Almost half of the country desires significant political reform, a new Pew Research poll comparing attitudes towards governments across the developed world reveals. 

The poll surveyed thousands of people over the phone from 16 advanced economies including Canada, the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea. 

When Canadians were asked if the political system “needs to be completely reformed/needs major changes,” 47% of those polled agreed with the statement. 

In comparison to other nations, however, the desire for systemic change in Canada is relatively low. Other countries such as the US reported 85% of people desiring reform and in Italy 89% of people wanted change. 

“Even in places where the demand for significant political reform is relatively low, substantial minorities say their system needs minor changes. In all of the publics surveyed, fewer than three-in-ten say the political system should not be changed at all,” wrote Pew Research. 

On the question of whether the economic and healthcare system needs to be reformed, 46% and 43% of Canadians responded in the affirmative respectively. 

Despite the desire for change, most Canadians remain satisfied with how well democracy is working in their own country with 66% saying it is working well and 33% who are not satisfied. 

When broken down further, people who viewed Canada’s pandemic performance negatively were more likely to desire serious reform politically. In that group, 71% of people wanted significant change, while among those who saw pandemic policies positively only 32% were desiring reform. 

“People who believe their country is doing a poor job of dealing with the pandemic are consistently more likely to say they are dissatisfied with the way their democracy is working and to call for political reform,” wrote researchers. 

“The belief that one’s country is doing a bad job of dealing with the pandemic is also linked to a desire for health care reform.”

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Journalist and Senior Research Fellow

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