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More Tory Bumbling on Afghanistan – public support for mission drops

As if Peter MacKay doesn’t have enough trouble already, he’s incredibly managed to add to it (with the able help of Stockwell Day):

Six prisoners have complained to Canadian officials of abuse in Afghan prisons – not four, as Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said earlier this week..The revelation, confirmed yesterday, marks another blow for the Tories on a sensitive issue they’ve been accused of mishandling.

When news stories like this break out (and have been breaking out for the past 2 months), is it any wonder you see polls coming out that show disapproval of the Tories handling of the affair as well as majority support for leaving ASAP? Take this Angus-Reid poll that Steve brought to my attention: some of these numbers are rather stunning actually. 55% of Canadians polled say that the Harper Government has failed to effectively explain the mission in Afghanistan; that’s not so much the stunner as this is: 50 % believe we should be withdrawing BEFORE our mandate ends in Feb, 2009. That includes 2/3 of NDP supporters, a majority of Liberal supporters, and 1/4 of Conservative supporters.

This issue is not going away, no matter how much the Tories wish it, and no matter if they prorogue Parliament or delay opening it for an extra month or not.

UPDATE: I’m going to be fair here and issue this caveat on the poll just mentioned: I’ve just noticed this is another of Angus-Reid’s “online” surveys, which I have criticized in the past as being at best an uncertain polling method that may or may not accurately reflect public opinion. Therefore, the numbers may not be as bad as this poll shows on the Afghanistan issue, and I’ll wait till I see a more traditional phone poll which verifies these numbers. I’ll stand by my last comment however that the issue isn’t going away, and it certainly doesnt detract from the original point that Stockwell and Peter are again shown to be bumbling around on the issue.


11 comments to More Tory Bumbling on Afghanistan – public support for mission drops

  • "I’m a red herring?"

    Naw. More like a bottom-feedin' carp or maybe a mudcat.


  • I’m a red herring? 😕

    “I’m not the only progressive or Liberal blogger to say so either. .. I think the general opinion I’ve got is you’re one of the worst of the Blogging Tory bunch.”

    Are you trying to pay me a compliment? :mrgreen:

  • I know what a troll and red herring means Aaron.. and your name is right beside both as a synonym.
    I'm not the only progressive or Liberal blogger to say so either. .. I think the general opinion I've got is you're one of the worst of the Blogging Tory bunch.

  • Holy crap, please look up the meanings of "troll" and "red herring." And stop being such a perpetual lemon-sucker. 

  • Trolls like yourself put me in that mood, Aaron.

    The fact is, “literally half” of Liberals arent in agreement with the statement, as you claim.. it’s only 27%.

    I could turn around your point and say, by the way, why should the Tories be alienating the 25% of supporters that disagree with them?

    Another red herring – courtesy of Aaron Unruh.

  • “…but if you’d read one of the links I provided for you (which you obviously didn’t)…”

    Obviously not. I conjured up that 51% figure using psychic abilities.

    Anyway: what’s your point? That the Liberal Party should be working to? alienate the 27% of supporters that disagree with you?

    I’m too lazy to apparently go read it myself? How do I “apparently go read”? anything? If you’re going to insult me, please try to do so with a little style. Why are you so cranky all the time, anyway?

  • Scott, just say almost twice as many Liberals agree as disagree 🙂

  • Well Aaron, if the other 49 % of Liberal supporters were opposed, you'd have a point perhaps.. but if you'd read one of the links I provided for you (which you obviously didn't), that isn't the case, but I'll requote it for you since you're too lazy to apparently go read it yourself:

    The poll questions reads:
    Canada should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before their mandate ends in February 2009:

    Agree 50%
    Disagree 32%
    Not Sure 18%

    By party:

    NDP 64% agree, 18% disagree, 17% not sure
    Lib 51% agree, 27% disagree, 22% not sure
    Cons 25% agree, 61% disagree, 14% not sure

  • A majority of Liberals support early withdrawal? Let’s qualify that. 51% do.

    Do you really think that it is wise for the Liberal Party to take a hard position on this issue when literally half of it’s voter base would disagree with that stand?

  • p.s. that 5 minute edit feature is a beauty…

  • Scott,

    Thanks for the UPDATE.  I, for what it's worth, appreciate efforts towards consistency, so kudos (I'm not being sarcastic, for the record).

    Also, I agree with you (which may explain the Lord's preemptive and cautionary flooding in Calgary this week):  this issue is absolutely not going away.

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