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Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

 

Most Canadian Support Troops In Light of Recent Investigation Into Afghanistan Abuses

But Canadians Remain Split On The Continued Military Effort In Afghanistan

Ipsos-Reid news release, February 22, 2007

News release (.pdf) - Detailed Tables (.pdf)

 

Toronto, ON – In the light of the recent launch of an investigation into allegations that Canadian soldiers may have mistreated detainees in Afghanistan, a new Ipsos Reid poll reports that most Canadians (63%) are sceptical that the Canadian public will ever really find out what happened. Many (37%), though, believe that investigation will get to the bottom of the issue.

 

Whatever the investigation’s finding might be, it appears as though Canadians’ support for their troops’ actions and behaviour in Afghanistan is unwavering:

 

* 73% agree that “whatever is reported back, it is probably an extremely isolated circumstance and not widespread among the Canadian forces”;

* 63% agree with the statement “I don’t believe that our Canadian troops are involved with torturing combatant prisoners”; and

* 86% agree that “our armed forces are doing a good job in Afghanistan”.

 

In fact, a good proportion of Canadians (39%) say they “don’t have a problem with our Canadian troops roughing up or manhandling combatant and Taliban prisoners because it’s a war zone”.

 

But while support for the actions and behaviour of Canada’s troops in Afghanistan is high, support for the military effort in Afghanistan is middling. Approximately half of Canadians:

 

* Agree with the statement that “Canada should pull its military out of Afghanistan as soon as possible” (49%); and

* Disagree with the statement that “If NATO forces don’t send more international troops, the Canadian military should stick it out until it’s tour of duty ends in 2009 as Afghanistan is too important to abandon” (47%).

 

Previously Ipsos Reid polls which asked “Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of Canada’s troops for security and combat efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?” revealed a similar split in Canadian public opinion dating back to March 2006.

 

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey fielded from February 15th to 19th, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1,000 adult Canadians were interviewed via an on-line survey. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

 

Most (63%) Don’t Believe Investigations Into Handling Of Detainees By Canadian Troops Will Find Out What Really Happened…

 

Question: As you may know, the Canadian authorities who are responsible for investigating how our troops behave in combat zones are looking into allegations that Canadian soldiers may have roughed up detainees in Afghanistan and that their misdeeds were ignored by the police. Do you believe that these investigations will get to the bottom of the allegations in the Canadian public will really find out what happened?

 

* Yes 37% -- most likely from Alberta 47%, followed by Atlantic Canada 43%, British Columbia 41%, Ontario 37%, Saskatchewan/Manitoba 36% and Québec 30%; men 42% and women 32%, older 41%.

* No 63% -- most likely from Québec 70%, followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba 64% and Ontario 63%, British Columbia 59%, Atlantic Canada 57% and Alberta 53%; women 68% and men 50%, younger 68%.

 

Agree/Disagree Statements

 

Question: I don't have a problem with our Canadian troops roughing up or manhandling combatant and Taliban prisoners because it's a war zone.

 

* Agree 39% -- [strongly 11%/somewhat 28%] -- most likely from Alberta 64%, followed by Ontario and British Columbia 44%, Atlantic Canada 35%, Saskatchewan/Manitoba 23% and Québec 27%; men 53% and women 27%, middle-age 43%.

* Disagree 61% -- [strongly 36%/somewhat 24%] -- most likely from Québec 73% followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba 67% and Atlantic Canada 65%, Ontario and British Columbia 56% and Alberta 36%; women 73% and men 47%, younger 65%.

 

Question: I don't believe that our Canadian troops are involved with torturing combatant prisoners

 

* Agree 63% -- [strongly 19%/somewhat 44%] -- most likely from British Columbia 66%, Alberta 65% and Ontario 64%, followed by Québec 61%, Atlantic Canada 60% and Saskatchewan/Manitoba 59%; men 65% and women 60%, older 69%.

* Disagree 37% -- [strongly 6%/somewhat 32%] -- most likely from Atlantic Canada 40%, Saskatchewan/Manitoba 41% and Québec [39%, followed by Ontario 36%, Alberta 35% and British Columbia 34%; women 40% and Man 35%, younger 43%.

 

Question: Whatever is reported back, it is probably an extremely isolated circumstance and not widespread among the Canadian forces

 

* Agree 73% -- [strongly 30%/somewhat 43%] -- most likely from Atlantic Canada 82% and British Columbia 81%, followed by Ontario 75% and Alberta 74%, Saskatchewan/Manitoba 69% and Québec 65%; men 77% and women 69%, older 77%.

* Disagree 27% -- [strongly 4%/somewhat 23%] -- most likely from Québec 35%, followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba 31%, Alberta 26% and Ontario 25%, British Columbia 19% and Atlantic Canada 18%; women 31% and Man 23%, younger 30% and middle-age 28%.

 

Question: Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the political decision to send our troops to Afghanistan, I support our Canadian troops in the job that they are doing

 

* Agree 88% -- [strongly 58%/somewhat 30%] -- most likely from Alberta 95% and Atlantic Canada 95%, followed by Ontario 89%, British Columbia 86% and Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Québec 85%; men 89% and women 88%, older 92%.

* Disagree 12% -- [strongly 5%/somewhat 7%] -- most likely from Québec and Saskatchewan/Manitoba 15%, followed by British Columbia 14%, Ontario 11% and Atlantic Canada and Alberta 5%; women 12% and men 11%, younger 15%.

 

Question: Our armed forces are doing a good job in Afghanistan

 

* Agree 86% -- [strongly 40%/somewhat 46%] -- most likely from Alberta 93%, followed by Atlantic Canada 80%, Québec 86% and British Columbia/Saskatchewan/Manitoba/Ontario 84%; women 87% and men 84%, older 92%.

* Disagree 14% -- [strongly 4%/somewhat 10%] -- most likely from Ontario/Saskatchewan/Manitoba/British Columbia 16%, followed by Québec 14% and Alberta 7%; men 16% and women 13%, younger 21%.

 

Question: Canada should pull its military out of Afghanistan as soon as possible and abandon this mission

 

* Agree 49% -- [strongly 22%/somewhat 27%] -- most likely from Québec 60%, followed by Atlantic Canada 55%, Ontario 45%, British Columbia and Saskatchewan/Manitoba 44%, and Alberta [35%; women 61% and men 36%, no age difference.

* Disagree 51% -- [strongly 24%/somewhat 27%] -- most likely from Alberta 65% followed by British Columbia and Saskatchewan/Manitoba 56%, Ontario 55%, Atlantic Canada 45% and Québec 40%; men 64% and women 39%, no age difference.

 

Question: If NATO allied forces don't send more international troops, the Canadian military should stick it out until it's tour of duty ends in 2009 as Afghanistan is too important to abandon

 

* Agree 53% -- [strongly 17%/somewhat 36%] -- mostly from Alberta 62%, followed by British Columbia/Saskatchewan Manitoba 56% and Ontario 55%, Atlantic Canada 49% and Québec 46%; men 62% and women 45%, older 59%.

* Disagree 47% -- [strongly 17%/somewhat 31%] -- mostly from Québec 54%, followed by Atlantic Canada 51%, Ontario 45% and British Columbia/Saskatchewan/Manitoba 44% and Alberta 38%; women 55% and men 30%, younger and a middle age 50%.

 

Question: Canada should commit to only having a peacekeeping military, not combat ready military

 

* Agree 58% -- [strongly 33%/somewhat 26%] -- most likely from Québec 71%, followed by British Columbia and Saskatchewan/Manitoba 56%, Ontario 54%, Atlantic Canada 53% and Alberta 42%; women 70% and men 46%, no age difference.

* Disagree 42% -- [strongly 19%/somewhat 22%] -- most likely from Alberta 58%, followed by Atlantic Canada 47% and Ontario 46%, Saskatchewan/Manitoba and British Columbia 44% and Québec 29%; men 54% and women 30%, no age difference.

 

For more information on this press release, please contact:

John Wright

Sr. Vice President

Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

(416) 324-2900

 

Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

 

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

 

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2006, Ipsos generated global revenues of 857.1 million euros ($1.1 billion USD).

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