As the federal government probes alleged foreign interference in Canadian elections, Western University political science expert Laura Stephenson is available to media for comment and says much of the discussion so far has been broken into partisan camps
Stephenson is a professor in the department of political science and studies political behaviour and engagement with politics. She asserts Canadians must attempt to look past partisan discussions and examine the true cost of foreign interference.
“We want people to trust elections. We don’t want people to just throw up their hands and say, ‘forget it.’ People’s trust in our systems may be at stake and we should be paying attention to it,” she says, adding that while parties must be kept accountable, there must also be an effort to work collaboratively to combat threats to democracy.
“This is creating a polarized environment that I don’t think is good for the functioning of democracy. We can’t lose sight of the fact that we want Canada to have robust processes in place that will protect our elections from being impacted by a malicious foreign interference.”
Stephenson is the graduate chair of the department of political science at Western. Her research is focused on understanding how institutions and context influence attitudes, electoral preferences and engagement with politics. She is currently leading Canadian Election Studies looking at political behaviour and attitudes of voters.
MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zadorsky, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 226.377.1673 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org.