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NEWS: Canadians say the Conservatives are the most ‘trustworthy’ party

Postmedia News reports that, “Canadians believe political honesty should trump economic recovery as the main issue in the next election but — in a major blow to the Liberals — voters rank the Tories as the best party to deliver a government they can trust. Moreover, while the Liberals are hoping to make political ethics a main theme of the election, they are the last of the three main parties — ranking behind the NDP — that are trusted by Canadians in this area.”

The Ipsos-Reid poll says, “28 per cent of Canadians believe the Conservatives, if re-elected, would do the best job of ‘providing honest, open and trustworthy government’. 22 per cent believe the NDP would do the best job of this. Just 15 per cent say the Liberals would be best at providing honest, open and trustworthy government.”

“The results are a political bombshell, as MPs begin a historic week of intrigue on Parliament Hill that will be marked by major developments including a budget, an unprecedented vote on whether the government is in contempt of Parliament and a vote late in the week that could lead to the defeat of the government and a spring campaign that ends with a May 2 election. …”(Ethics issued recently raised against the Harper government include) charges against senior Tories for allegedly breaking Elections Canada’s spending limits in the 2006 campaign; the Speaker’s ruling that MPs’ privileges were breached because of government secrecy on how much its law-and-order bills will cost; International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda’s misleading statements about her involvement in the alteration of a bureaucratic memo; Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office using parliamentary letterhead to raise money for the Conservative party as it targets ‘ethnic’ votes; and a former senior Harper aide’s apparent violation of rules by lobbying a department to help get funds for his fiancee, a former escort.”

“In recent weeks, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s governing Tories and Michael Ignatieff’s opposition Liberals have put forward two competing themes that they would like to dominate a campaign and become the ballot-box question for voters. The Conservatives are emphasizing their track record on the economy and the need for stability as Canada continues its economic recovery. The Liberals, trailing in the polls, want to put the spotlight on Conservative ethics and trust in Harper. …(Ipsos-Reid president Darrell) Bricker said that while it ‘defies logic’ that the Liberals would want to spark a campaign now, they appear to be hoping that voters will pay attention to (the recent) controversies as proof of the Tories’ lack of ethics.”

The Globe and Mail reports, “A poll conducted by Nanos Research…reveals a sharp drop in the past month in Mr. Harper’s leadership index score – a compendium measuring Canadians’ attitudes toward the trustworthiness, competence and vision of political leaders. That score declined from 99 in February to its current level of 83, eliminating the gains in popularity that the Conservatives had purchased through a saturation campaign of negative advertising. …Unfortunately for the Liberals, Mr. Harper’s declining leadership index score is not mirrored in gains for Michael Ignatieff, whose score inched up from 37 to 40. The real winner was NDP Leader Jack Layton, whose score leapt from 44 to 51.”

The Postmedia article is at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Tories+considered+most+trustworthy+poll/4474156/story.html, the Globe and Mail report is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson/harper-has-reason-to-worry-nanos-poll/article1949229/.