NATIONAL PULSE – Politics divides Canadian support for Mali mission

Trade negotiations take higher priority for Canadians in foreign affairs over humanitarian, military aid


July 24, 2018 – What started as a civil war in Mali is now a simmering conflict with deadly eruptions of violence, alliance switching and political manipulation. And while the strife in West Africa has evaded Canadian attention thus far, a year-long military engagement for Canadian troops may capture more attention.

A new Angus Reid Institute study finds majority support for Canada’s recent announcement of involvement in Mali, though political leanings drive views on this issue.

Six-in-ten (59%) Canadians say the Trudeau government’s decision to deploy approximately 250 troops to Mali is the right move. Four-in-ten (41%) however, led heavily by past Conservative (CPC) voters (59%), say that the mission is too risky and Canada should avoid participation.

Much public opinion divide on this issue however, rests on prioritization. While most Canadians (70%) say national peacekeeping efforts are a “source of pride”, they also say the country’s top international priority is not military presence on the global stage (10%), or humanitarian aid (25%), but focusing on trade ties with foreign partners (65%).

More Key Findings:

  • Political affiliation is a key factor in support or opposition of the Mali Mission. Past Liberal voters (71%) and New Democrats (69%) are equally likely to say Canada should be taking part, while only 41 per cent of past CPC supporters agree
  • Those most aware of the conflict in Mali are the most opposed to the mission. Just over half (53%) among this group say the mission is too risky to participate in
  • While Canada is sending a contingent of military personnel, and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Mali, half of Canadians (50%) say they would prefer to send troops over funding, while one-third (34%) say the opposite
  • Canadians are near unanimous in agreeing that Canada has a positive reputation abroad, but they’re divided over how it has changed in the past 10 years. Three-in-ten (29%) say it has improved, 24 per cent say it has worsened, and four-in-ten (40%) say it is about the same as it was a decade ago

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (7035 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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