Pollster suggests Trudeau’s losing support over abortion edict
OTTAWA, May 29, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The latest poll sampling Canadian federal voters shows a 3 percent drop in support for both the Liberal Party and its leader Justin Trudeau, and the polling firm has suggested the loss is due to Trudeau’s recently-announced ban on new pro-life candidates.
“It appears Justin Trudeau’s restrictions on Liberal candidates with pro-life views has peeled off a small but important tranche of support for not only him, but, incrementally, his party,” Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff told the Toronto Star. “I’m not sure that there is a corresponding upside, in that those who support pro-choice views are already in his court.”
However, Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that while he believes Trudeau’s abortion edict will, in the end, “hurt him in the polls,” he doesn’t think this particular poll proves it is happening yet.
The poll, surveying 1,694 Canadians via interactive voice response between May 22-23, showed a drop in the Liberal vote from 39 to 36 percent, down 3 points when compared to a previous Forum poll taken April 30. Trudeau’s approval as leader also dropped 3 points, from 46 percent to 43 percent.
The poll showed support for the NDP jumped from 20 to 23 percent while the Conservative Party remained unchanged at 30 percent.
The poll is considered accurate plus or minus two percent, or 19 times out of 20.
When asked by LifeSiteNews if Trudeau’s abortion edict is costing the party support, Liberal Party Director of Communications Planning Kate Purchase responded by defending the policy.
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“Canadians deserve to know that when they vote Liberal they will get a representative who supports and defends women's rights,” she said. “While contestants seeking a Liberal nomination must commit to supporting women’s rights and defending the Charter with their votes in the House of Commons, all absolutely have the right to hold their own personal views.”
Bozinoff did not respond to LifeSiteNews' phone and email request for comment by press time.
Campaign Life’s Fonseca contested Bozinoff’s interpretation of the poll by noting that it found the Liberals’ loss benefited the New Democrats.
“One would've expected the Liberals' 3-point drop to benefit Conservatives, not the foaming-at-the-mouth, abortion-loving NDP,” said Fonseca. “That could possibly be explained by left-leaning voters who are indeed turned off by his assault on conscious rights, switching to the NDP as a way of punishing Liberals without directly supporting the Tories. However, I’m not sure that's what happened here.”
Fonseca said that he expects it will “take a bit of time” for the message from outspoken faith leaders against the Liberal Party’s staunch support for abortion to trickle down to faithful Christians.
“Six Catholic bishops have publicly spoken out and more may do so yet. However, at least amongst Catholics, there's a slow ripple effect that has to work itself out - the message goes out first from bishops, then to clergy, then it expands amongst the laity,” he suggested.
“As word of Trudeau's intolerance towards people of faith and their conscientious beliefs spreads, support will gradually peel away. Even liberal Christians who may support abortion to some extent will be turned off by Trudeau's trashing of our democratic rights. Even they'll see this as rank authoritarianism and abortion-on-demand as too extreme a position even for them to endorse,” he said.
While Trudeau has said that current Liberal MPs who have previously voted in favor of pro-life measures “will be respected to a certain extent in their choices,” it remains unclear if they will be allowed to vote for such measures in the future.