On racism, elections and the media: Paul Adams

Good commentary on the need for more informed media discussion of the substantive issues, and less discussion of the political aspects:

Other than climate change, which is an existential threat to all of humankind, arguably the biggest threat to Western democracies is racism. Politically, liberal democracy is built on the idea of fundamental human equality and the further it strays from that precept the less it is recognizably democratic. Sociologically, societies that are racially complex but racially divided by law or harsh custom are unhappy places where violence lurks and often explodes.

In the United States, the president is the most openly racist in at least a century. He came to political prominence as an Obama birther, launched his campaign smearing Mexicans as rapists, has separated brown mothers from their brown children as a matter of policy and is seemingly intent on winning another minority victory in 2020 by stoking the flames of racial fear among white Americans. In the United Kingdom, a Brexit referendum victory driven in part by fears of outsiders is now also threatening the historic bonds that fasten England to both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Here in Canada, you do not even have to go to the issue of racist intent to see that Quebec’s Bill 21 — which would ban the wearing of religious symbols such as the turban, the hijab and the kippah for many public servants — would be racist in its effect, hitting mainly people of colour and Jews. And in the last few days, the pollster Frank Graves has released data suggesting that opposition to the immigration of visible minorities is rising in Canada.

At one level, this might not seem very different from the other controversial issues journalists cover as a matter of routine: economic inequality, tax levels, education spending and so on. However, I think it presents unusual challenges that the media may not be entirely prepared to cope with.

It is the conceit of modern mainstream journalism that it stands outside of ideology. It is neutral, balanced, objective. If someone wants higher taxes to fund social programs and someone else wants lower taxes to stimulate the economy, reporters quote both sides of a debate, excavate some relevant data, and leave it to the readers to decide the argument. This is a powerful idea and has some merit. Many of us consume the news to inform us as citizens and not to be told what to think or do.

On the other hand, it can lead to the laziest conjuring trick in the journalist’s kit: what is sometimes called false balance. For a couple of decades, this was most obviously a problem with the coverage of climate change. Even as the evidence of human-caused climate change grew and the scientific consensus became close to complete, many journalists ran back and forth, got quotes from credible scientists, balanced them with a quotes from increasingly isolated and eccentric, often industry-backed “climate skeptics,” threw in a little data and let the readers decide. And in this way they failed the journalist’s responsibility not just to be fair, but to be rooted in evidence (as indeed scientists should be). Only very recently has this trend been significantly corrected.

In the case of racism the challenge is further complicated by the way in which it is being metabolized politically. Frank Graves’ most interesting finding was not that opposition to non-white immigration has recently risen. In fact, as he points out, it has sometimes been this high in his data in the past. What’s most striking is the degree to which it has become a partisan issue. Just six years ago, roughly half of Conservative supporters said too many immigrants were visible minorities; today the figure is over two-thirds. Meanwhile, among Liberal supporters, the trend has been the opposite. Six years ago about a third of Liberals were concerned about visible-minority immigration. That figure has now fallen to less than one-in-seven.

The supporters of our two main parties are polarizing around the issue of race and we are in an election year.

I don’t think even his harshest critics would claim Andrew Scheer is a Trump-style racist. In the immediate aftermath of the New Zealand massacres a few weeks ago, his first reaction (or that of his staff) was to tweet out condolences, somehow neglecting to mention that the murders took place in a mosque and the victims were Muslims. After some hours of barracking for those omissions on social media, including from some prominent conservatives, he did a very un-Trump-like thing and issued a new statement that got it right.

Scheer does not appear to be personally racist, but he needs the votes of people who are. He is not a white nationalist, but he shared the “yellow vest” platform on Parliament Hill with Faith Goldy, who was let go by The Rebel for her sympathetic coverage of the anti-Semitic and anti-black Charlottesville demonstrations, has given an interview to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, and who was recently bounced from Facebook — not an easy thing to accomplish — for her views. Let’s just say she is not the sort of person in whose company Preston Manning would have wanted to be seen when he was a party leader.

Naturally, the Trudeau Liberals, mired in political troubles of their own making, and with a political base that may be getting more liberal on race according to Graves’ numbers, is using this as a cudgel. Trudeau has taunted Scheer to denounce white supremacists. Scheer’s reaction has been rather delicate, denouncing the sin of white supremacy but appearing reticent to name the specific sinners.

The danger in all this is that it invites journalists to rely on another bit of professional sorcery: that is, converting any matter of substance into a political issue. Instead of trying to understand the place that race and racism has in our society, our discourse, our policy and our laws, we are tempted to convert it into a political spectator sport. At best, that means running back and forth between Trudeau and Scheer chronicling jabs and counterpunches. At worst, it means that any serious discussion of race and racism with be replaced with public disgust at “smears,” “name-calling” and “negative campaigning.”

We need much more journalistic work to understand the roots of more overt racial hostility in Canada, and their connection to economic conditions, patterns of immigration and embedded cultural impulses that may have been dormant or suppressed. We need to understand the role of the internet and social media culture. We need to distinguish between overt racists, unconscious racists, and those who are not actively racist themselves but who are willing to tolerate those who are. More than anything, we need to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who are the targets of racism.

We need to understand better how our political system has allowed people like Goldy to walk onto a political (and media) stage where not long ago they would have been unwelcome. We need to be careful about unthinkingly labelling Scheer a racist, but also to understand the political dynamics that are shaping his party, its policies and its rhetoric.

We also need to pry apart the Trudeau government’s rhetoric and its policies (most notably on refugees). We need to understand better why the Liberal party’s supporters have grown so quickly so much more liberal on race, and to what extent this is real and to what extent just an artifact of partisan polarization.

And finally, those of us in journalism need to examine our own role. Journalism should not be indifferent to the health of our democracy; when journalism is done well it is a pillar of democracy as well as dependent on its liberties to thrive. We are still far from the point where we have an open racist sitting and chiming in on the “At Issue” panel with Rosie, Andrew and Chantal. But Ann Coulter, the American commentator who sees non-white immigration as a form of genocide, has often been interviewed on Canadian television. Gavin McInnes, founder of the sometimes-violent “Proud Boys,” has appeared on the CBC News Network to defend a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq people in the 18th century as reasonable public policy for the time.

Racism raises complex journalistic issues that are not as simply solved as banning people from the airwaves. It may be that in the world of the internet and social media, journalists no longer have the ability they once did to police who inhabits the public square. They need to report on racism without fuelling it or giving it a platform. But with racism, as with climate change, journalists should not be confused about which side they are on.

Source: On racism, elections and the media

For tthe full Ekos report: click here

Europe’s south and east worry more about emigration than immigration – poll

Interesting results but understandable given the demographics:

Southern and eastern European countries are more concerned about emigration than immigration, according to a wide-ranging survey of attitudes in 14 EU countries.

In Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary and Romania, six countries where population levels are either flatlining or falling sharply, more citizens said emigration was a worry than immigration, according to the poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

The steepest falls are in Romania, where the population has decreased by almost 10% over the past decade as an exodus of mostly young people move to work in western Europe.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/uploader/embed/2019/03/popuation-change-zip/giv-3902leY08K5RYnIs/

However, in northern and western nations, concerns over immigration far outstripped those over emigration.

The survey was conducted to establish the principal issues of concern ahead of the European parliamentary elections in May. The 14 nations polled will occupy 80% of the seats in the new parliament.

The poll discovered that Europeans are concerned about far more than migration, even though it has dominated EU politics and discourse over the five year term of the outgoing parliament. Corruption, nationalism, terrorism and climate change are also uppermost in minds.

In the survey as a whole, 20% were worried about emigration and 32% about immigration. The poll was conducted by YouGov and questioned almost 50,000 people.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2019-03-25T13:41:59/embed.html

In some countries, the fear of emigration was so great that large numbers of people believed compatriots should not be allowed to leave their country for long periods of time.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2019-03-25T15:48:16/embed.html

“The EU elections have been sold as a battleground over the heart of Europe,” said Mark Leonard, the director of the ECFR, adding that nationalists were trying to turn the vote into a referendum on migration.

“The findings from this poll should give heart to pro-Europeans, and show that there are still votes to be won on major issues such as climate change, healthcare, housing, and living standards,” Leonard said. “They will be making a strategic blunder if they accept the framing of the anti-European parties that this election will be won or lost on migration alone.”

Populist leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Matteo Salvini are seeking to put migration front and centre of the 23-26 May polls, in which 374 million people are eligible to vote in a new parliament for a five-year term. The Orbán government recently deployed a scare poster warning about migration policy in Brussels.

Hungary has refused to take refugees under an EU quota system and continues to block an EU law that proposes a permanent redistribution system for asylum seekers. The poster referred to this theme, stating: “They want to introduce compulsory relocation quotas.”

Orbán, who is under pressure to quit the main centre-right European parliament group, has called for migration policy to be “withdrawn from the commission and returned to the member states”. EU member states already play the decisive role in migration policy.

While Orbán has scaled back his media attacks, following pressure from allies in the European People’s party, he has indicated that he could resume his anti-EU campaign. “Our job now is to continually inform the people about what Brussels is up to.”

But immigration numbers have fallen sharply over the past two years: in 2018, the number who crossed the Mediterranean was put at just over 116,000 by UNHCR, down almost 90% from those who made the journey in 2015.

The survey found that Islamic radicalism was the top area of concern, worrying about one in five Europeans, though fears were much higher in countries like Belgium, France and the Netherlands than in eastern Europe.

In almost all countries, a majority of people agreed that the environment should be made a priority even if it damaged economic growth.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/mar/2019-03-25T15:47:08/embed.html

But the data also showed a wide range of concerns cropping up in different countries, meaning that the election will be fought on different issues across the continent.

The economy was the single biggest concern in Italy, Romania and Greece. In seven countries – Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Greece and Slovakia – more than 50% of people surveyed said corruption was a major issue.

Some experts have warned centrist and traditional parties against accepting a pro-EU versus anti-EU narrative, fearing it will only bolster populists by setting up straw-man arguments.

The European elections are the second-largest electoral contest in the world, behind the Indian elections. Voters in 27 countries are due to elect 705 MEPs, who will take office on 2 July. The UK is not scheduled to take part in the vote and will have to inform the EU by 12 April if it wishes to elect MEPs, meaning a long Brexit delay.

Source: Europe’s south and east worry more about emigration than immigration – poll

Birthright Citizenship: Plurality of Canadians see it as good policy, but also say some changes are needed


I was really pleased to see this detailed Angus Reid survey on attitudes towards birth tourism. Timing perfect as will be discussing birthright citizenship with Audrey Macklin next week at Metropolis (see my deck Birth Tourism – Metropolis 2019).

Appears by the efforts by activists like Kerry Starchuck, Richmond area MPs Alice Wong and Joe Peschisolido, my health financial data-based research (Hospital stats show birth tourism rising in major cities) and the related media coverage helped encourage the government to take the issue more seriously in its commitment to study the issue and, I suspect, encourage Angus Reid to conduct this study.

The poll has breakdowns for region, gender, age, income, education, and political orientation but not, curiously, for immigrant/non-immigrant.

Most of the differences of opinion reflect overall difference of opinion on immigration and citizenship issues: younger, female, more educated and those with higher tend to be more supportive, whereas the opposite is true with respect to older persons, males, less education and lower income.

The political orientation divide is the most striking with the biggest surprise to me is the relatively high support (one-third) among Liberal and NDP leaning voters to support birthright citizenship for those on tourist visas, the classic example and practice.

Hard to explain are Conservative leaning voters who make greater distinctions between situations of both parents being citizens or permanent residents and those when only one parent is a citizen or permanent resident.

The breakdown into eight different scenarios is both helpful in its providing a more nuanced understanding of attitudes but, of course, would complicate any possible policy measures being considered beyond a citizen/permanent resident non-citizen/temporary resident distinction:

Which babies born on Canadian soil should be granted automatic citizenship?

It’s a question that has appended itself to the Canadian political and policy narrative in this election year; and one on which Canadians share some areas of consensus and others of deep division, according to a new public opinion poll from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute.

Today, most Canadians feel this concept – that anyone born in Canada is a citizen – goes a bit too far. Almost two-thirds (64%) say a child born to parents who are in this country on tourist visas should not be granted Canadian citizenship, and six-in-ten (60%) say changes to Canada’s citizenship laws are necessary to discourage birth tourism.

That said, more Canadians are inclined to believe birthright citizenship is a good policy (40%) than a bad one (33%).

More Key Findings:

  • Canadian opinions of when to grant citizenship are nuanced, changing with various scenarios offered. For example, 55 per cent say a child born to two parents in Canada on work visas should be conferred citizenship. This drops to 40 per cent if both parents are in Canada on student visas.
  • Canadians considering the Conservative Party in the coming election, as well as older residents (those ages 55-plus), are inclined to say that birth tourism is serious problem for Canada. Those considering the Liberal and New Democratic Parties – and those under 35 years of age – are more likely to say the problem is not serious.
  • In the same vein, while three-quarters of Canadians in the Conservative political sphere* say changes are birthright citizenship are necessary, majorities from the Liberal and NDP spheres disagree, and say no changes are needed

Source: Birthright Citizenship: Plurality of Canadians see it as good policy, but also say some changes are needed

Full report: Click here for the full report including tables and methodology

Catching up

The main story over the past few weeks has of course been the US presidential election and Trump winning the presidency. Far too much commentary both before and after to follow, with the full consequences to be seen once Trump selects his Cabinet and other senior appointments, and his initial acts in office (the appointment of Steve Bannon of Breitbart as chief strategist is hardly encouraging).

As chance would have it, we were visiting the Dachau concentration camp near Munich on voting day. While my knowledge of the Holocaust is generally quite good from books, film and Holocaust centres, along with my time as Canadian head of delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, nothing can bring the horror and scale of horror than visiting an actual site.

In the film Denial (well worth seeing), about Deborah Lipstadt’s legal battle against Holocaust denier David Irving, her lawyer takes time during his visit to Auschwitz to pace the  the camp, as he needs to come to grips with its scale  as part of his preparation of his strategy for the case.

But one of the more interesting moments in the current context was our guide’s discussion of the rise of Hitler and how both the political leadership and institutions failed to prevent his rise. While always aware of the perils of Godwin’s Law, there are some uncomfortable parallels with the rise of Trump, reinforced with Republican control of both houses of congress, and the related authoritarian and undemocratic tendencies among some.

Of course, one of the stories making the rounds is the degree to which Americans vowing to move to Canada will actually do so. Some articles that provide a good selection of immigration experts and lawyers essentially say unlikely (Don’t expect to just pack up and move to Canada, Americans told, Americans eye move to Canada, but immigration not so easy, and in the New York Times, As Americans Look North to Flee Donald Trump, Canada Peers Back in Worry, where I am quoted).

Other news items that I have been following include:

Immigration levels for 2017: Interesting, in contrast to the expectations of much higher immigration levels based on comments by the Minister and the recommendations of the Barton committee of 450,000 per year, the end result was more modest: a new baseline of 300,000, and increase of about 15 percent compared to the previous government. Moreover, there is some rebalancing towards the economic stream (58 percent compared to 54 percent in 2016, but still lower than the 63 percent under the Conservatives).

citizenship-data-slides-033There have been a number of articles pro or against a “big Canada” of 100 million by 2100. I am more convinced by the critical pieces, particularly those by Munir Sheikh, How can immigration improve our standard of living? and Tony Keller A supersized Canada is so 20th century.

Diversity of appointments: With the 41 judicial appointments and 28 Senate appointments in 2016, we can see that the government is largely living up to its commitment to improve diversity (56.1 percent women, 4.9 percent visibility minorities, 7.3 percent Indigenous with respect to judges; 57.1 percent women, 21.4 percent visibility minorities, 7.1 Indigenous with respect to Senators), with the government committing to diversity reporting.

Citizenship judge appointments: It appears that, along with other GiC appointments, there have been delays in appointing citizenship judges, with the result that the number of judges available has dropped to 13 from 26 in place September 2015. As C-24 largely reduced the role of judges to presiding over citizenship ceremonies, this likely has less impact than stated in the article, Waiting to become Canadian: Citizenship ceremonies delayed by judge shortage,
compared to the fee increase and other changes  I have flagged (The impact of citizenship fees on naturalization – Policy Options).

Support for immigration and multiculturalism: A series of somewhat contradictory polls and interpretations, starting with Angus Reid, CBC-Angus Reid Institute poll: Canadians want minorities to do more to ‘fit in’, where roughly two-thirds of Canadians believe immigrants should adopt Canadian values while a similar two-thirds believe immigration levels are just about right. Environics Institute’s Focus Canada – Fall 2016 Canadian public opinion about immigration and citizenship 20 year tracking of support for immigration shows little recent change:

Environics Focus Canada 2016

Environics Focus Canada 2016

Nick Nanos’s survey of What makes Canadians proud of their country? has the following results:

“Asked an open-ended question about what made them proud to be Canadians, the top unprompted response was our commitment to equality/equity/social justice (25.2 per cent), followed by our reputation as peacekeepers (19.4 per cent), multiculturalism (12.0 per cent) and respect for others (11.3 per cent).”

All of which helps explain the divergence of positions among Conservative leadership candidates, ranging from those openly playing identity politics (Blaney, Leitch) to those with inclusive approaches (Chong, Obrai, Raitt).

Candice Malcolm continued her obsessive coverage of Minister Monsef (see Jason Ling’s Some Folks Really Want to Deport Maryam Monsef) and the question of birthplace and possible misrepresentation by her mother in her immigration and citizenship applications. Malcolm legitimately asks whether the government is treating her case differently than other such cases, given a number of revocations in what appear to be comparable cases (Lawyers lose battle for moratorium on contentious part of citizenship law).

However, unless I have missed it, Malcolm has remained silent on whether she supports the C-24 changes that removed the previous right to recourse to the Federal Court, without providing any right to a hearing, unlike Farzana Hassan, who objects to the “unfairness of the law” while still questioning Monsef’s story (Monsef shouldn’t be above the law).

How the Big Red Machine became the big data machine: Delacourt

As someone who likes playing with and analyzing data, found Delacourt’s recounting of how the Liberals became the most data savvy political party interesting:

The Console, with its maps and myriad graphs and numbers, was the most vivid evidence of how far the Liberal party had come in its bid to play catch-up in the data war with its Conservative and NDP rivals. Call it Trudeau 2.0. Just as the old Rainmaker Keith Davey brought science to the party of Trudeau’s father in the 1960s and 1970s, the next generation of Trudeau Liberalism would get seized with data, science and evidence in a big way, too.

And in the grand tradition of Davey, Allan Gregg and all the other political pollsters and marketers who went before them, this new squad of strategists set about dividing Canada’s electoral map into target ridings, ranked according to their chances of winning in them. In a 21st-century-style campaign, though, the distinctions would be far more sophisticated than simply “winnable” and “unwinnable” ridings. Trudeau’s Liberals divided the nation’s 338 electoral districts into six types, named for metals and compounds: platinum, gold, silver, bronze, steel and wood.

Platinum ridings were sure bets: mostly the few dozen that the Liberals had managed to keep in the electoral catastrophe of 2011. Gold ridings were not quite that solid, but they were the ones in which the party strategists felt pretty certain about their prospects. Silver ridings were the ones the Liberals would need to gain to win the election, while bronze ridings, the longer shots, would push them into majority government territory. Steel ridings were ones they might win in a subsequent election, and wood ridings were the ones where the Liberals probably could never win a seat, in rural Alberta for instance.

The Console kept close track of voter outreach efforts on the ground, right down to the number of doorsteps visited by volunteers and what kind of information they had gathered from those visits — family size, composition, political interests, even the estimated age of the residents. By consulting the Console, campaigners could even figure out which time of day was best for canvassing in specific neighbourhoods or which voters required another visit to seal the deal.

When the Liberal team unveiled the Console to Trudeau, he was blown away. He told his team that it was his new favourite thing. He wanted regular briefings on the contents of the program: where it showed the Liberal party ahead, and where fortunes were flagging and volunteers needed to do more door-knocking. Actually, he wondered, why couldn’t he be given access to the Console himself, so that he could consult it on his home computer or on his phone while on the road?

And that, Trudeau would say later, was the last he ever saw of the Console. “My job was to bring it back, not on the analysis side, but on the connection side — on getting volunteers to go out, drawing people in, getting people to sign up,” Trudeau said. Clearly he was doing something right on that score — Liberal membership numbers had climbed from about 60,000 to 300,000 within Trudeau’s first 18 months as leader.

Volunteers for the party would learn — often to their peril — that the leader was fiercely serious about turning his crowd appeal into useful data. Trudeau wasn’t known for displays of temper, but the easiest way to provoke him was to fall down on the job of collecting data from the crowds at campaign stops. Few things made Trudeau angrier, for instance, than to see Liberal volunteers surrounding him at events instead of gathering up contact information. “That was what I demanded. If they wanted a visit from the leader they had to arrange that or else I’d be really upset,” Trudeau said.

Source: How the Big Red Machine became the big data machine | Toronto Star

Canadians turned off by Donald Trump’s inflammatory policies: poll

Canadians_turned_off_by_Donald_Trump’s_inflammatory_policies__poll___National_PostInteresting but not terribly surprising result that largely correlates with the Conservative Party base, providing a possible explanation for the wedge politics of the previous Conservative government and its election strategy:

Respondents were also questioned about Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United State: 67 per cent said they personally disagree, while about 50 per cent “strongly” disagree.

However, the poll notes that still leaves a sizeable minority — a full one in three — who agrees with Trump, 13 per cent “strongly” so.

Women aged 35-54 and men 55 or older were mostly likely to agree with Trump — by 39 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

Responses varied across the country.

In every case, support for Trump was more apparent in rural settings, and at its lowest in urban centres like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Residents of central Canada and the west coast were most likely to dislike Trump, compared with 46 per cent of Saskatchewan residents who said they agreed with him.

Responses were also dictated by politics: people who voted Conservative in the last federal election were far more likely to support Trump, 55 per cent,

Respondents were also divided on whether or not Trump’s remarks are good or bad for society.

Unsurprisingly, the same minority that agrees with Trump’s police is also likely to say his rhetoric is good for society because it brings to light “timely issues without fear of political correctness, ” while 63 per cent disagreed, saying it “encourages fear and hatred towards Muslims.”

Kurl said that while the poll was clear a majority of Canadians do not support Trump, it is important to note the minority results, too.

“There is a significant number of Canadians who agree with Trump’s statements calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” she said.

“Two in three disagree. The majority disagree. But one in three agree and that is a significant segment of Canadians.”

The poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Source: Canadians turned off by Donald Trump’s inflammatory policies: poll | National Post

ICYMI: Antisemitism — The Facts and the Hope | John Gerzema

Comparative Religious Attitudes CitiesInteresting comparative study across religions and cities, with strong conclusion of how best to proceed:

The data shows that anti-Semitism, at least in the countries surveyed, is stubborn, deep-seated and chronic. It is worse than anti-Catholic bigotry but not quite as widespread as anti-Muslim feelings. Yet here’s a critical distinction: within nations, people act-out against Jews more often than they do against Catholics and Muslims. Some of this behavior seems linked to events involving Israel. However, it would be wrong to suggest a causal link between expressions of anti-Semitism and Israeli policy. Last Fall’s conflict in Gaza, for instance, may have “unleashed” anti-Semitism, acting as a false catalyst, but the feelings against Jews exist independent of the Middle East. After all, if someone predisposed to hate Jews cites Israeli policy to justify their anti-Semitism, he or she is still an anti-Semite.

Yet not all our findings were bleak. As part of our study we tried to determine whether people were affected by media mentions of Israel. When we asked our survey respondents last August to read an unbiased report on the ongoing events in Israel and Gaza we saw expressions of anti-Jewish feelings decline. People who told us they were “somewhat open” to new information moved from a 14 percent to 25 percent likelihood of sympathizing with Israel. Those that were “very open” moved from 35 percent to 42 percent likelihood of sympathizing with Israel. We saw related reductions in the number of people who said they had negative thoughts about Jews in general.

So the data offers hope that hearts and minds can be affected by honest, reliable, unadulterated information. We can inform instead of inflame. We can teach instead of just talk. We can exercise our freedom of speech and freedom of the press as a means to contest cultural boundaries. The alternative is watching bigotry of all kinds — against Muslim or Jew, Catholic and, sadly, a long list of other groups — dominate the discussions around the world. The evidence is there that we can create change and counteract the hate that occurred last week and continues to be so pervasive and pernicious. It is up to all of us to engage, enlighten and educate.

Anti-Semitism — The Facts and the Hope | John Gerzema.

Un sondage CROP confirme que les Québécois comptent sur une charte pour les protéger

Consistent with any number of previous polls, reflecting unease but matched with general support for immigration:

L’idée d’une charte qui réaffirme les valeurs communes aux Québécois conserve l’appui d’une majorité d’entre eux, avec 51%. Mais plusieurs de ceux qui y étaient auparavant défavorables se sont déplacés vers la catégorie des indécis. Il y a maintenant 23 % des gens qui s’opposent à la charte, et 26 % qui ne sont pas certains du pied sur lequel danser à ce sujet.

«Je pense que ce qui accrochait avec la charte du PQ, c’est justement que ça venait du PQ, analyse Youri Rivest, de la maison CROP. C’était plus le messager que le message qui était rejeté.»

La région de Québec est celle qui est la plus séduite par l’idée d’une charte avec 66 % d’appuis, contre 50 % ailleurs en région et 48 % à Montréal.

«À Québec, les gens sont plus réfractaires aux questions d’extrémisme religieux, constate M.Rivest. Mais ils ne sont pas fermés à l’immigration en général. Ils y sont même plus ouverts qu’ailleurs. Ce n’est pas un sentiment anti-immigrant; c’est vraiment anti-extrémisme religieux.»

Dans l’ensemble, les Québécois s’inquiètent d’abord et avant tout que les nouveaux arrivants refusent d’intégrer les valeurs de leur pays d’adoption. Ils sont 85 % à éprouver une crainte à cet égard.

…Un clivage sur ces questions s’observe selon la langue. Les francophones sont par exemple beaucoup plus favorables à la charte, à 57 %, que les non-francophones, à 27 %.

Il demeure que 67 % des Québécois craignent que l’intégrisme religieux menace la sécurité au Québec. À l’inverse, 33 % ne croient pas qu’il y ait matière à inquiétude.

À cet égard, les péquistes sont les plus soucieux de la menace, à 84%. Ils sont suivis par les caquistes à 73%, les libéraux à 63 % et les solidaires à 58 %.

Un sondage CROP confirme que les Québécois comptent sur une charte pour les protéger | Simon Boivin | Politique.

Majority of Canadians worry about domestic terrorism, according to new survey

Results are not that surprising, given recent events, and given that civil liberties rarely do well in public polling.

But encouraging that people recognize the importance of prevention and the contributing role of mental illness and marginalization:

Almost two-thirds of Canadians believe homegrown terrorism is a serious issue, but most do not perceive a threat from radicalized individuals in their communities, according to a new survey.

The national poll, conducted in the wake of deadly attacks on Canadian soldiers, found that just over half of respondents supported new anti-terror legislation that would boost the powers of Canada’s spies. Another 22 per cent said the government should go even further, suggesting they have not been swayed by civil liberties concerns.

At the same time, those surveyed recognized that there are many factors behind radicalization — religion, mental illness and marginalization — and seemed open to a range of preventative measures, not just punitive ones.

“People are sensitive to the fact this is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach,” said Christian Leuprecht, a security expert at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen’s University.

Majority of Canadians worry about domestic terrorism, according to new survey.

‘Cloud of misperception’: Canadians don’t know their country as well as they think, online survey finds

Cloud_of_misperception__Canadians_don’t_know_their_country_as_well_as_they_think__online_survey_finds___National_PostNot terribly surprising:

Canadians might think they know a lot about other Canadians, and about Canada itself. But Canadians are profoundly confused, at least according to the results of a recent Ipsos Reid global survey, The Perils of Perception. The survey asked Canadians to answer a number of questions about Canada, and then compared their answers to the facts. And the facts, as revealed below, show that the Canada Canadians think they know, is a Canada that doesn’t exist.

“Canadians are flying blind in a cloud of misperception,” said John Wright, a senior spokesperson for Ipsos. “So let’s try and clear some things up.” The good news: we are most certainly not alone. People around the world get their countries wrong too.

‘Cloud of misperception’: Canadians don’t know their country as well as they think, online survey finds | National Post.