Dear Stephen Harper: Most Canadians Don't Give A Crap About The Monarchy And The War of 1812 ... but we love Public Health Care!!!
OTTAWA - 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 — including 74 per cent who called it "very important."
At the other end of the spectrum, just 39 per cent of respondents felt the monarchy was a source of personal or collective pride, while 59 per cent were royally unimpressed. In fact, 32 per cent of respondents found the monarchy "not at all important" — the most popular singular response.
The findings provide an interesting snapshot of the country after seven years under a Stephen Harper government that's made a priority of promoting its own blend of nation-building symbols.
The military, the Arctic, sports and the monarchy have been staples of Conservative messaging almost from the time Harper took office early in 2006.
More recently, the government has spent more than $100 million over the past four years on jaunty "economic action plan" advertising in concert with a constant refrain from Conservatives about Canada's relative prosperity in a battered global economy.
"They've definitely had mixed results," said Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies.
"The monarchy doesn't resonate well at all." [...]
"One of the ones that does really well — the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — is one the government was more hesitant about," said Jedwab.
The Conservatives consciously downplayed this year's 30th anniversary of the Charter, choosing to mark the occasion with a simple press release.
By contrast, the government has budgeted more than $28 million to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a multi-year program that includes everything from TV advertising to upgrading historic sites and striking commemorative coins.
Alas, the historic series of battles between the British and the Americans came in near the bottom of the Leger online survey, albeit still far ahead of the monarchy in perceived importance."Winnipeg Free Press