March 30, 2003

WORTHWHILE CANADIAN POLL:

Ottawa — Support for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s handling of the Iraq war plunged in the past week, with opinion split virtually evenly outside Quebec, where antiwar sentiment is strongest, a new Globe and Mail/CTV poll suggests. . . .

Pro-coalition rallies were planned for today in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Red Deer, Alta., and in Calgary and Vancouver tomorrow. American flags are flying off the shelves in many western cities.

But here’s the really interesting part:

Approximately 47 per cent of respondents agreed Canada “turned our back” on the Americans, while 51 per cent disagreed. In Quebec, only 36 per cent agreed that the decision amounted to a failure to support the U.S. at its time of need, while 51 per cent of those in other provinces agreed.

Still, two-thirds of poll respondents said Mr. Chrétien’s stand has shown Canada is an independent player on the world stage.

As reader Michael Nunnelley, who sent this link, observes, being an “independent player” would seem to be the main driver of Chretien’s policy.