Conspiracy theories popular
Photo: The Canadian Press
A recent survey found a large percentage of Canadians believe in a number of conspiracy theories.
The poll by Abacus Data, published Sunday, surveyed 1,500 Canadians between May 20 and 24, and found 44% of respondents believe “big events like wars, recessions and the outcomes of elections are controlled by small groups of people working in secret against us.”
The poll also found 37% of respondents believe “there is a group of people in this country who are trying to replace native born Canadians with immigrants who agree with their political views,” while 13% said they think it’s definitely or probably true that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is using “microchips to track and affect human behaviour.”
The survey also found belief in these theories is higher among supporters of the People’s Party of Canada, those who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, and those who think media and official government accounts of events can’t be trusted.
“Perhaps the most disconcerting thing in these numbers is the fact that mistrust of institutional accounts isn’t simply neutral skepticism – it is often accompanied by a willingness to believe dangerous contrarian theories,” the reports authors Bruce Anderson & David Coletto write.
“This threatens to undermine the ability of political parties, businesses, civil society groups, and governments to help build consensus and make progress together.”
Abacus reports the margin of error for the survey +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The data was weighted according to census data to ensure the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.