Letter from Byrne Hope Sanders to John Diefenbaker
Canadian Institute Of Public Opinion
The Gallup Poll of Canada
55 Wellington Street West
The Hon. John Diefenbaker,
Leader of the Opposition,
House of Commons,
Dear Mr. Diefenbaker,
I have been meaning to write to you, congratulating you and the Conservative Party, on your new status. Good luck to you!
Attached is the first of three releases on Civil Liberties which I thought would be of interest to you. Your office subscribes to the Gallup Poll releases, so this has probably come to your attention – but knowing of your interest in the matter, I wanted to drop you a note about them.
It is an interesting contrast with ten years ago, isn’t it? I still think that a ratio of 6 who believe Civil Liberties are being fully protected, compared to 4 who do not think so – or who have no opinion, is a poor showing for a 90 year old Democracy.
With every good wish.
Canadian Institute of Public Opinion.
Byrne Hope Sanders,
Public Opinion News Service
Canadian Institute of Public Opinion
Gallup Poll of Canada
For Release – after 9 a.m. on Saturday February 2nd, 1957.
Gallup Poll of Canada
Voter Concern for Personal Liberties Declines in Decade
But One in Five Still Feels Civil Rights are Endangered
By Canadian Institute of Public Opinion
Ninety years after Confederation only about 6 in 10 Canadians think a person’s individual rights are being fully protected. The other 4 in 10 think they are in danger, or have no opinion on the matter.
While some citizens may be startled at this fairly narrow margin for those who are firmly convinced that Democracy is working for them personally, to the full, it is a direct reversal of the situation in Canada ten years ago. In 1947, less than 4 in 10 thought individual liberties were being safeguarded, as opposed to more than 6 in 10 who felt they were being endangered, or who had no opinion to give.
Main reason for the reversal lies in the lessening fear of communism, socialism, and left-wing political movements in Canada. A decade ago, 11 per cent named these forces as the reason for personal rights being threatened. Today only 1 per cent say this.
Question put to a cross-section of the voting public by interviewers for the Gallup Poll was the same in both surveys.
“As you know the idea of democracy is to give the people personal rights and freedom. Do you think personal rights are being fully protected in Canada, or do you think they are in any danger?”
Comparitive [sic] attitudes nationally, in the two time-periods are these:
For release on Saturday, February 2nd. 1957.
|Rights fully protected||35%||63%|
|Rights in danger||43||19|
Eastern Canada is happier about the situation than Western provinces, as shown by the fact that 68 per cent in the Maritimes and Quebec say “fully protected,” as compared to only 56 per cent who say this in the West. In Ontario 61 per cent are of this opinion.
Here are the top-ranking theatres to person liberty as voters see them today:
“Government” – “not representative”
“Not doing its duty”, “Too many restrictions’ etc: 6%
“Four freedoms in danger” “No equality of justice” etc: 4
“Threat of communism of socialism”: 1
“Labor”, “strikes”, “power of unions”: 1
“Too many immigrants”: 1
Don’t know: 2
Total who think rights are in danger: 19%
In the study made ten years ago “Monopolistic Corporations” obtained a 3 per cent rating. A slightly larger proportion then, gave reasons such as the danger of war, the cost of living or high taxes, than named them today.
Today’s study shows that there is a considerably greater degree of apprehension in regard to civil liberties among those with a University training than among those with lower levels of education. This is due, in part, to the fact that a larger proportion of the latter have no opinion to give. Here is the picture:
|Fully protected||In danger||No opinion|
|Public or no schooling.||61%||15%||24%|