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Centre for public opinion launched

October 21, 2010

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SFU’s political science department launched its new Centre for Public Opinion and Political Representation Oct. 12 with a panel and reception at the Segal Graduate School of Business.

The event was an opportunity for faculty, students, industry experts, media and the broader community to engage on a topic of importance to Canada’s political landscape.

Director Steven Weldon says the centre will be “an interdisciplinary unit for research and education on the impact of public opinion and political representation on governance in Canada and abroad.” He adds: the acute attention that public opinion research and polling receive during elections must be examined.

“Whether it is an election, gun control, or the HST, more emphasis is placed on polling by the media and the public. One of the key questions is: what are the impacts of public opinion on electoral outcomes, political representation and policy decisions?”

Political science instructor François Pétry discussed the impact of election-poll inaccuracies in media coverage. Professor Mark Pickup presented his work on the influence of public opinion on Canadian federal governments.

Catherine Murray, chair of the department of gender, sexuality and women’s studies and Tamir Moustafa of the department of international studies also shared their thoughts.

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