November 16, 2014 12:00 pm
Updated: November 16, 2014 1:26 pm

Third of Canadians believe politicians frequently accept bribes: study


WATCH ABOVE: Tom Clark explains the findings of a new national study that says Canadians believe politics is inherently corrupting and that belief is hurting our democracy.

A new study conducted by the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University shows a third of Canadians believe politicians frequently accept bribes and that one in five voters has stopped voting because of perceived political corruption.

In an interview on West Block with Tom Clark, Hershell Ezrin, co-author of the study, said the findings were troublesome.

WATCH: Hershell Ezrin with Ryerson University explains the results of the study.

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“They believe that, generally speaking, all politicians are doing things that are really quite awful and they are lying to parliament, they are lying to the media, they’re lying to their constituents, they are taking bribes.”

The online survey was conducted between Oct. 17 and 22, 2014 and polled 1,400 adults across Canada, including 400 in the Greater Toronto Area.

According to the study, 63 per cent of voters believe politics corrupts honest people, while 50 per cent said they don’t trust politicians at all.

Ezrin added that because of recent scandals and easy access to information, voters have changed their views on politicains, particularly those seeking federal office.

According to Ezrin, when voters go to the polls now, “They want to know more about these politicians and if they don’t know more, many of them are saying not only will they not vote for the particular politician, they may not even vote for their party anymore because they don’t have the same party loyalty they used to have.”

Ezrin advises politicians to be accountable and transparent to bolster support among voters and to prepare themselves for a lot more probing into their personal lives.

“They better be prepared for a lot of scrutiny because everybody is going to be looking at and trolling through personal records, personal issues,” he said.

“Ultimately it may well be that people don’t want to run for public office in the same way that they used to and that’s one of the greatest worries I have coming out of this study.”

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