March 5, 2022 7:15am
A poll conducted by Leger earlier this week suggests both Canadians and Americans are committed to helping Ukraine.
Leger conducted the poll between February 25 to February 27, 2022. Since then, Russian forces have carried out more attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, residential buildings, and a nuclear power plant. The polling firm interviewed 1,519 Canadian and 1,004 American members of its Leger Opinion representative panel.
Asked if they are concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 89 per cent of Canadians said yes, along with 78 per cent of American respondents. Almost six out of ten Canadians and half of Americans said they were very concerned.
In Canada, the polling firm broke down the responses along party lines, but it’s clear Canadians are united. On one end of the scale, 93 per cent of Liberals, New Democrats, and Green Party members said they were very concerned. At the other end was the People’s Party of Canada, but 71 per cent of them too expressed anxiety.
Only four per cent of Americans and two per cent of Canadians said they were not concerned at all.
As for whether they feared the conflict could devolve into a third World War, over six out of ten Canadians and Americans said yes. The most concerned in Canada were those that belonged to the Green Party. Eighty-six per cent of them expressed that fear, while just shy of half of the Peoples’ Party of Canada members felt the same way.
As for who supports Ukraine and who sides with Russia in the dispute, the responses were heavily in Ukraine’s favour. Eighty-three per cent of Canadians and 71 per cent of Americans support Ukraine. Just two per cent of Canadians and four per cent of Americans sided with Russia.
Three-quarters of Canadians believe Russian President Vladimir Putin lies. Only four per cent think he tells the truth. On this question, the party divide was more evident. A quarter of PPC members believe Putin is truthful, compared to three per cent of Liberals, two per cent of NDP supporters, and six per cent of Conservatives.
So how should Canada and the U.S. express their support for Ukraine?
The most popular response was to impose stronger sanctions. In a move never been taken before, the global community banned Russia from the international banking system known as SWIFT. Canada has also imposed more sanctions against Russia than any other country targeting the Russian leader and the ruling elite. However, the response from 45 per cent of Canadians implies it is not enough.
Peace talks are the next most popular option at 21 per cent of Canadian and 19 per cent of American support.
Military action, using troops, had more support so long as it was taken within the greater context of NATO. Half of Canadians would support that. Only ten per cent of Americans and nine per cent of Canadians think we should take on the Russians alone.
Whenever a country takes military action, confidence in leadership is key. The poll also looked at perceptions of how well U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would handle a war. The results suggest both have some work to do if the two largest countries in North America go that route. Only 37 per cent of Canadians think Trudeau is the right leader for it, while just 39 per cent think Biden is. Almost as many said had no confidence in their leadership.
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