Probably, the Afghan mission will not be an issue in the election as the Liberals and Conservatives agree that supporting the troops means putting them in harms way to ensure that there will be more casualties not withdrawing them as the Bloc and NDP support. Interesting they asked people whether we should stay in Afghanistan even if the U.S. asked us to. I guess the pollsters even want to know whether the policy of being junior partners in U.S. imperialism is selling well.
This is from cnews.
September 4, 2008
Afghan mission too costly, 61% say
By Murray Brewster, THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA - A new poll suggests a majority of Canadians believe the country is paying too high a price in blood and treasure for its involvement in Afghanistan.
The Canadian Press-Harris Decima survey also shows an overwhelming number of respondents were uncertain about whether the Kandahar mission has been a success.
"The mission in Afghanistan has been a source of controversy and pain for many Canadians for a long time now," Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson said Thursday.
The results show that the public understands there is a global terrorism threat and it's centred in Afghanistan, but "the Canadian appetite for further direct involvement in this war is very limited."
The telephone survey of 1,000 people was conducted before the latest attack on Wednesday, in which three soldiers died.
To date 96 Canadian soldiers, one diplomat and two aid workers have died in Afghanistan. The Conservative government has set aside $1.9 billion for aid and reconstruction in the war-torn country.
The survey found that 61 per cent of respondents believed the cost of the country's mission in lives and money has been unacceptable, while only one in three - 32 per cent - said it was acceptable.
When asked overall, whether they would say the mission in Afghanistan has been a success, a failure or that it is too soon to tell, a majority of respondents, roughly 48 per cent, took the wait-and-see answer.
At least 30 per cent were prepared to categorically declare the mission a success.
It also appears that Canadians are resigned to carrying out the country's duty in Kandahar until 2011, but would oppose attempts to "lengthen or increase its commitment."
The survey said 57 per cent of respondents didn't want to stay longer in Afghanistan, even if the request came from United States.
And the results held steady no matter who in the White House was doing the asking - Republican John McCain or Democrat Barrack Obama.
Only 33 per cent said they would favour an extension.
The end-date of Canada's military deployment has been revised twice since the Conservatives were elected in 2006.
The NDP and Bloc Quebecois have always been steadfast in their opposition to the war.
The Liberals, who initially sent the troops to Kandahar, had demanded they be brought home when the existing mandate expired in February 2009, but ended up agreeing to support an extension until July 2011.
The poll is probably welcomed by the Conservatives as they prepare to embark on a general election, expected to be called on Sunday.
Both the military and the Tories have by times complained that the media pays too much attention to casualties and thereby saps public enthusiasm for the mission.
But a military analyst said the public is reasonably savvy and understands that the troops are facing a tough battle, one in which they're not getting much help from their partners in NATO.
"I think Canadians understand, per capita, that we are paying more than our fair share," said retired general Lewis MacKenzie.
He said the public has steeled itself to casualties and is "prepared to accept that for a certain period of time," but what the poll tells him is that people want to see something for the sacrifice.
Harris/Decima interviewed 1,000 Canadians Aug. 28-31. The survey is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times in 20.