In December 2008, Ipsos Reid, a survey-based marketing research company, commissioned on behalf of the then-known Dominion Institute a survey which showed that a shocking number of Canadians, at worst lacked, and at best were unsure, of basic knowledge of Canadian politics  . The survey followed another poll conducted in July 2008 which found that Canadians knew more about American history and politics than they did about Canadian affairs . This is an unfortunate reality in our country.
As of 2012, in Ontario, civic education is a half-credit course meaning half a semester’s worth of education in Canadian politics; Canadian history only requires one credit and is taken in one year. Both courses have students cringing at the mere thought of taking either. Unfortunately, these two subjects, while important to developing a society of Canadians who can make informed political choices and participate in civic affairs, take a back seats to other subjects and interests.
But, uninformed students turn into uninformed adults and people are already less likely to vote in elections now than they were 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago . The numbers are particularly concerning among younger Canadians. An uninformed, disinterested , apathetic citizenry poses a real threat to democracy, particularly when it comes to understanding issues of the day.
The first poll referenced here, for example, in December 2008 came just after the ‘Constitutional Crisis’ which led to the prorogation of Canada’s parliament. There was a great deal of confusion and misinformation during that time. Canadians didn’t know the most basic elements of our political system, the roles of key actors nor the abilities and responsibilities of these actors. Probably the biggest piece of misinformation was that a coalition of the opposition parties which formed a majority of the members of the House of Commons, could not legally form an alternative government. This, as we shall see in one of the entries, is not true.
From Eh to Z(ed) is an attempt to:
a.) provide information on the ins and outs of government in Canada, at all levels
b.) provide citizen-centred annotations to news items
c.) provide factual, researched information, clarify news items and news releases and so forth, providing political and historical context
d.) provide links to additional resources and readings for those who are interested
e.) informative guides (such as to elections and voting, media bias) to help Canadians become better informed.
A couple of notes:
This website and blog has been created, written and updated in the author’s free time and may include entries made by contributors the author has invited to do so.
Content will be cited and sourced if used from others (such as contents or ideas from articles, newspapers, magazine, other bloggers of sound reputation) just as one would in writing an essay or research report in an academic setting. If you intend to use the ideas from the website’s author(s), please cite this page.
By scholastic standards, this site is NOT an academic source. Information is researched, sources documented and is as accurate as possible. The topics, issues, ideas and information on this site are not ‘peer-reviewed’ insofar as would be expected from academic sources.
That said, the creator has been conferred the following credentials from Canadian post-secondary institutions:
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science and History
- Bachelor of Education, Intermediate/Senior Division in Politics and History with teaching certificate
- Membership in the Ontario College of Teachers (note that the creator is not currently employed as an educator)
- Master of Public Service
The site is meant to be non-partisan. The creator of the site does not belong to a political party. The author’s best intention in providing annotated news posts is to give an informed account of the issue to help casual viewers of current events understand issues more fully.
Please keep any comments respectful, courteous and free from vulgar expressions. The author reserves the right to delete malicious or spam (‘troll’) comments.
 The Dominion Institute. (2008, December 15). In wake of constitutional crisis, new survey demonstrates that canadians lack basic understanding of our country’s parliamentary system. Retrieved from http://www.dominion.ca/DominionInstituteDecember15Factum.pdf
 The Dominion Institute. (2008, July 1). O canada: our home and native land. Retrieved from http://www.dominion.ca/CanadaDay.Survey.DominionInstitute.1July08.pdf
 Elections Canada. (2012, January 16). Voter turnout at elections and referendums. Retrieved from http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=ele&dir=turn&document=inde&xlang=e