Socialism Now Enjoys Widespread Support in Canada, Fraser Institute Says
Fraser Institute says most Canadians agree ‘transitioning to socialism will improve the economy and well-being of citizens’
A right-wing think tank that is one of Canada’s most vocal defenders of capitalism and the free market has released a surprising study that finds most Canadians agree the country would be better off under socialism.
According to a recent report from the Fraser Institute, half of all Canadians agree that “transitioning to socialism will improve the economy and well-being of citizens” compared to just one-quarter who disagree.
Among Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34, support for switching to socialism grows to 54% in favour and 23% opposed while 46% of Canadians between the ages of 35 to 54 believe Canada would be better off under socialism while 33% oppose.
The Fraser Institute poll even finds a plurality of Canadians over the age of 55 would like to see Canada switch to socialism in their lifetimes — 39% in the oldest age bracket support a transition to socialism while 38% are against the idea.
The poll of 1,006 Canadians was conducted by the polling firm Leger and is included in a Fraser Institute report titled “Perspectives on capitalism and socialism.” The right-wing think tank explained that it had set out to illustrate the “realities” and “misery” of socialism.
“One major objective of this study is to better understand perceptions of and support for capitalism and more importantly socialism, as well as how attitudes towards capitalism and socialism differ across age groups,” the report explains.
“Perhaps most indicative of broad support for socialism among respondents is the fact that all age groups across all four countries agreed, to varying extents, that a transition to socialism would improve the economy and well-being of their citizens.”
The report’s appendix shows that support for capitalism and socialism also varies based on levels of income.
59% of Canadians who earn more than $100,000 identified capitalism as their ideal economic system while 46% who earned less than $60,000 said socialism was their ideal economic system.
The Fraser Institute also notes the differences appear to be generational:
“There is less support for capitalism across most age groups in most countries compared to the support for socialism amongst the younger age group”
“In summary, there is less support for capitalism across most age groups in most countries compared to the support for socialism amongst the younger age group,” the report concludes.
The right-wing think tank speculates the growing support for socialism might reflect young Canadians’ “lack of real-world experience with genuine socialism,” though the report does not explore young Canadians’ experiences with genuine capitalism.
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