In comments, Lone Primate pointed out this poll, showing that a great majority of Canadians disagree with Stephen Harper's position on the war in the Middle East.
Stephen Harper's decision to support Israel in the current Middle East crisis appears out of step with the majority of Canadians, according to a new poll.

The survey finds that a majority of Canadians want their government to be neutral on the conflict and that Mr. Harper has tilted away from the traditional Canadian position. Moreover, they believe that the Conservative government is taking its cues from U.S. President George W. Bush.

The Globe and Mail/CTV poll also shows that Canadians are paying close attention to the conflict, and that Quebeckers are particularly concerned about the shift.

"What you're struck by is how unpopular the position he has taken is, especially in the province of Quebec," said Allan Gregg, chairman of the Strategic Counsel, the firm that conducted the poll.

According to the poll, 45 per cent of voters disagree with Mr. Harper's support of Israel's actions, while 32 per cent support it, and 23 per cent don't know or neither agree nor disagree. In Quebec, 61 per cent are against the Harper position, with only 17 per cent behind it.

The poll also found that 77 per cent of Canadians surveyed say Canada should be neutral in the current conflict, with 16 per cent voicing support for Israel and just 1 per cent backing Hezbollah. Fifty-one per cent say the position represents a move away from previous Canadian governments' views.

Mr. Gregg said the results may be a political warning for Mr. Harper, although he noted that the Conservative Party's popularity has stayed relatively stable in the wake of the conflict.

"It doesn't seem to be affecting their bottom line right now," Mr. Gregg said.

"But when you start digging in to the substantive policy positions he has taken, especially on foreign policy positions, you see how incendiary they can become if that debate began to roil above the summertime consciousness . . . The position Canadians want us to take is decidedly neutral."

On a related question, 53 per cent say they believe Mr. Harper has backed Israel because the position is in line with that of Mr. Bush.
The following day, wmtc reader Tresy linked to this:
A new poll suggests Tory support is sliding over voter concern that Canada has become too cozy with the United States on Middle East policy.

The latest results by Decima Research, released to The Canadian Press, put the Conservatives and Liberals in a virtual tie nationally.

The Tories had 32 per cent support compared with 31 per cent for the Liberals and 16 per cent for the New Democrats.

But the Liberals widened their Ontario lead to 42 per cent of voter support compared with 33 per cent for the Conservatives, and have pulled in front of the Tories in Quebec for the first time since last winter's campaign.

"When we look at the combination of the alignment of the government with the current U.S. administration policy on the Middle East — and in particular with respect to the Lebanon-Israel conflict — it's reasonable to assume it's one of the factors that's driving Conservative support down in the near term," said Decima CEO Bruce Anderson.

"They clearly are encountering some pushback from voters in Ontario and Quebec in particular."

Liberals have also taken the lead in crucial urban ridings by a margin of 35 per cent versus 29 per cent, and are increasingly preferred by women and by voters aged 25 to 34, the poll suggests.

Middle East policy and hefty new defence spending announced by the Tories in June have apparently left some Quebec voters cold, Mr. Anderson says.

The province tends to be the most pacifist in Canada. It's also where Prime Minister Stephen Harper has invested most of his political capital in a drive for a majority government.
This is good news, as Canadians reject the idea of Canada's foreign policy following the US's.

However, Canadians who believe Harper is following "Bush's" policy are missing something: no American president would be any different. Although Bush's personal style grossly offends us, his Israel-only support for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is standard US fare.

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