Two thirds agree with Iraq mission and goals

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Two thirds agree with Iraq mission and goals

Increased security measures welcome

TORONTO November 20th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1500 Canadian voters, roughly two thirds approve the mission to fight ISIS in Iraq and agree that ISIS must be confronted overseas, that the Islamic State is a direct threat to Canada and that new anti-terrorism laws are needed in Canada.

Two thirds approve of Iraq mission

Two thirds of our sample approve of the mission to Iraq consisting of six CF-18 fighter jets and their support staff (66%), while 3-in-10 do not approve (30%). Among those who approve , twice as many approve "strongly" (43%) as approve "somewhat" (23%).Disapproval of the mission to Iraq is characteristic of the youngest (40%), females (36%), the least wealthy (42%), in Quebec (37%) but not in Alberta (18%). Those in BC are slightly more likely to disapprove (36%), as are New Democrats (42%) and Liberals (37%), but not Conservatives (11%). Francophones are more likely to disapprove of the mission (38%) than Anglophones (28%).

Two thirds agree ISIS must be confronted in Iraq

Two thirds of Canadians agree ISIS must be confronted in Iraq to prevent them from spreading to Canada (63%), and most of these agree "strongly" (39%). The profile of those who don't agree is similar to that of those who don't approve of the mission.

Two thirds agree ISIS is a direct threat to Canada

Two thirds agree ISIS is a direct threat to Canada (67%), and this is an increase since we last asked this question in September (56% agree). Just more than a quarter disagree (28%) and one twentieth are unsure (5%).

7-in-10 want new stiffer anti-terrorism laws

Seven-in-ten Canadians believes we need new, stiffer anti-terrorism legislation (70%), and this view is characteristic of the oldest (82%), the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 77%), in Quebec (78%) and Alberta (80%) and among federal Conservative supporters (88%), but not New Democrats (54%). Francophones are more likely than Anglophones to agree with stiffer sanctions (78% to 68%).

Three quarters agree passports should be revoked for would-be Jihadis

Three quarters agree that high risk individuals who may leave the country to take part in Jihad should have their passports withdrawn (72%), and twice as many agree "strongly" (49%) as "somewhat" (23%). The profile of these "security voters" is similar across these findings - older, male, low income, in Quebec and Alberta and among federal Conservative supporters.

Almost all agree Canadian Jihadis should be barred from returning

The vast majority of Canadians believe Canadians who go abroad to participate in Jihad should not be allowed to return to Canada (86%), and the vast majority of these agree "strongly" (73%). Just one tenth disagree with this position (10%).

More think soldiers' attackers were mentally unbalanced individuals than terrorists

Close to one half of Canadians agree that the recent attacks on Canadian soldiers in Quebec and Ottawa were the actions of mentally unbalanced individuals (46%), whereas just less than 4-in-10 think they were acts of terrorism (39%). Thinking the attacks were terrorist acts is characteristic of the oldest (49%), in Alberta (46%), among federal Conservatives (58%) and the least educated (47%).

Even split on whether attacks on soldiers were justification for Iraq mission

Exactly even proportions, about half, agree and disagree that the attacks on the soldiers was justification for joining the US-led mission to Iraq (47% each). Those who think the attacks justify the mission have the same profile as noted earlier - older, low income, in Alberta, least educated and federal Conservative supporters.

Canadians agree increased security is worth less freedom

When Canadians are asked whether they disagree or agree with statements about security and personal liberty, security wins. The majority agree "it's acceptable to give up a little personal freedom in order to ensure security" (57%), while just one third disagree with this sentiment (35%). Those who disagree are most likely to be the youngest (51%), higher income groups ($80K to $100K - 39%), among Liberals (37%) and New Democrats (46%), but not Conservatives (18%). Paradoxically, one half also agree that the inconvenience caused by increased security is exactly what the terrorists want to cause (50%), while just 3-in-10 disagree (31%). One fifth aren't sure (19%). When voters are asked to agree or disagree with a paraphrased version of Ben Franklin's famous dictum "Those who give up their freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security", fewer than half agree (45%), and one quarter disagree (25%). Fully 3-in-10 don't have an opinion to share (30%).

"The attacks in Richelieu and Ottawa have left Canadians shaken. Our customary insulation from worldly woes has been rudely breached, and Canadians are eager to do anything they can to return things to the way they were. If this means increased security measures and increasingly stiff prevention measures against homegrown terrorism, the voters will accept that," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.