Pandemic: Quebecers' appreciation for Trudeau and Legault crumbles

Pand&eacute ;mie: Quebec’s appreciation for Trudeau and Legault is crumbling

Justin Trudeau and François Legault

The first wave will have been synonymous with a rise in the popularity of chefs of government in Canada. But it seems that this phenomenon is behind us. Overall appreciation of the qualities of Justin Trudeau and Francois Legault has seen a decline over the past year, a new study shows.

This is what David Crête, professor in the marketing department of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR), observes. Through two surveys, the empathy, competence and trust demonstrated towards the two prime ministers were assessed. All of these qualities are less valued among chefs by Quebecers than they were in 2020.

Appreciation of the competence of Prime Ministers Trudeau and Legault has seen a particularly significant decline. “We know that support for health measures has been crumbling for several months, and that voting intentions for the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) are slightly down, analyzes Mr. Crête. The data from the study provide a useful complement, because they allow us to dissect the negative perceptions behind these results.”

At the same time, the psychological well-being of Quebecers fell between 2020 and 2021. They are more anxious, nervous and feel more tension and fear.

“I observed that there was a significant correlation between the leadership qualities perceived in Messrs. Legault and Trudeau, and the state in which citizens feel,” said Mr. Crête. The fact of having a political leader who is able to reassure us, to comfort us, has a link with the way we feel. It’s true a year ago, and it’s still true today.

Quebecers feel less reassured about the pandemic than they were in 2020. The state of mind is different across Canada, where citizens feel more reassured.

Too much information?

It's not just politicians' ratings that are falling. The opinion of Quebec respondents on government communications has also deteriorated.

In Quebec, 41% of citizens believe that the government communicates too much information, while 51% of them believe that the level of information communicated is adequate. “It’s interesting, because the media in the province only talk about COVID-19, notes Mr. Crête. In other markets, such as the United States, France or other European countries, we obviously talk about COVID-19, but never as we talk about it in Quebec. government press are still watched by a large proportion of Quebecers, underlines Mr. Crête.

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