Survey: Canadians see better world reputation under Liberals

Nanos and IRPP poll says relations between Canada and the world—and between feds and provinces—have improved under Trudeau

World leaders pose for a group photo during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Martin Bureau/Pool Photo via AP/CP

World leaders pose for a group photo during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Martin Bureau/Pool Photo via AP/CP

OTTAWA – In the minds of Canadians, their country’s reputation on the world stage has improved under the Trudeau Liberals, according to a new poll from Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

The same survey showed an increased number of respondents see federal-provincial relations improving under the Liberals compared with the previous Conservative government.

But the finding also indicate the Liberals are no better off than the Conservatives were at similar times during their mandates when it comes to whether Canada is headed in the right direction, or how well the government is performing.

According to the findings, there was a more than 20 point jump in positive sentiment toward Canada’s international reputation after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won power in Ottawa. And pollster Nik Nanos says the trend has continued to climb.

As well, Canadians’ views on federal-provincial relations is viewed by respondents as more positive under the Liberals, according to the 10th annual Mood of Canada survey.

But the post-election enthusiasm toward the Trudeau government’s overall performance has declined in the last year, said Nanos.

“Perhaps most striking are the responses this year to the question of whether the country is going in the right or wrong direction,” he said.

“(The results) are not very different from those garnered by the Harper government in the periods following the 2008 and 2011 elections.”

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After both election victories, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were seen by 64 per cent of respondents as taking the country in the right direction.

A year later, those numbers dropped, with about half of those polled having the same opinion.

Similarly, the Liberals saw 63 per cent support for their direction of the country after being elected. That support dipped in this year’s survey to 54 per cent.

The Nanos–IRPP tracking study asked the opinions of 1,000 Canadians as part of a random, hybrid telephone and online survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted between December 16 and 19, where participants were asked by telephone live agents to answer a survey online. The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

In its 2015 findings, the survey indicated that 59 per cent of Canadians saw their country’s standing on the world stage improved or somewhat improved. That number climbed to 63 per cent this year.

Comparably, only 18 per cent of respondents felt the same way under the Conservatives in 2013, rising to 35 per cent in 2014.

When asked whether federal-provincial relations had improved or somewhat improved, the Conservatives saw support numbers in the 10-20 per cent range from 2007 when the tracking polls began until the time they left office. Those numbers spiked to within the 50 per cent range under the Liberals.

“Overall the long-term trend suggests that it’s a stretch to view the Liberals as being the one party that is able to harness voters’ excitement,” said Nanos.

“However, when it comes to how Canadians feel about our reputation globally and how our federation is functioning, there is some sunshine associated with the Trudeau government.”


Survey: Canadians see better world reputation under Liberals

  1. Living outside Canada, I can attest that the country’s image — which once mainly seemed to depend on how easy it was to emigrate there — has seldom seemed better. Some of the reasons, unfortunately, are negative: we now look good next to the Brits (considered, unfairly in my view, xenophobic and somewhat petulant after the Brexit vote) and now the Americans (guess why). The photogenic Justin Trudeau gets into news reports a lot (and occasionally footage of his shirtless appearances). Even under Stephen Harper, though, we were known as a place to be reckoned with; people tell me they were impressed that he was the one Western leader who could look Vladimir Putin in the eye and say, “Okay, I’ll shake your hand but you should get out of Ukraine.”

  2. Beware of polls especially NANOS. They can word the questions in order to get the answers they want.
    And as for Macleans, why wasn’t the headline to this article the fact that the country is NOT headed in the right direction? Surely that is more important than how we are viewed by other countries.

    • Maybe because a majority of Canadians (54%) still think it is? This is a story about the results of an opinion poll – not your opinion – so the headline you propose would be rather misleading.

  3. Wouldn’t it have been sensible if the survey had been conducted overseas with non-Canadians?