Anti-intellectualism and Information Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitates widespread voluntary and sustained public compliance with expert-guided public health directives, like social or physical distancing. Understanding which citizens seek out and engage with expert messages regarding COVID-19 is thus of central importance. Anti-intellectualism – the generalized distrust of experts and intellectuals – is likely to be a dominant factor. This note presents the results of...

Digital Democracy Project: Research Memo #7 The Partisan Playground

Research Memo #7 has been released. One of the goals of the Digital Democracy Project has been to track the digital media environment in order to identify potential threats to Canadian democracy. Our previous reports have shown that social media does not likely contribute to political polarization in Canada, and that Canadians generally trust the traditional news media, with even...

Digital Democracy Project: Research Memo #6

Research Memo #6 is live. The Cambridge Analytica scandal shed light on the ways social media advertising could potentially be used to influence electoral outcomes. With traditional advertising, political campaigns can only reach broad audiences —such as newspaper subscribers, or viewers of a certain television show—and their spending is strictly regulated. But with social media advertisements, political parties and their...

Digital Democracy Project: Research Memo #4 Talking Past Each Other on Immigration

The fourth memo has been released. Since the Digital Democracy Project began surveying Canadians earlier this summer, immigration has consistently ranked around the middle of the list of political issues of concern to the public. Canada has a long history of embracing immigrants and refugees, but with rising populist and nativist sentiment in the United States and Europe—and the emergence...