Almost two-thirds of Canadians say the country’s troops in Afghanistan should be brought home on schedule by February 2009, a new national poll says.
...fully 63 per cent say they want the troops brought home on schedule by February 2009.
Regional breakdowns are interesting:
On the specific issue of the 2009 withdrawal, residents of Atlantic Canada (73 per cent) and Quebec (69 per cent), as well as young people (67 per cent) and women (68 per cent) were more likely to say the troops should come home by then.
Residents of Alberta (45 per cent) and men (38 per cent) were more likely to say the mission should be extended to a time when political and military officials feel the country is stable and self-supporting.
Support for the mission:
The poll, conducted exclusively by Ipsos-Reid for CanWest News Service and Global National, also said a slim majority of Canadians - 52 per cent - expressed support for the troops role in Afghanistan despite a rash of eight deaths in the field since Easter Sunday.
The Liberals are right in step with the mainstream, support for the mission, but a firm timetable for withdrawal. The Liberal position looks downright reasonable and balanced. The numbers are even more favorable for the Liberal position when you exclude Alberta, if your measure is electoral prospects. Also, Dion has a solid talking point in Quebec.
If I could offer my two cents to Liberal strategists, I would use this polls findings whenever Harper starts criticizing the Liberal position. Are you saying that the vast majority of Canadians are Taliban sympathizers, national security flip floppers and weak patriots?