Canadians Unhappy With Harper’s Performance, Country’s Current Direction: Poll

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a joint press conference with UK PM David Cameron in the Downing Street garden in June, 2008. (Photo: Number 10/FLICKR)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a joint press conference with UK PM David Cameron in the Downing Street garden in June, 2008. (Photo: Number 10/FLICKR)

Canadians are not happy with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s performance, and the country’s current direction, a new survey suggests.

The survey, released Thursday by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy, reveals that:

  • 45 per cent of of Canadians rate the Harper government’s performance as poor or very poor
  • 48 per cent believe Canada is cruising in the wrong direction
  • 52 per cent believe the federal government’s relationship with provinces is poor.
  • 50 per cent of Canadians believed Conservative rule has tarnished Canada’s reputation around the world

Nanos chairman Nik Nanos told The Globe and Mail that Canada is much more polarized now that it was when Harper came to power in 2006.

“Generally the view of many Canadians, of the government and its performance and the direction of the country, is still negative,” Nanos told The Globe. “[The Conservatives] are not out of the political woods by any stretch of the imagination.”

But it’s not all good news for those hungering for change during the 2015 federal election.

According to the Nanos survey, the Harper Conservatives’ numbers have slightly improved from around the same time last year. Then Canadians were fed up with the Conservatives’ political malfeasance, epitomized by the Third World-style Senate expenses scandal. A Nanos poll conducted then showed that a whopping 56 per cent of Canadians were unhappy with the government’s performance.

According to The Globe, “A year ago, in December, 2013, the Conservatives averaged only 26 per cent, with the Liberals at 32 per cent and the NDP at 23 per cent.”

Results of a recent EKOS Research poll, published Monday, aren’t very encouraging either. The poll suggest a dead-heat, with Justin Trudeau‘s Liberals slightly edging the Conservatives 31.8 per cent to 30.8 per cent in voting intentions.

That’s worrying. Trudeau’s hand on the driver’s seat is shaky. Harper has benefited from Canada’s “renewed security focus,” the recent shootings in Ottawa and the Conservatives’ militaristic foreign policy.

“Through a combination of propitious events and sound political game, Stephen Harper sees himself having gone from the real possibility of an unenviable descent from majority Prime Minister to leader of the third party, to now being in position to aspire to a fourth government,” said EKOS Research. “Not only has he wiped out virtually all of Mr. Trudeau’s double digit lead, he has raised his approval numbers and there is much less unanimity that the country is heading in the wrong direction.”

EKOS Research continued: “Stephen Harper appears to be re-assembling the same constituency that gave him his majority mandate in 2011. Older voters are gradually returning to the fray, and he has re-captured his strong lead with men. He is also gaining ground with new Canadians, an area that he had previously forfeited to the Liberals.”

Canadians have some real hard thinking to do during the holidays.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad