As promised, a spin-off post for the bonus questions, which can be found, in all their PDF’d glory, here:
First up, we have the latest data on one of Colleague Wells’ most favourite polling metrics, direction of the country/government, which reveals — pretty much exactly the same thing that it revealed when EKOS asked the same question back in July, as it turns out:
Right direction: 53 (-2)
Wrong direction: 35 (+1)
Don’t Know/No response: 12 (+1)
That’s “direction of the country,” by the way; we’ll get to “direction of the government” in a sec. Anyway. as you can see, there’s not much change at all, although the breakdown by party support is a little more interesting — really, almost any poll is more interesting when you break it down by political leaning: While it’s no surprise that 80 percent of Conservative supporters think the country is headed in the right direction, fully 42 percent of Liberals feel the same way, just four percent fewer than those who feel the opposite. Bloc Quebecois supporters, meanwhile, are, predictably, the most likely to think Canada is headed down the wrong road — which is presumably why some, at least, would like to hop off and wait for the next bus, but New Democrats aren’t far behind.
So, what about the direction of the Government of Canada? (Which is, incidentally, how EKOS words the question, which puts them more firmly in line with Treasury Board guidelines than certain departments/agencies/privy council offices):
Right direction: 46 (-3)
Wrong direction: 41 (+2)
Don’t know/no response: 13 (+1)
Once again, Conservatives give as many thumbs up as standard sampling methodology allows — 80 percent, exactly the same as the result for the direction of the country — but, as Frank Graves notes in his analysis, the rift between “Conservative Canada” and everyone else starts to show up here: just 33 percent of Liberals feel the same way, with supporters of other opposition parties showing even less enthusiasm for staying the course. Of course, if every other poll taken since the end of summer is any indication, they also don’t want an election, preferring instead to scowl in silence.
Moving on, the poll also queried Canadians on their attitude towards “Canada’s current position on the environment” (uh, we’re still in favour of having one, right?), asking if they are “proud or embarrassed” of where Canada stands after last week’s meetings between “world leaders” at the United Nations. Just 23 percent of respondents are “proud” — which includes 40 percent of Conservative supporters, which raises the fascinating, and tragically unanswered question of what the other 60 percent of Tory backers told the pollster — and 38 percent — including a majority of supporters of all other parties, with the exception of the NDP — are “embarrassed,” with 29 percent “neither” and 10 percent declining to respond.
Off to Afghanistan, where – again, no real surprise here — 52 percent of respondents were opposed to the mission, compared to 33 percent who support it, and 15 percent who hold neither view. Is that the same as undecided? I do wish they’d be more clear about what non-response responses like that actually mean. Anyway, ITQ is sure that some kindly retired military analyst will be along any minute now to insist that all that means is that Canadians still just don’t understand what we’re doing in Afghanistan.
Finally, 49 percent of Canadians would be in favour of bringing forward legislation to impose “a legal requirement for all citizens to vote”, just like they do it in Australia; that number, sadly, is not broken down by party preference. Any commenters want to hazard a guess on how it might show up? ITQ’s bet is that Conservatives would be distinctly less fond of the notion, while Green and Bloc Quebecois supporters would be all over it.