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NEWS: Poll backs public health care, rejects Harper’s promotion of the monarchy

The Canadian Press reports, “The military, the Arctic, sports and the monarchy have been staples of Conservative messaging almost from the time Harper took office early in 2006. (But) Canadians, it seems, love their universal health care. The monarchy? Not so much.”

“A new national poll commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies examined the pride Canadians place in a list of more than a dozen symbols, achievements and attributes. The online survey of 2,207 respondents by Leger Marketing found universal health care was almost universally loved, with 94 per cent calling it an important source of collective pride… At the other end of the spectrum, just 39 per cent of respondents felt the monarchy was a source of personal or collective pride…”

In early-September, the Globe and Mail reported, “The Harper government, a staunch proponent of the monarchy, has ordered all Canadian embassies and missions abroad to display a portrait of the Queen by mid-month. It’s the latest effort by the Conservatives to demonstrate support for Canada’s sovereign and part of a steady Tory campaign to champion more traditional elements of this country’s national identity, including the military.” Also in contrast to the poll’s finding, the Harper government will be cutting $36 billion from public health care over a ten-year period.

In early-November, the Boston Globe reported that, “Led by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Canadian government has fully embraced a vision (of aggressive patriotism), emphasizing the country’s military history and spending millions to promote its image as a nation of uncompromising fighters. …Meanwhile, many Canadians are bristling at the top-down campaign to change their national identity. ‘I think we’re so embarrassed by it, to be honest,’ said Adrienne Silnicki of The Council of Canadians, a progressive organization. ‘We’re watching this happen and it’s so out of touch with the Canadian reality.'”

The Canadian Press article is at http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/poll-canadians-are-most-proud-of-universal-medicare-1.1052929. The Boston Globe article with the quote from Adrienne is at http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2012/11/03/global-domination-whoa-canada/gJ37RiRzIg3zqe8T4ZibTO/story.html. The Globe and Mail report is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-embassies-have-till-sept-15-to-hang-the-queens-portrait/article593965/.