Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jan 2007
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


A Study Shows We Also Tend to Distrust People in Authority

British Columbians are more likely than most Canadians to distrust
people in authority, feel comfortable with using marijuana and be impatient.

Newly released studies by one of the country's veteran pollsters on
values and spirituality show West Coast residents are leading Canadian
trends toward greater individualism and immediate gratification.

University of Lethbridge sociologist Reginald Bibby's work also shows
British Columbians retaining their reputation as among the
least-interested Canadians in religion, while other parts of Canada
show a modest renewed commitment to institutions of faith.

If you are a boss, politician, parent or coach, don't expect an
abundance of deference: British Columbians are the most likely in
Canada to put a low value on respect for those in power.

Fewer than half of British Columbian parents say it's important to
instill respect for authority in children. That compares to seven out
of 10 parents in other provinces.

Bibby suggests the B.C. figures highlight a shift in Canadian society
away from what he calls "deference to discernment" to an often-healthy
skepticism about those in power.

In the book The Boomer Factor and other publications, Bibby says
analysis of 2005 polling of thousands of Canadians shows people in
B.C. are the most likely to value personal freedom and to think people
should do their own thing.

Sixty-one per cent of British Columbians told Bibby's polling teams
they have fewer loyalties than their parents, compared to a national
average of 57 per cent. Such figure are on the rise across the nation
and Bibby says they may reflect a wide movement toward greater

British Columbians' love of free choice is also illustrated by the way
West Coasters are leading national movements toward greater acceptance
of homosexuality, marijuana and sex outside marriage.

Support for legalization of marijuana is strongest in B.C. at 57 per
cent. Quebec is second with 47 per cent support, followed by Ontario
at 44 per cent, the Prairies at 38 per cent and Atlantic Canada at 37
per cent.

British Columbians are also among the most likely to support
homosexual marriage. In B.C., 74 per cent support the now-legal
unions, compared to a national average of 70 per cent and only 60 per
cent of Albertans.

British Columbians are tied with Quebecers in being more likely than
other Canadians to have lived with a sexual partner without being married.

Fifty-two per cent of adult British Columbians and Quebecers have
lived together in a sexual relationship outside marriage, compared to
a national average of 42 per cent.

Based on the national polling he's performed since 1975, Bibby
suggests the downside of British Columbians' commitment to
individualism, openness and liberalism is a decline in traditional
values that have kept society civil.

When British Columbians were asked by Bibby how much they valued
"concern for others," just 71 per cent of British Columbians agreed it
was very important. That compares to 80 per cent of Ontarians.

British Columbians are also among the least likely in Canada to
treasure what many used to consider a virtue, patience.

Only 56 per cent of British Columbians highly value patience, compared
to 67 per cent of Ontarians and 77 per cent of those in the Atlantic

The B.C. numbers spotlight a growing sense among most Canadians that
the pace of life has drastically increased, Bibby says.

Another possible pitfall of British Columbians' rush away from group
loyalty to mistrusting authority and doing your own thing is that it
may contribute to increased anxiety and fear.

B.C. women, for instance, are the most likely in Canada to feel afraid
to walk alone at night.

Fifty-seven per cent of B.C. women report such fear, compared to a
national average of 52 per cent and a Quebec figure of 47 per cent.

When it comes to organized religion, many in B.C. kept up their
reputation as being wary of the institutions.

Just 54 per cent of the people of B.C. said they were receptive to
greater involvement in a religious group, compared to a Canadian
average of 62 per cent.

To put it another way, Bibby found 22 per cent of British Columbians
attend a religious institution once a month or more, compared, for
instance, to an Ontario figure of 38 per cent.

However, 67 per cent of British Columbians continue to maintain they
have "spiritual needs," a figure not far below the national average of
72 per cent. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake