Each week, Nik Nanos digs beneath the numbers with CBC News Network's Power & Politics to get to the political, economic and social forces that shape our lives.

This week: How confident are Canadians in their elected leaders' ability to find solutions to major policy issues?

The number:

9

The percentage of Canadians who are confident their elected representatives can find solutions to the challenges Canada faces.

The source: IRPP-Nanos survey, released Wednesday

This week's number comes from the Institute for Research on Public Policy-Nanos Research survey released Wednesday: a national online survey of 1,333 Canadians conducted July 5-9, weighted by region with provincial oversamples, based on a total of 2000 interviews.

The survey was released just as premiers gathered in Halifax for their annual summer meeting, where they are expected to tackle tough policy issues like health care.

One question in the survey asked: Overall, how confident are you that our - elected representatives/as a nation/we - can find solutions to the challenges we face?

The findings:

  • 9.4 percent of respondents were confident, 
  • 40.2 percent were somewhat confident,
  • 26.1 percent were somewhat not confident,
  • 17.5 percent were not confident, and
  • 6.8 percent of respondents were unsure.

"What it means is Canadians would probably like to see something that they believe can make a difference in their day to day lives," Nanos says.

"I think for a lot of Canadians, they tune into a lot of these meetings. They listen to a lot of politicians and they just think same old, same old, not going to make a difference," the pollster added.

The survey also asked Canadians to rank 19 different issues in order of importance and health care topped the list. But respondents were skeptical of politicians being able to find a solution.

In terms of how the issues lined up with the federal government's agenda, Nanos says "it looks like the Conservatives are cherry picking the things they believe that Canadians have some sort of confidence in, some sort of solution being developed."

Watch this week's Nanos number segment.

Recognized as one of Canada's top research experts, Nik Nanos provides numbers-driven counsel to senior executives and major organizations. He leads the analyst team at Nanos, is a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association and a Research Associate Professor with SUNY (Buffalo).