Canada’s role in Afghan turmoil may dent Trudeau’s chances in election: Survey

Published on Aug 31, 2021 01:06 PM IST

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had called the September 20 snap polls on August 15, seeking to turn the Liberal Party’s minority government in Ottawa to a majority one

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to the crowd during his election campaign tour in Nobleton, Ontario on August 27, 2021. (REUTERS)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to the crowd during his election campaign tour in Nobleton, Ontario on August 27, 2021. (REUTERS)

In what could further dent the already flagging fortunes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the September 20 snap polls, a nationwide survey has shown that a large majority of people are closely following the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, and 20% of them say Ottawa’s role in it could negatively impact how they vote.

As many as 80% of Canadians are watching the proceedings and very few believe Trudeau’s handling of Canada’s evacuation mission in Kabul was a success.

These are among the main findings of the survey carried out by the non-profit polling agency Angus Reid Institute (ARI).

PM Trudeau himself had called the September 20 snap polls on August 15, seeking to turn the Liberal Party’s minority government in Ottawa to a majority one. But the incumbent prime minister now faces a rising challenge from rival PM hopeful Erin O’Toole of the Conservatives, according to recent pre-poll surveys.

“An election campaign many had thought would be fought and won or lost on the basis of Canada’s post-pandemic future is instead being overshadowed in its first weeks by the future of Afghanistan and the evacuation of those desperate to leave the embattled nation,” polling agency ARI said in a release.

Almost 60% of respondents said their voting preference has not been affected by the situation in Afghanistan, but 20% are taking it into consideration. In a close election, that could matter, ARI noted, saying, “Those who say these events will affect their choice are unfavourable to the Liberal Party.”

Just 2% consider the Canadian airlift ops a success, 41% consider it to have gone alright and 37%, deem it a failure. “The timing of the crisis - running in parallel with the 44th federal election - creates an obvious political dimension for parties and leadership,” ARI commented.

Canada had wrapped up its evacuation efforts in Afghanistan last week. But last Sunday, foreign minister Marc Garneau had described the criticism of Ottawa’s mission as “fair enough” during an interview with the outlet CTV News.

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 09, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals