remaining quality of life reports along with a single composite index will be released later in 2010. It will be the only national index that measures wellbeing in Canada across a wide spectrum of categories.  To find out more about the Institute, and to download our reports, please go to www.ciw.ca. Everything produced by the Institute is available free of charge in both user-friendly and research-rich format.

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