If there’s one thing top of mind for most folks, it’s the cost of living. Recent polling commissioned by the Broadbent Institute showed that whether it’s housing, healthcare, or simply paying for daily basics like food, Ontarians and the rest of Canada are worried that their largely stagnated incomes just can’t keep up. And they expect their government to start doing much more to make life affordable.
It is widely argued that the rise of extreme income and wealth inequality, combined with the stagnation of wages of the middle-class and working class, have helped fuel the rise of right-wing populism and racism around the world. Many in the political centre, and not just the left, have called for robust policy measures to help create more equal societies and to counter the perception – and reality – that the economic system is rigged against ordinary working people.
Affordability concerns will dominate the federal election, new research shows
CANADA — Public opinion research released today shows that almost half (48%) of Canadians are worried about the rising cost of living and not having enough income to cover their expenses. Over half (57%) listed issues of affordability, economic inequality, wages and taxes, as their top vote drivers for the upcoming federal election. Pharmacare and healthcare costs also rated highly.
Digital and social media technologies are transforming democratic society. But even as technologies changes how we do things, they reproduce old problems in new forms. Hacking, trolling, micro-targeting, and the monopolization of public and semi-public space by large firms present the same sorts of challenges that democratic societies have been dealing with for decades. The difference today is that digital versions of these practices of exclusion, exploitation, and manipulation are backed by greater speed, reach, volume, and force than before. The digital realm has also lowered both the difficulty and risk of influencing public discourse in dishonest and untransparent ways, whether it be through armies of fake accounts on social media or the capacity to infiltrate state and private servers and accounts to steal information.