Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

Political Crisis Splits Views in Canada

December 03, 2008

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Canadian adults are divided in their assessment of their federal government, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies released by CTV. 40 per cent of respondents believe the Conservatives do not deserve to continue in office, while 35 per cent believe they do.

In addition, 36 per cent of respondents believe the opposition parties should get together and topple the Conservative minority government, while 41 per cent disagree with this rationale. When asked about a solution in the event the Tories are defeated in the House of Commons, 37 per cent of respondents would allow the opposition to form a coalition government, while 32 per cent would hold a new federal election.

Canadians renewed the House of Commons on Oct. 14. The Conservative party—led by Stephen Harper—received 37.6 per cent of the vote, and secured 143 seats in the 308-member lower house. Harper assembled a minority administration. The Tories also earned a minority mandate after the 2006 election, ending more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party.

On Nov. 27, the federal government presented its financial update, which included a controversial measure to scrap the existing public financing system for political parties. Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty later stated that an economic stimulus package would be presented on Jan. 27, 2009—along with the new budget—but the opposition is expected to defeat the government in a confidence motion on Dec. 8.

On Dec. 1, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion announced that a deal to assemble a coalition of opposition parties had been reached, saying, "We are ready to form a new government. This will be a Liberal-led government in collaboration with the New Democratic Party and with the support of the Bloc Québécois. (...) Given the critical situation facing our fellow citizens and the refusal and inability of the Harper government to deal with this critical situation, the opposition parties have decided that it was now time to take action."

Harper expressed dismay, declaring, "I think that we should at least wait for the budget to determine the future of a government that has just been elected by the Canadian public."

Polling Data

Which of these statements comes closest to your own view?

The Conservative party deserves to continue in government


The Conservative party does not deserve to continue in government


Not sure


Should the opposition parties get together and topple the Conservative minority government headed by Stephen Harper?





Not sure


If the Conservative minority government is defeated, what would be your preferred solution?

Holding a new federal election


Allowing the opposition to form a coalition government (two or more parties are represented in the cabinet)


Allowing the opposition to govern by accord (a party is supported by one or more parties that do not have representation in the cabinet)


Not sure


Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,012 Canadian adults, conducted on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, 2008. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.


Complete Poll (PDF)

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