Most favour election, poll finds

Canadians 'truly scared' for future

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OTTAWA -- Almost three-quarters of Canadians say they are "truly scared" for the future of the country and a solid majority say they would prefer another election to having the minority Conservative government replaced by a coalition led by Stéphane Dion, a new Ipsos-Reid poll says.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/12/2008 (4996 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — Almost three-quarters of Canadians say they are “truly scared” for the future of the country and a solid majority say they would prefer another election to having the minority Conservative government replaced by a coalition led by Stéphane Dion, a new Ipsos-Reid poll says.

The poll also indicates Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives would romp to a majority victory with a record 46 per cent public support if an election were held today.

The survey suggests Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean was in tune with public opinion across the country when she agreed Thursday to suspend, or prorogue, Parliament until Jan. 26 at the request of Harper. Almost seven in 10 of those surveyed Tuesday and Wednesday gave prorogation a thumbs-up.

The Tories also were deemed by almost six in 10 Canadians to be the best managers of the economy in these troubling times.

Results of the wide-ranging survey, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National, paint a picture of a population gripped by fear that is largely giving the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt — for now — to lead the country in such uncertain political and economic times.

“Overall, this is breaking quite clearly to the government as opposed to the coalition,” said pollster Darrell Bricker.

Fully 60 per cent of those interviewed said they opposed replacing the government with Liberal-NDP coalition supported by the Bloc Québécois, compared with 37 per cent who favoured the idea. Support for the coalition was highest in Quebec at 50 per cent, followed by 44 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

The poll indicates the prospect of the Dion-led coalition has prompted Canadians to rethink the value of an election so soon after the Oct. 14 poll. Fifty-six per cent said they would rather go to the polls than be governed by the coalition.

Bricker said a clear consensus appears to be building in Canada, albeit to a lesser degree in Quebec, that Harper is doing the right thing by trying to hang on to power.

“The idea of having Stéphane Dion as the prime minister, combined with the coalition being supported by the Bloc Québécois, is basically fatal in the minds of the public,” Bricker said.

Ironically, Bricker said, the prospect of a coalition government involving the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Québécois may end up allowing Harper to get the majority government he wasn’t able to get on his own on Oct. 14.

The survey involved telephone interviews with 1,001 adults and the results are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points.

— Canwest News Service

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