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(06/21/07) -

Canadians Still Upset at Liberal Party

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in Canada believe the Liberal party has not left a recent embarrassment behind, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 64 per cent of respondents think the Liberals have not done enough to regain the trust of Canadians since the sponsorship scandal.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in Canada believe the Liberal party has not left a recent embarrassment behind, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 64 per cent of respondents think the Liberals have not done enough to regain the trust of Canadians since the sponsorship scandal.

In 2005, the Canadian government and the Liberal party were affected by the public inquiry into the federal sponsorship program initiated during the tenure of prime minister Jean Chrétien to promote Canada in Quebec. In February 2004, auditor-general Sheila Fraser concluded that approximately $75 million U.S. of the program’s budget was paid to Liberal-friendly advertising firms for little or no work.

The inquiry report exonerated former prime minister Paul Martin—who acted as finance minister during Chrétien’s tenure—from “any blame for carelessness or misconduct.” Only 24 per cent of respondents believe Liberal legislators act with honesty and uphold the highest ethical standards.

Canadians renewed the House of Commons in January 2006. The Conservative party—led by Stephen Harper—received 36.3 per cent of the vote, and secured 124 seats in the 308-member lower house. Harper leads a minority administration after more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party.

Martin announced his resignation immediately after the January electoral defeat, and was substituted on an interim basis by former defence minister Bill Graham. The Liberals have formed 23 of Canada’s 39 federal governments since 1867. 34 per cent of respondents would definitely or probably consider voting for the Liberals in the next election to the House of Commons.

In December 2006, former environment minister Stéphane Dion became the new leader of the Liberals. 25 per cent of respondents think Dion would make a good prime minister, and 22 per cent think the Liberals care more about the environment than any other federal party.

Yesterday, Dion criticized the current administration, saying, “The first instinct of this government is not to tell the truth, but to find the best spin. (…) Canadians see that we don’t have a moderate, competent, honest Conservative government. We have a radically ideological, incredibly incompetent, and sadly dishonest Conservative government. And Canadians are not impressed.”

Polling Data

In the next federal election, would you consider voting for the Liberal candidate in your riding?

Definitely / Probably consider

34%

Definitely / Probably not

52%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Agree

Disagree

Since the sponsorship scandal, the
Liberal party has done enough to
regain the trust of Canadians

28%

64%

Stéphane Dion would make a good
prime minister of Canada

25%

56%

Liberal legislators act with honesty and
uphold the highest ethical standards

24%

64%

The Liberal party cares more about the
environment than any other federal party

22%

64%

Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with a representative national sample of 1,079 Canadian adults, conducted on Jun. 14 and Jun. 15, 2007. Margin of error is 3.0 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)