Is the system performing so well that citizens feel little reason to engage, or are our standards set so low that we demand very little from our leaders, institutions, and ourselves?
On the other hand, provinces with high levels of voter turnout need not feature highly satisfied electorates. On the same types of questions, for instance, Saskatchewan residents reported significantly higher rates of political cynicism. Unlike their eastern neighbours, who seem content to stay home, historically Saskatchewan voters appear willing to head to the polls despite (or perhaps because) they are relatively less satisfied with politics as usual. Again, this raises the question of whether the Saskatchewan political system is performing more poorly than Manitoba’s, or whether Saskatchewan residents have much higher democratic standards.
Join in our discussion with Loleen Berdahl (University of Saskatchewan), Elisabeth Gidengil (McGill University), and Mebs Kanji (Concordia University), as they address the many myths and misconceptions surrounding civic engagement in Canada. Our speakers will also take part in an all-day conference on “Duff Roblin’s Legacy: Civic Engagement in Manitoba”, to be held at St. John’s College on Monday, April 4th. The day culminates in the 2011 Templeton Lecture on Democracy, delivered at 7:30pm by Professor Emeritus Paul Thomas. For more information on these events, please visit: umanitoba.ca/u2011 and mipr.ca.