A small but growing minority of Canadians says the prime minister would be justified in closing down Parliament and the Supreme Court in the face of ‘very difficult times,’ according to a survey”
What a fabulously leading survey question! Who wants to know this?
It found 23 per cent of respondents said the prime minister would be justified in shutting down Parliament when the country is facing a crisis or ‘very difficult times,’ and 17 per cent would accept dissolving the Supreme Court for the same reason.
“Keith Neuman, executive director of Environics Institute, said he couldn’t explain the findings.”
Here’s a wee bit of a clue, Keith. That 23% who are happy to shitcan Parliament and the Supremes under “very difficult times”? It’s not near a quarter of Canadians — it’s just the 349 Con voters out of the 1517 Canadians you interviewed.
24% self-identified as “right wing” this year in response to your question on page 29 for the Americas Barometer survey: “According to the meaning that the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ have for you, and thinking of your own political leanings, where would you place yourself on this scale?”
This, as it happens, is about the same proportion of eligible Canadian voters that voted Con in the last election after Harper had already shut down Parliament twice. “Difficult times” is apparently code for not wanting to answer difficult questions in the House.
The article also makes mention that this 23% of people happy to shitcan Parliament and the Supremes has been “inching up” compared to the 2010 and 2012 surveys. Given that less than half of the 1500 surveyed in 2010 and 2012 were asked this question, I’m not sure how it’s possible to determine that percentage is “inching up,” but yes indeedy, in 2010, 83 respondents thought it would be justifiable to close Parliament while 70 thought dissolving the Supreme Court would also be just fine.
I must say the 2010 survey seemed a lot more fun — particularly their inclusion of a number of leading questions about whether a military coup would be justified in Canada if there was “lots of corruption” — 264 said yes — or “lots of crime” — 226 said yes. The stats:
Coup justified — lots of corruption
264 – A military take-over of the state would be justified
474 – A military take-over of the state would not be justified
4 – Don’t know 1 – Skipped 757 – Not Asked
Coup justified — lots of crime
226 – A military take-over of the state would be justified
513 – A military take-over of the state would not be justified
4 – Don’t know 0 – Skipped 757 – Not Asked
Really? More than a third of those you asked thought a military coup would be justified in Canada?
Exactly who needed to have this kind of info about Canada in 2010? Why were over half “Not Asked”?
Another set of questions from both 2010 and 2014 inquired whether people who disagree with our form of government should be allowed on television or to vote or to run for public office. And what survey on governance would be complete without those 85 Canadians who answered affirmative in 2010 to the statement: “We need a strong leader who does not have to be elected”?
I don’t blog polls anymore because they’re pretty much just noninfotainment when they aren’t outright push polls — but the Citizen/Global has eked a half dozen stories out of this one survey lately, including one with the entirely misleading headline: “Majority of Canadians worried about potential voter fraud, study finds”.
As the 50+ commenters below it point out, it’s not non-existent voter fraud we’re worried about — it’s election fraud for the third time in a row.
Note : For the 2014 survey, in addition to the 24% righties, 15% of respondents self-identified as “left” and 61% as “middle” in Canada. This was the lowest percentage of self-identifying lefties of the 27 “Americas” countries surveyed, minus the USA where the question was not even asked. The gender split in Canada was 50/50 with approximately 60% of respondents between the ages of 30 and 60.
Update: Dr. Dawg takes issue with my scepticism re the Americas Barometer survey and the signs of fascism inherent in some of its findings. I left a comment there which I’ll expand on a bit here.
It isn’t that I think that Canada is immune to fascism — certainly history has shown that if the public sphere is set up to only reward bastards, eventually many of us will fall in line and become bastards to each other — and it does seem the neoliberal corporate experiment we have all been living under these past few decades has grown increasingly tired of our noisome plaints about rights and freedoms.
Rather, my scepticism re the survey is based on its questions having originally been designed for the US’s southern neighbours — hence its name: Latin American Public Opinion Project — and that its principal funding comes from USAID, recently featured in the news for running covert disinformation campaigns in neighbouring countries, presumably on behalf of US interests.
The Canadian affiliate and sponsor of the Canadian portion of the survey, the Institute on Governance, is “an independent, not-for-profit public interest institution with a mission to advance better governance in the public interest through exploring, developing and promoting the principles, standards and practices which underlie good governance in the public sphere.”
Ok … except the board is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada whose IoG bio touts his oversight of the dismantling of the Wheat board, while IOG VP of Public Governance did the same under Deputy Minister of Transport Canada for the Navigable Waters Act … so yes, I’m thinking their mission of “good governance in the public sphere” might have rather more to do with privatization and gutting enviro legislation.
Also I’m sceptical as to why Canada has been included for the last four surveys in what was originally a USAID project aimed principally at Latin America and why a PostMedia paper has now run six separate stories touting the results of this year’s survey without mentioning that.