Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Idle No More Might Be Popular No More: Polls

A few online polls suggest Idle No More is not supported by a majority of Canadians.

Though there appears to be no major polling done as of yet, three recent online polls give some idea about the popularity of Idle No More.

The larger of the polls was on Jan.3, Winnipeg Free Press had an online poll of over 14,000 respondents, 32% supported Idle No More while 47% opposed it and 21% were unclear what the movement exactly was.

Niagra Falls Review on Jan.5 had a much smaller poll with only 332 respondents: 93 supported Idle No More with 185 opposing it.

On Dec.30 Castanet, a news site for British Columbia's Okanagan region ran a poll garnering 1119 responses, 20% supported the protest movement and 75% opposed it

Polling firm Angus Reid also provides some troubling numbers for Idle No More. The company conducted an online survey on Jan.7 and 8, though no direct question was asked to gauge support, it was found that 45% of respondents were not too aware or not aware of the movement.

Looking at the larger picture, if aboriginal issues had public support, Canadians would have elected more aboriginal-friendly politicians. By choosing this Conservative government over other parties like the Liberal Party, who had drafted the Kelowna Accord, it's clear not only do aboriginal issues rank low in the public consciousness, but a significant amount of Canadians hold a more negative view to those issues being fought for by these current protesters.

Polls may show there is little public support for Idle No More, but that is exactly the reason why there is Idle No More. If the cause was popular things would have changed long ago.

Aboriginals and other Canadians should still protest but they should also organize, join parties, and ensure every aboriginal votes in the next election. If they don't and continue to have drastically lower voter turnout, the question will not be whether Idle No More has support, but whether it deserves any.

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