Q. The Harper government has effectively explained the mission in Afghanistan:Of note, 52% of Albertans Disagree, as do 17% of Conservative supporters.
Don't know 22%
Canadians support the idea of early withdrawal:
Canada should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before their mandate ends in February 2009:
Not Sure 18%
NDP 64% agree, 18% disagree, 17% not sure
Lib 51% agree, 27% disagree, 22% not sure
Cons 25% agree, 61% disagree, 14% not sure
In what could be construed as a confusing finding, given the above, 43% of Canadians think Afghans are benefiting from our presence, 22% disagree and 36% unsure. Canadians also think we are shouldering too much of the NATO burden.
The fact this poll was taken in the aftermath of Harper's Afghanistan trip should be of particular concern. You would expect a slight uptick, with such a high profile, feel good visit. That there was no positive response, Canadians still don't show confidence in the government on this file, is relevant to the idea of view hardening.
I admit some surprise that so many Canadians would support the notion of early withdrawal. I would expect to see that opinion, if the question asked if we should stay beyond 2009, but it would appear Canadians are articulating Afghanistan fatigue.