Tories not believed in Aghan torture case: Poll
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates Canadians are twice as likely to believe whistleblower Richard Colvin's claim that all prisoners handed over by Canadian soldiers to Afghan authorities were likely abused and that government officials were well aware of the problem.
Those who identified themselves as supporters of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives were most inclined to give the government the benefit of the doubt. But even they were almost evenly split, with 40 per cent buying the government's take on the issue and 34 per cent buying Colvin's.
Moreover, fully 70 per cent said it's unacceptable that Canadian forces would hand over prisoners if it's likely they'll be tortured. No less than 60 per cent in any region and even a majority of Conservative supporters subscribed to this view.
Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg said the results suggest the government's initial strategy of attacking Colvin's credibility has backfired badly.
There's a common sense element to it all. Why would a respected diplomat put his reputation on the line, if he didn't feel strongly that he was correct? Hard to see the "upside" in coming forward, unless there was something to his claims. The Conservative rebuttal doesn't pass the sniff test, and the characterization of "backfire" is appropriate.
The resistance to produce all the requested documentation only feeds the COVER UP angle, another NO WIN for the government.
It remains to be seen if this issue moves the support numbers, but clearly the government is losing the dueling narrative battle.