Canadian politicians keep their promises more often than you may think, Laval researchers say

Politicians certainly make a lot of promises on the campaign trail, but whether or not they’ll actually follow through begs the question: do politicians keep their promises?

In 2013, a group of professors at Laval University in Quebec City launched the “Polimetre” to answer that question with hard scientific data.

The Polimetre tracked promises of the Pauline Marois, Philippe Couillard and Stephen Harper governments and are gathering data — and updating the website regularly — for the current François Legault and Justin Trudeau governments.

The results?

“Political parties, once in power, do seek to implement their promises, which is surprising because we weren’t expecting that,” said Lisa Birch, director-general at the Centre for Public Policy Analysis.

She said that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, during its first term between 2015 and 2019, kept 90 per cent of its promises.

“I think there’s sort of a negativity bias in that we retain more of the few key promises that were broken as opposed to a detailed analysis of all of the promises that were made by a government,” said Birch.

Birch explained how the Polimetre web tool works for citizens exploring the website.

“You can go and click on the promises kept and you will find the exact wording of each promise as we found it in the platform documents,” she said.

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