Majority of Canadians now oppose Afghan Mission
CBC reports today on a commissioned poll by EKOS that 54 percent of Canadians oppose our participation in the war in Afghanistan. The question asked of respondents: “Do you support or oppose Canadian military participation in Afghanistan?” Frank Graves of EKOS states, “The public outlook on Afghanistan has undergone a steady and radical transformation.”
Snapshot of poll: (conducted July 8-12/09 with a survey of 2, 713 Canadians across the country)
54 percent: opposed
34 percent: in favour
Strongest opposition: Quebec – 73 per cent opposed; 15 per cent in favour
Strongest support for the mission: Alberta – 42 per cent opposed; 45 in favour
Key fact: 60 percent of Canadian women polled were opposed to the mission, saying “Canada should not be involved in Afghanistan” with 27 per cent in favour.
Key quote: “When Canada first sent soldiers to Afghanistan in 2002, public opposition to the mission hovered around 20 per cent, according to EKOS tracking data.”
2002: Canadian opposition: 24%
2009: Canadian opposition: 54%
Total Canadian war dead since mission started: 124 soldiers, two aid workers and one diplomat.
The New York Times points to increasing UK criticism of the Afghan War in the wake of the death of eight British soldiers in a 24 hour period in early July, during the time this poll was taken. The Guardian posts a range of interviews from top military experts to leading historians to elected Afghan women on “What do in Afghanistan.”
From a dear friend, P, a great Canadian:
“While returning from the Royal Ontario Museum, we happened upon a police barricade on University Avenue just down from Queen’s Park. A group of people, less than 10, were gathered around. The far end of the street was also blocked off by police, a few fire trucks, and some ambulances, and a slightly larger crowd of perhaps 20 -30 people.
… I asked what was going on, and was surprised at the explanation.
Every Canadian solider who dies in Afghanistan is brought to the Ontario Coroner’s office (which is located in the middle of the cordoned off block) for an autopsy. The body arrives in a motorcade the day following the “ramp ceremony” in Afghanistan.
Since the arrival of the first solider killed in Afghanistan, a practice has developed where police officers, firefighters, ambulance attendants, a few veterans, and office workers and passersby gather to honour the deceased and his/her family as the motorcade arrives at the coroner’s office.”