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POLITICAL LANDSCAPE FROZEN – April 8, 2010

CANADIANS CONTINUE TO OPPOSE BOTH THE AFGHANISTAN MISSION AND AN EXTENSION

[Ottawa – April 8, 2010] – Because of this week’s relatively short data collection period (we did not survey on Good Friday or Easter Monday), our sample size is much smaller than usual. The results show no significant changes from last week. The political scene remains frozen, with no party able to garner the support of more than a third of voters.

Since the issue of the war in Afghanistan was raised once again with the visit of Hillary Clinton, we also tested attitudes to both the current military mission and receptivity to an American request to extend participation beyond the existing deadline for withdrawal. The survey shows that the public no longer supports the mission. This opposition to the existing mission has been in place for some time, but it is highly divided across CPC supporters (who continue to support) and other voters who decisively reject. The levels of opposition are particularly high in Quebec.

In the case of the request from the Americans that we extend our mission, the answer is no different for Hillary Clinton than when we posed this as a hypothetical request from Barack Obama. A clear majority of the Canadian public continue to reject this appeal.

The Prime Minister’s response to Hillary Clinton, which was unusually quick and clear, reflects a shrewd understanding of the public opinion dynamics of this issue. While there has been some oscillation and division over the original mission, Canadians have been remarkably clear and unified each time we have asked about the issue of an extension.

Click here for the full report: full_report_april_8

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