Friday, December 03, 2004

Cool to dislike the US? Survey says...

Just read the results of a nifty survey (PDF) conducted last week in advance of Bush's visit. The results are not shocking to me, but they do bolster my confidence that on a person-to-person level, Canada and the US remain close -- no matter how much this White House is hated. (Thanks to Blair Stransky at GPC for pointing out his firm's study.) The highlights, from the press release: · 71% identify the United States as Canada’s closest friend ; · 67% agree that anti-American statements hurt our ability to resolve disputes with the Americans; · 73% believe opposing the policies of President Bush is not the same as being anti- American; · Notwithstanding recent trade disputes and media attention, a full 60% of Canadians say they have positive feelings about the U.S., with another 25% citing “somewhat positive” feelings · Only 15% - or roughly 1/10 Canadians cite negative attitudes towards the U.S. · 37% of Canadians aged 18-35 believe “it’s cool these days to dislike Americans.” Check out the full study here.* A few more interesting findings. “"Which one of the following do you believe is the most important reason that Canadians and Americans are not close: trade and economic relations, culture and language, shared values, and defence and foreign policy?”" Surprise: "Defence and Foreign Policy" -- read, Iraq -- with 39 percent; followed by "Trade and Economic Relations" at 28 percent and Shared Values" at 22 percent. (There's that "values" word again.) A full 2/3 of Canadians disagreed with the statement, “"It’'s cool these days to dislike Americans.”" Less than 1/3 agreed with the statement (28%). And finally, the classic Canadian insecurity complex, put statistically. I think it assumes Americans have actually given some thought to Canada in the last three years outside of the realm of prescription drugs and flu shots:

Notwithstanding almost 2/3 of Canadians feeling positively about the U.S., opinion is equally divided on how they believe Americans view Canada. In response to the question, “Overall, thinking about American views of Canada, how positive would you say their feelings are?”, only one in three (33%) Canadians believes that American feelings toward Canada are “positive” (that is, 6 to 10 on a scale from 0 to 10) while another third (33%) believes that they are “not positive” (0 to 4 on a scale from 0 to 10)
* For the pleasure of the stat wonks: "The survey, conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 adults across Canada on November 23 and 24, 2004 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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