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Vote Compass: What are Canada's most passionate ridings?

During this election campaign, candidates have tried to galvanize voters on a range of issues from fighting terrorism to balancing budgets and abolishing the Senate. CBC looks at which ridings exhibit the strongest opinions on these key issues.

Quebec ridings consistently show strongest opinions on election issues

Throughout this protracted election campaign, candidates across Canada have tried to motivate voters on a range of issues, from the wisdom of balancing budgets to the future of the Senate to how best to fight terrorism.

While politicians are sometimes criticized for tailoring their messages to focus on the part of the country where they happen to be campaigning, it's also clear that different regions often have divergent views on many of the key issues of the day.

To illustrate this difference of opinion, CBC has identified Canada's most passionate ridings — that is, the constituencies with the strongest feelings on the big social, environmental and economic concerns in this campaign.

The data is based on responses to 30 questions and statements posed in Vote Compass, CBC's voter-engagement tool. They include, as well as direct questions, asking respondents whether they agree with such statements as "No new pipelines should be built in Canada" and "Possession of marijuana should be a criminal offence."

The Vote Compass findings are based on 632,005 respondents who participated between Aug. 28 and Oct. 11.

Strong feelings

For every question or statement, CBC has identified the five ridings that most strongly agree with the statement and the five that most strongly disagree.

There are 338 ridings in Canada, and some are definitely more passionate on certain issues than others. (CBC)

The data suggests that on the majority of these issues, Canada's most passionate ridings are in Quebec.

That's not just the case on the issues that would seem the most obviously pertinent to Quebecers, such as the rules governing a path to sovereignty.

The responses show that there are certain Quebec ridings that are consistently vehement on a number of identifiable issues. For example, that the federal government should do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; that unions should have less power than they currently do; that there should be less religious accommodation in public institutions; that longer prison sentences are the best way to prevent crime; and that the private sector should play a greater role in the health-care system.

That's not to say that other parts of country don't have strong feelings, one way or the other, on these issues as well.

For example, the Vote Compass responses show that on issues related to the oil and gas sector — such as whether Canada should build more pipelines — ridings in Alberta and Saskatchewan are the most supportive.

Meanwhile, there are a number of ridings in Ontario that are, for example, least in favour of longer prison sentences as a deterrent of crime and most supportive of maintaining the beleaguered Senate as is.



Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in Canada exclusively by CBC News.The findings above are based on 632,005 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from Aug. 29 to Oct. 11.

Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected. Unlike opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not randomly selected. Similar to opinion polls, however, the data have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by geography, gender, age, educational attainment, occupation, religion, religiosity and civic engagement to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to census data and other population estimates.

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