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(10/23/06) -

Rae Seen as Best Future Liberal PM in Canada

- Many Canadians believe Stephen Harper is the best person to lead the government, according to a poll by The Strategic Counsel released by CTV and the Globe and Mail. At least 36 per cent of respondents think Harper would be the best prime minister among the country’s party leaders.

- Many Canadians believe Stephen Harper is the best person to lead the government, according to a poll by The Strategic Counsel released by CTV and the Globe and Mail. At least 36 per cent of respondents think Harper would be the best prime minister among the country’s party leaders.

Canadians renewed the House of Commons in January. 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. Since February, Harper leads a minority administration after more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party.

The Liberal party will elect a new leader in December. The list of candidates includes former environment minister Stéphane Dion, academic Michael Ignatieff, former Ontario premier Bob Rae, and former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy.

Rae is seen as the best prospective prime minister from the Liberal ranks with 26 per cent, followed by Ignatieff with 23 per cent, Dion with 21 per cent, and Kennedy with 17 per cent.

Support for New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton ranges from 15 per cent to 18 per cent, while backing for Bloc Québécois leader Giles Duceppe is at six or seven per cent.

On Oct. 21, Duceppe declared that his party might force a new election over the “fiscal imbalance” between the federal and provincial governments, saying, “We will be ready before the holidays. (The prime minister) should not expect the Bloc to support him. Quebecers are discovering who Stephen Harper is.”

Polling Data

Based on the voting for delegates to the Liberal Leadership Convention, many think that there are now four candidates that are the most likely to become the next leader of the Liberal Party. Assume (Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Stéphane Dion) won the Liberal Leadership race. Who do you think would be the best prime minister? Conservative leader Stephen Harper, NDP leader Jack Layton, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe or the Liberal leader?

Rae

Ignatieff

Dion

Kennedy

Stephen Harper (Con.)

36%

37%

38%

38%

Liberal Leader

26%

23%

21%

17%

Jack Layton (NDP)

15%

17%

17%

18%

Giles Duceppe (BQ)

6%

7%

6%

7%

Don’t know

16%

17%

18%

20%

Source: The Strategic Counsel / CTV / The Globe and Mail
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 Canadian adults, conducted from Oct. 12 to Oct. 15, 2006. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.