New polling data show a downward trend in the number of Canadians who favor working in close partnership with the U.S. on security issues.
“in terms of national security (i.e., NATO, the United Nations), should the United States and Canada be moving towards greater and closer cooperation or should they be maintaining separate national security policies and priorities?”
Forty-five per cent of respondents said Canada and the U.S. should move towards greater cooperation. That’s down nine points from 2012 and 19 points from 2005.
Twenty per cent thought policies and priorities should stay the same, while 32 per cent want separate policies, up 10 points from 2005.
OK, that’s still 45% who favor cooperation. But as recently as 2005, that number stood at 64%. According to this poll, U.S. interest in cooperation with Canada is also on a downward trend, from a high of 74% in 2006 to 64% now.
The wide-ranging survey was conducted Aug. 18-22, 2013, after the initial Edward Snowden N.S.A. revelations, but before the current Syria missle-strike issue. (The much-debated civilian gas attack took place on Aug 21.)
The poll suggests a similar drop took place on the subject of human rights, as summarized by Embassy:
Only 27 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they believed the United States was the nation most aligned with Canada on human rights issues, down from 49 per cent in 2012.
The last time the survey found such a low amount of Canadians believing Americans were their country’s primary human rights partners was in 2007, when it sat around 25 per cent. Since then it had climbed to a high of over 50 per cent in 2011.
Canadians picked Britain as the country they felt was the closest with Canada on human rights, while the US came second, and Germany third.
According to the same poll: 63% of Canadians strongly agree or agree that “Canada should follow its own interests, even if that leads to conflict with other nations.” Meanwhile, 57% of Americans strongly agree or agree “The US should follow its own interests, even if this leads to conflict with other nations.”
This is a post about one particular poll. Some readers dismiss polls in general as imperfect, irrelevant or downright suspect. Still, they can can offer interesting snapshots – or trends – worth pondering.
Canadians: have recent events made you more or less interested in cooperating with the U.S. on security issues?
Americans: do you care what other countries think about the U.S.? Or should the U.S. do what it deems necessary and damn the critics?