Tuesday March 16, 2010
75% of Canadians Say “Abortion is Morally Wrong”: Poll
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski and John Jalsevac
OTTAWA, March 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new national poll indicates that a large majority of Canadians are increasingly embracing conservative values, including opposing abortion and supporting the true definition of marriage.
The Harris-Decima poll was commissioned for the Manning Centre Barometer, an annual survey of Canadian’s attitudes towards values and policies generally ascribed to conservatives, by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.
The poll was carried out by Allan Gregg of Harris-Decima and Dr. Andre Turcotte of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, who conducted phone interviews with 1,000 Canadian adults between February 1-10.
The poll found that a majority of Canadians strongly agreed with traditionally conservative value statements on the supremacy of family, the definition of marriage, and the immorality of abortion.
Eighty-nine per cent of respondents strongly agreed that “nothing is more important than family,” and 67 per cent strongly agreed that “marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman.” Additionally, 60% strongly agreed that “abortion is morally wrong.” Overall, 75% believe abortion is morally wrong and 80% support true marriage.
“According to the poll results,” a press release from the Manning Centre states, “the majority of Canadians identify with the ‘centre’ position on the political ideology scale, but the Canadian centre is increasingly embracing traditionally conservative values.”
“What is most surprising about these results is how mainstream conservative the political centre has become,” said Professor Turcotte.
Mary-Ellen Douglas, the national coordinator for the pro-life organization Campaigns Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.com that the poll results are “wonderful.”
“It’s what we’ve always known. People do not want abortion in Canada, and we support that.”
When asked why she thought that so many agreed with the statement that abortion is morally wrong, Douglas responded, “Can we hope that there’s been so much killing that people are getting sick of it?”
Either way, she said, “it’s the answer to our prayers.” “Now it’s time to turn this country around and start caring for our unborn children.”
Professor Turcotte also noted in his analysis that increasingly conservative values are leading Canadians to vote for Conservative governments, another shift from the recent past. “Five elections ago, which only goes back to 1997, a majority of centrist Canadians supported Liberals. Now the majority vote Conservative. This survey suggests that the Conservatives currently own the political centre,” said Turcotte.
He emphasized this “surprising shift” from five elections ago, when 41 per cent of self-described centrists voted Liberal. In 2008, 47 per cent of centrists voted Conservative.
Another shift is anticipated when younger Canadians who want “even less of government” grow older, said Turcotte, adding that while a majority of Canadians don’t want an absolute minimalist approach to government, they appear to be losing confidence in its ability to manage the economy, showing more confidence in individual initiative and the private sector.
“They are not overwhelmingly Conservative but it is shifting in that direction — that the private sector should be given a crack at solving issues and problems before we turn to the government,” said Turcotte.
The poll also looked at how specific Conservative government policies are perceived by Canadians in general. A majority of Canadians supported Prime Minister Harper’s government policies in areas such as spending deficits, abolishing the long gun registry, action on climate change, decision to leave Afghanistan in 2011, and management of the economic recession.
The pollsters concluded that the Conservatives “currently own the political centre,” and in reality, few Canadians identify outright as on the left.
“The left is a very lonely place to be right now in Canada,” said Turcotte.
The full text of the Manning Centre Barometer 2010 report is available here.