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PROROGATION REGISTERING – January 7, 2010

CLEAR LEAN TO DISAPPROVAL

[Ottawa – January 7, 2010] – Most Canadians say they are aware of Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament, and among those who are there is strong disapproval – by a margin of about two-to-one.

“The initial evidence is that Canadians are indeed paying attention to the issue of prorogation,” said EKOS President Frank Graves, “and they don’t like it.”

“The Conservatives may have prorogued in part to stem the tide of bad news coming from the parliamentary committee investigating the Afghan detainee issue. However, prorogation may actually be giving new momentum to the downward slide in Tory support than began in late October, and has now taken them well out of majority territory and back toward the ‘worry zone’ where the opposition parties start looking competitive again.”

EKOS Research Associates conducted the poll this week for release by the CBC.

Canadians who said they were aware of the prorogation issue were asked to choose between two statements. Nearly two-thirds opted for: “The elected house of Parliament is the proper place to conduct the business of the nation and suspending Parliament is antidemocratic.” In contrast, just over a third chose the alternative: “By shutting down Parliament, Stephen Harper can consult directly with Canadians in preparation for the next federal budget.”

Not surprisingly, more educated Canadians tend to be more aware of the issue than others; this same group is also tilting strongly towards the opposition parties at the moment. The issue is less known among Quebeckers, young voters, and women – groups with which the government is having problems at the moment for other reasons.

Click here for full results: full_report_january_7

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