Friday, April 29, 2016

Liberals won over Muslims by huge margin in 2015, poll suggests

Muslim Canadians voted overwhelmingly for the Liberal Party in last year's election, helping Justin Trudeau secure the majority government that nine out of 10 of Muslims believe will help improve relations between themselves and other Canadians, according to a new survey.

The poll of Muslim Canadians also found widespread support for the right to wear a niqab during a citizenship ceremony and a large degree of opposition to the anti-terrorism legislation known as Bill C-51, two hot-button issues that may have cost the Conservatives dearly in the last federal election.

You can read the rest of this article here.

The Pollcast: Politics and Muslim Canadians

Never before has a federal election campaign in Canada focused so much on issues related to Muslim Canadians. But lost in the cacophony of the campaign might have been what Muslim Canadians themselves thought about the roiling debate.

A new survey by the Environics Institute, however, sheds some light on what Muslim Canadians think about these issues, their religion and the new Liberal government.

In addition to finding that Muslim Canadians are both increasingly patriotic and devout, the survey found high levels of support for the Liberals in the last election, belief in the right for Muslims to wear the niqab at citizenship ceremonies and optimism that the new government will help improve relations between Muslims and other Canadians.

Joining me to discuss the results of his landmark survey of Muslim Canadians is Keith Neuman, Executive Director of the Environics Institute.

You can listen to the latest episode of the Pollcast here.

Muslim Canadians increasingly proud of and attached to Canada, survey suggests

An overwhelming majority of Muslim Canadians have a strong attachment to their country and feel that Canada is heading in the right direction, according to a new survey.

But the survey also finds that young Muslims, a cohort that is increasingly devout, have more attachment to their religious identity than older Muslims and are more likely to be concerned and pessimistic about discrimination.

These are the findings of a survey of 600 Canadian Muslims conducted by the Environics Institute between November 2015 and February 2016. It follows up on a survey conducted 10 years ago and suggests that Muslim Canadians are becoming increasingly integrated into the broader Canadian society.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. 48% of Canadian Muslims attend religious services at least once a week.

    So they're Americans, basically. That's always been one of the starkest differences between Canadians and Americans. Roughly half of Americans attend religious services at least once a week, but in Canada that number is under 10%. Canadians just aren't that religious.

    It troubles me that younger Muslims are more devout, and increasingly devout. Education and social development typically correlate with lower levels of religiosity, and I don't understand why young Muslims defy this trend.

    Further, given my strong distrust of religion (and religious people), this makes me less enthusiastic about Muslims generally.

    1. It does seem counter-intuitive that younger Canadian Muslims are more religious than their predecessors. This may be a worrying sign as it bucks a long held trend of decreasing religious adherence throughout the Western World. It may simply be a result "homesickness" or nostalgia or a need to connect with other Muslims. If you are a Scottish immigrant and feel nostalgic for the old country you might go to a curling match or the Scottish Cultural Centre. Conversely young Canadian Muslims may simply attend their Mosque to learn about their culture and meet others like them. It may be a reflection of a lack of spaces for young Canadians.

      If as Ira suggests Education and social development correlate to lower levels of religiosity then perhaps we should investigate whether young Canadian Muslims are achieving equivalent educational standards and social development as other Canadians and correct whatever needs to be corrected.

    2. Higher levels of affiliation with religion =/= more fanatical believers. Religion is many things beyond belief, its also a huge important cultural centre point that immigrant communities revolve around. As Paul alluded to, I feel this is more likely the reason young Muslims are more devout (and remember devout in this poll's context is simply attendance).

      I would be more interested in seeing what the attitudes of young Muslims are on social issues before I make any claims about their religiosity and, uh, say something about how they make me "less enthusiastic."

  2. I wonder how much of this religious "drive" is caused by parental influence ?? The "you must attend the mosque" thing which we used to get for the Christian churches and the Jewish synagogues and has now almost disappeared ?

  3. Eric, why would you argue on CBC that muslims have "turned their back on the Tories" when they clearly turned their back on the NDP. The Tory muslim vote was down 10% while the NDP muslim vote was down 28% in 2015.

    The Tories have never courted the muslim vote in their history.

    Did you miss that one on purpose maybe?

    1. Context is key here. In the context of the election campaign, it seems far more likely that Muslims were turned off by the Conservatives than they were turned off by the NDP - the Liberals likely won that vote from the NDP for the same reason they did among other Canadians.

    2. Yes they have courted the Muslim vote. In 2011 they were quite effective at capturing it.

      This is why there are so many pictures of Jason Kenney at various cultural events; the CPC did court minorities because minorities tend to be quite religiously conservative.

      But they threw that away in 2015.

    3. I'd add that motivation to vote is a big deal too. I remember knocking on the door of a Muslim family during advance polls in my riding and being told that, "Every single person in this house has voted Liberal, and we will make sure every person we know goes out and votes for you." This was not atypical. A lot of people - not just Muslims - got the message from the Conservatives that they weren't welcome. That's something I think really deserves more attention - when score political points off the backs of one minority group, other groups take notice.

      It's a spectacular implosion really. The Conservatives spent more than a decade building a diverse and inclusive coalition, and as a result won their first majority since 1988.

      Then in the span of about a year they decided to throw all that away in a desperate attempt to cling to power.

      Conservatives should be demanding the heads of whomever thought that was a good idea. It didn't just hurt them this election - bringing in people like the Lizard of Oz (Lynton Crosby) and adopting his style of politics has weakened the Conservatives substantially for the foreseeable future. Real damage was done.

    4. It was a natural consequence of their style of governance. All the boutique tax cuts and targeted campaigning eventually lead to trying to capute stranger and stranger electoral niches. Explicitly going after the intolerance vote was inevitable.

      And lunacy.

    5. Rough math here, but based on this it seems they lost around ~30,000 votes from Muslim Canadians, out of ~220,000 votes lost total between 2011 and 2015. So pretty significant.

    6. I am skeptical any fatal damage has been done....outside of the normal political turn around I mean, 2 election cycles later and no one is going to that strongly influence their vote. I mean honest effort can court that vote again.

    7. The "Lizard of Oz" is Paul Keating so dubbed for putting his arm around The Queen during a state visit.

  4. And Nanos came out last night with the latest polling numbers and the Liberals continue to gain as the Tories and NDP slide back.

    1. Are you misinterpreting leader approval ratings again?

    2. Yes Nanos came out and all three indicators show Liberal support in decline though, still well ahead of their rivals. Both Conservative and NDP numbers improved! Unfortunately your statement above Peter Meldrum, is almost entirely incorrect.

      Vote consider Liberals 58.8%(-1.6%)
      Party Power Index Liberals 64.1 (-.6)
      Preferred PM Trudeau 50.4%(-.7)

      vote consider Conservatives 42.$5(+.9)
      Party Power Index 46.1(+.1)
      preferred PM Ambrose 16.7%(+.1)

      vote consider NDP 41.9% (-.3)
      Party Power Index 47.5(+.4)
      preferred PM Mulcair 10.6%(+.9)

    3. 1) Why would this matter so far out from an election, where x number of events will all influence voters?

      2) Week to week changes in nanos will have more to do with sampling error than anything else. Long term trend is more important as it reduces the noise introduced from the error.

      3) Who knows what nanos party power rating even means? does this value reflect in actual real votes?

      4) Looking at the long term trends, Trudeau personals look relatively static and Lib party power looks down...slightly post election.

    4. It only matters to psychophants

  5. While the recent polls show Muslims overwhelmingly voting for the Liberals in 2015, I don't see how this is tremendously different from previous years... in 2011 an Ipsos poll showed Muslims voting for the Libs, 46% to mid-30s for the NDP and 12% for the Conservatives. Admittedly I haven't listened to your podcast yet Eric, but does this get any mention?

    1. That Ipsos poll is mentioned in the podcast and my article on the 2015 results.

      Tremendously different? No, but it isn't just about winning. Consider the Republicans - they don't need to win the black or Hispanic vote, they just need enough of it. Taking 12% of the Muslim vote in 2011 is not bad for the Conservatives. Taking 2% is bad.

  6. And it seems none here want to look at the possibilities of a Donald Trump Presidency.

    All I can see for us in Canada is disaster ??

    1. There's no way to know. Trump as much as admits that he hasn't said one true thing during the campaign. As such, we have effectively no insight into how he would govern.

      That said, if we do take his statements at face value, he's pro-pipeline (that's good for us), opposes TPP (that's good for us), supports trade with Canada (that's good for us), and supports military alliances only when they include mutual defence provisions (which ours do).

      The biggest problem is if his election paralyses congress (worse than it already is). That would be bad for us.

    2. Agreed there is a whole bunch of questions about his campaign that haven't been answered or addressed. Now I don't think it would paralyze Congress like a Clinton win will because the Repubs would be in control.

      He's anti-NAFTA and that's worrying. Plus a couple of other things from the foreign policy speech of his were worrisome.
      Big questions of course is will he get the nomination?? Can he beat Hillary ??

    3. Obama and Clinton both ran on anti-NAFTA platforms in 2008. Campaigning against NAFTA appears to have no effect.

      There's also no guarantee the Republicans will still control congress after the election, particularly given how unpopular Trump is (Clinton and Trump would be the two least popular nominees as far back as our polling data goes) he might cost the Republicans farther down the ballot.

      Given Trump's business dealings (he routinely manufactures things in China rather than America), I fully expect him to do nothing at all to curtail access to the cheap Mexican labour market the way he says he would (and the crux of his anti-NAFTA rhetoric).


  7. Pierre Karl Péladeau resigns as Parti Québécois leader
    The leader of the separatist party made the announcement at a news conference in Montreal on Monday afternoon, stating he wanted to have more time with his family.

  8. Wow-PKP resigned!

    Eric, where was the heads-up? Only joking.

    I'll predict Alexandre Cloutier M.N.A. for Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean to be the next PQ leader. He's the young fellow who finished second to PKP last year and from what I can tell there does not appear to be anyone else.


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