English-Speaking Canadians Divided Over New O Canada Lyrics

Strong disagreement with the new second line of the national anthem outranks strong agreement by a 2-to-1 margin.

Vancouver, BC – The federal government’s decision to introduce gender-neutral English lyrics to the national anthem has divided Canadians who speak English, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of English-speaking Canadians, almost half (48%) disagree with changing the second line of “O Canada” from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.” Two-in-five English-speaking Canadians (42%) agree with the new lyrics.

“The recent modification to the national anthem has left a large proportion of English-speaking Canadians displeased,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “We see that 36% of English-speaking Canadians strongly disagree with the decision while only 18% strongly agree with it.”

English-speaking women in Canada are almost evenly split on the changes to “O Canada” (43% agree, 45% disagree), while 49% of men disagree with the new lyrics, and 42% agree with them.

Agreement with the new lyrics drops significantly with age, from 51% among English-speaking Canadians aged 18-to-34, to 44% among those aged 35-to-54 to 35% among those aged 55 and over.

There is a clear divide along political lines as well. English-speaking Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party or the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the last federal election are more likely to agree with the new lyrics (53% and 49% respectively) than those who voted for the Conservative Party in 2015 (25%).

When asked which version of the second line of the national anthem they prefer, most English-speaking Canadians (54%) select “in all thy sons command”, while a third (34%) choose “in all of us command.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at yourinsights.ca.

About this release

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from February 13 to February 16, 2018, among 923 English-speaking Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.2 percentage points. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West
778 379 1140
stevemossop@insightswest.com