Politics, Social Attitudes and Sex

The poll examines core values and erotic fantasies

December 25 2000

Politics, Social Attitudes and Sex

The poll examines core values and erotic fantasies

December 25 2000

Politics, Social Attitudes and Sex


The Questionnaire

The poll examines core values and erotic fantasies

The 17th annual Macleans year-end poll, undertaken in partnership with the Global Television Network, was conducted by Toronto-based The Strategic Counsel. The results are drawn from telephone interviews with 1,400 adult Canadians between Nov. 7 and 12, in the midst of the federal election campaign. Respondents were selected randomly from all 10 provinces, including a disproportionate number from the smaller ones to bring the minimum sample from

each up to a statistically meaningful level. National results are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Accuracy ranges are wider for results from individual provinces, regions or other subgroups. Numbers in tables and charts are rounded off, and in most cases “don’t know” and no-answer responses are eliminated. Findings indicate percentage of respondents except where expressed as dollars.

GENERAL ATTITUDES What is the most important issue facing Canada today? Health .........................35 Social services/education .....10 Unemployment/economy ......11 Taxes/GST......................8 Government/government spending/deficit.................7 Crime/violence..................3 Environment.....................3 Federal election .................2 National unity ...................2 Other/no answer...............18

Are you more or less optimistic about the future than you were a decade ago? More optimistic More pessimistic In the past 10 years, would you say that your personal financial situation has gotten better or worse? Better 35 Worse 28

Compared with a few years ago, are you personally more or less confident in your ability to look after your economic interests on your own? More confident Less confident Some consider Canada to be a boring country where nothing exciting happens. Do you agree or disagree? Agree Disagree THE ECONOMY Looking into the future a few years, do you expect your personal prosperity to increase or decrease? Increase Decrease BSki Looking into the future a few years, do you expect Canada’s prosperity to increase or decrease? Increase Decrease


How acceptable is each of the following initiatives as a way of addressing potentially higher health-care costs as the baby boom generation ages?

! Very

! acceptable

¡Somewhat acceptable

I Not too I acceptable

I Not at all acceptable

I Don't

Increasing spending on health care and reducing spending in other areas

Introducing moderate user fees for medical services

Developing a private system alongside medicare for those who want to pay for their treatment

Increasing taxes to pay for the increased use of the health-care system

5 28

Reducing the services provided to patients under medicare

GOVERNMENT In the past few years, has your opinion of Canadian politicians improved or decreased?

Improved Decreased

The federal government will have a budget surplus this year. For every $100 it has to spend from that surplus, how much should go to each of the following?

• Paying down

the national debt ...........$32

• Increasing spending on

social programs, including health care .................$42

• Reducing personal

income tax .................$26

The federal government has programs designed to redistribute tax revenue to the provinces based on their economic needs. Which of these two points of view better reflects your own?

Some provinces are having to give too many tax dollars to others

It is the responsibility of provinces to share their wealth

Don’t know/no answer

There has been some discussion lately about the appropriate size and role of government. Which of these two points of view better reflects your own?

Government is undertaking too many functions and individuals should be more responsible for their lives

Government is central to our ability to evolve as a fair society and it would be wrong for it to do less or have its size reduced further


Don’t know/no answer


PRIORITIES Any society has to set priorities and make choices. Would you want Canada to be a country that...

• has the strongest environmental protection legislation in the world

or has relatively low taxes

• builds more prisons to ensure that offenders are kept off the streets for as long as their sentences allow

or funds a national child-care program to ensure all parents have access to affordable, high-quality child care

• invests in a stronger and more up-to-date military force

or invests in providing housing for all homeless Canadians


• ensures reasonable pensions for senior citizens

or provides tax incentives to create jobs in the high-tech sector


• increases funding for artistic and cultural activities

or increases funding for amateur sports


ELECTION In the federal election campaign currently under way, which party are you leaning towards voting for? Liberal..........................25 Bloc Québécois..................6 Progressive Conservative ........5 New Democratic Party ...........5 Canadian Alliance...............17 Other ............................3 Undecided/don’t know..........39

CANADA 25 YEARS AGO Thinking back 25 years ago and based on your own experiences or on what you have seen, read or heard, do you think Canada today is a better or worse place to live than it was in the mid-1970s? Worse 23

VALUES There has been some discussion lately about the kind of place Canada should become in the next few years. Do you agree or disagree that these are the kinds of things that Canada should do in the next few years? □ Strongly I I Somewhat I Neutral Neutral pT] Somewhat I Strongly agree I_i agree I-1 disagree ! disagree Invest heavily to keep skilled workers in Canada and reduce the brain drain Increase spending to eliminate homelessness Become a world leader in environmental protection legislation Be a leader in peacekeeping efforts around the world Try all young offenders, regardless of age, who are accused of violent crimes in adult rather than youth court Insist that all immigrants adopt Canadian values Have free-trade agreements with many countries Increase funding for amateur sports Increase funding for artistic and cultural activities Make abortions freely available to women who want them Have rules requiring a high proportion of Canadian-content programming on TV and radio Require all employers over a certain size to hire and promote visible minorities Ensure that prison is used only as a punishment of last resort Have a death penalty for first-degree murder IMI——I ■! Restrict foreign ownership of Canadian media I T~ M Govern according to Christian principles 1^1— ■ Have a federal government spend money promoting bilingualism Allow public funding for all religious schools Have a common currency with the United States Increase the number of immigrants coming into Canada each year Allow schools, in some circumstances, to physically punish students Move closer to the United States in our laws and attitudes Ban homosexuals from teaching in Canadian schools _

And thinking ahead 25 years, do you think that compared to today, Canada will be a better or worse place to live in? If you could, would you prefer to live in the Canada of today or the Canada of 25 years ago? Canada of today 58 Canada 25 years ago 34 Don't know/no difference 8

CANADA THEN AND NOW For each of the following, is Canada better or worse today than 25 years ago? • Much Somewhat Ahout Somewhat Much Don't better better the same worse worse know Our treatment of gays and lesbians Our treatment of visible minorities 1 The amount of sexual freedom people have LWLfl~ 4 nI The opportunities for young people Tarii Our health and physical well-being S1 The quality of television programs i~n~:ts (;~~j~ Our treatment of the poor and disadvantaged 2' The quality of the environment in Canada a5aft~taII__ tal Our public-education system ___________________________ The quality of popular music -Our health-care system -` Our ethical or moral standards 2 -I The feeling of personal safety of Canadians 2 St;SI The quality of our political leaders ______________ 18 3

LIFESTYLES How would you describe the amount of sexually explicit programming currently on prime-time TV? Too much 1 About right Too little [1 How would you describe the amount of sexually explicit programming on late-night TV? Too much About right Too little [I Would you describe yourself as...? Very sexually active Somewhat sexually active Not very sexually active -Li Not sexually active at all i~I No response How satisfied are you with your level of sexual activity? Very satisfied 37 Somewhat satisfied 38 Not too satisfied 6 Not at all satisfied 4 No response 16

In the past year, how many different partners have you had sex with? One 63 Two .3 Three . 2 Four 1 Five or more 2 None 14 No response 15 In your lifetime, how many different partners have you had sex with? One 24 Two 8 Three 8 Four 4 Five 4 Six or more 25 None 3 No response 24 Have you ever fantasized about having sex with a person of the same sex? Yes No No response R~J (Asked of the five per cent who answered Yes to the previous question) Have these fantasies ever led you to have sexual relations with a person of the same sex? Yes: 11 No