"The big problem Harper has is that 44 per cent of the population think the Conservatives did offer something to Cadman," Mr. Bricker said in an interview
The story doesn't give us the poll pdf, so you can't see how many believe the Conservatives, or the "don't know/no answer" percentages, but the fact that Bricker says "big problem" suggests the majority that answered believe something was offered. More numbers:
About 29 per cent said they did not believe that Mr. Harper was unaware of the alleged offer and that another 22 per cent have not yet decided whether to believe Mr. Harper or the Cadman family, who maintain the offer was made.
Further proof that the public thinks something needs to be investigated:
Almost one-third of respondents said they favoured a public investigation led by a third party, such as the Commons Speaker or ethics commissioner, while 31 per cent said an investigation by the RCMP would be the most appropriate course of action.
Ten per cent said the daily question period in the Commons was the best way to get to the bottom of the allegations, while six per cent said the best course of action would be to leave it to the media to flush out the truth.
On the question of taking the Liberals to court, the vast majority think Harper is out of line:
Only three in 10 Canadians think Prime Minster Stephen Harper would be right to sue Stephane Dion and other Liberals for publishing the allegations on the party's official website.
On the question of how to deal with the allegations, a solid majority of those polled - 62 per cent - said "these matters should be kept out of the courts."
No party numbers released, although Bricker said voter impact has yet to be impacted. Given the Liberal performance, it's hard to isolate the impact of this scandal.
Bricker does say, moving forward:
"But unless the prime minister has a better story than the one that he has, it's just going to get worse,"
The really good news, and I think this indicative of how Canadians feel, the complete rejection of Harper's libel threats. If people believed these charges were baseless, then they would have more sympathy for Harper's predicament, and his response. The fact they fully side with the Liberals on this score, speaks to a certain amount of believability to the charges. These type of results might give Harper second thoughts on whether to proceed.
At the very least, the above poll(commissoned for Canwest, one that it's own reporters say tends "to over-estimate Conservative support") supports the idea of pressing this issue further, Canadians seem to want further inquiry, seem to have doubts about the government's story. These type of findings provide the opposition with plenty of latitude to proceed, the public on side, an element of moral authority.