A new poll on a variety of issues in the current federal election shows Canadians generally favour a “progressive” position.
The survey conducted by Forum Research, and released yesterday (September 28) asked some 1,557 Canadian voters for their opinions on a variety of issues.
Doctor assisted suicide = yes
The topic of assisted suicide has been an extremely hotly debated one, among citizens, politicians, and medical staff. The poll showed two-thirds of Canadians (67%) believe it should be legal.
Highest agreement was among middle aged people 35-44 (73%), the wealthy with incomes of $80-100K (76%) and in the province of Quebec generally (75%)
Last February, the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s laws against doctor assisted suicides and ruled people with grievous and irremediable medical conditions should have the right to ask a doctor to help them die. The court limited the right to competent adults with enduring, intolerable suffering who clearly consent to ending their lives. The government has until Feb. 6 2016, to create a new law, until then the ban on assisted suicide remains, If there is no new law, the court’s ruling allowing doctors to assist in allowable suicides will come into effect.
Legalize prostitution = split
On another contentious issue, prostitution, the opinion of Canadians eligible to vote is split on whether it should be legalized or not.
The younger voters think it should (55%) males (59%) and mid income groups $60-80K- (56%)
However only 40% of females agree with legalization. The average for agreeing with legalization of prostitution was 49%.
Legalize marijuana = yes
Marijuana should be legalized however, in the opinion of 54% of respondants.
Younger voters especially agreed at 64%, as did both the lower salary scale $30-60K and the upper salary voters $80-100k, both registering 60% in favour.
Two in three voters want the age for the Old Age Supplement, financial payment for the government, to be returned to 65 years of age from 67 (65%) and this is common to the least wealthy (less than $40K – 71%) and the wealthy ($80K to $100K – 71%). One half of those claiming Conservative party leanings agree (48%), as do two thirds of Liberals (69%) and three quarters of New Democrats (74%).
Long gun registry = no
One of the more contentious issues in recent years has been the long gun registry (rifles-shotguns),. Brought in by a Liberal government in 1993 following a mass shooting in Quebec, the registry was scrapped by the Conservative government in 2012.
The Quebec provincial government challenged the scrapping but the Supreme Court ruled against the province in March 2015
A majority of respondants were against bringing back the “LGR”. The highest rating for bringing the registry back was in Quebec, although still only at 51%, while Alberta had the least number wanting it returned at 26%.
In the current campaign, the Conservative government has hinted the other two leading parties would bring it back, but the NDP has said it wouldn’t, and the Liberals say they wouldn’t either but said they wanted to “keep Canadians safe with well-crafted gun control”.
Some 49% of those identifying as Liberal respondants said they wanted it back, 50% of New Democrats, and 17% of Conservatives. However in total, many more respondants were against the LGR 44% than were for it 39%
“Adopting these five positions would seem to make a candidate almost unelectably progressive in Canada but, as we can see, this is not the case; there is perhaps a higher level of tolerance for social innovation in this country than we are aware of,” said Forum Research President, Lorne Bozinoff (PhD)