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Poll: Majority of Canadians dislike Bush
CNews (CA)
December 13, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly two-thirds of Canadians had an unfavourable view of U.S. President George W. Bush, even though most Canadians said they had a good opinion of Americans, suggests a poll done for The Associated Press.

Just over six in 10 said they were "worried" and "disappointed" by Bush's re-election last month, said the poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid Nov. 19-22., a little more than a week before his first official visit to Canada.

"The negative view that Canadians have of George (W) Bush does not, however, extend to Americans in general," said Darrell Bricker, president of North American Public Affairs for Ipsos-Reid. "Eighty per cent of Canadians say they like Americans. This is not surprising. No matter how you measure it, most Canadians regard Americans as closest cousins."

The poll was part of an international poll conducted in eight countries - Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United States - on public attitudes about Bush, his re-election and his role in world affairs.

Bush's re-election was viewed negatively by a majority of people in those countries - including in Britain, America's strongest ally in the war in Iraq, polling found.

At least seven in 10 in France, Germany and Spain said they had an unfavourable view of President Bush. Just over half of the French and Germans said they had an unfavourable view of Americans in general, and about half of Spaniards felt that way.

Especially inclined to have an unfavourable opinion of Bush in those countries were people between ages 18 and 24.

"The predominant feelings about Bush's re-election in the European countries are disappointment and surprise more than anger," said Gilles Corman, director of public affairs for Ipsos-Inra in Belgium.

Polling found that Bush was viewed favourably by a majority of people in the United States. But that was not the case in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

A majority of people in Britain, America's strongest ally in the Iraq war, had an unfavourable view of Bush. Six in 10 Britons said they were disappointed he was re-elected.

In Canada, about the same number of Canadians said they were disappointed with the re-election.

Sixty-four per cent of the Canadians polled had an unfavourable view of Bush.

Ipsos polled 1,003 people for the Canadian segment of the poll.

Just over half of the people in France, Germany and Spain had an unfavourable view of Americans, but a solid majority in Australia (69 per cent), Britain (60 per cent), Canada (80 per cent) and Italy (56 per cent) expressed a favourable opinion.

Canadians and Americans have close ties, and the two countries share the world's longest undefended border and have the largest trade partnership, estimated at more than $1.2 billion Cdn a day. About one-third of Canada's entire output, and 85 per cent of its exports, go to the United States.

Canada did not send troops to Iraq, but it has dispatched peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan.

The AP-Ipsos poll found that just over two-thirds of Canadians said they had a negative opinion of Bush's role in world affairs, compared with 30 per cent who said they had a positive view.

Bush's socially conservative views and support of Christian conservatives do not resonate well with most people in Canada, where there is a system of publicly funded health care and the federal Liberal government has pledged to legalize gay marriage countrywide.

Polls done before the U.S. election showed Canadians supporting Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry by at least a 2-1 margin.