Trudeau Effect: Most Canadians Distrust Government for First Time in 17 Years

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The poll, part of a global survey known as the Edelman Trust Barometer, also found a profound distrust of the nation’s major institutions and elites, with nearly three in four Canadians responding that they trust leaked information more than they would trust information deliberately published by a corporation or institution.

The Edelman poll finds that 43 percent of Canadians trust their government, with 57 percent saying they do not trust it. 80 percent of Canadians said they felt “the elites who run our institutions are out of touch with regular people.” To compare, in the United States, a nation often more distrustful than Canada of its elected officials, 52 percent said they trusted the government. This is up from 44 percent under President Barack Obama in 2015.

This is the first time in 17 years, since the tenure of Liberal Party Prime Minister Jean Chretien, that the poll found a plurality of Canadians distrusted their government. Even among those who expressed a general trust in government, Canadians appeared largely unconvinced of the quality of their current leadership. 61 percent of those surveyed answered positively to the statement “I do not have confidence that our current leaders will be able to successfully address our country’s challenges.”

The poll found that Canadians also appear increasingly distrusting of institutions. 70 percent said they believe statements from individuals more than they believe in institutions, and 74 percent said they would trust leaked information more than officially released information.

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