Contradictory poll results for Canadians

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released the results of its What the World Thinks in 2002 survey early this month, and it contains some interesting news for Canadians, particularly in view of the recent Maclean’s 19th Annual Year-End Poll, which evoked a nice rant from me last week.

Another area in which Canadians outstrip all the other countries polled in the Pew project is in our positive feelings about immigration. When asked if the influence of immigrants is generally good or bad, a large majority of Canadians polled (77 per cent) say immigrants have a good influence on the way things are going.

Hey, that sounds like a good pat on the back! But wait, there’s more!

Canadians rank religious and ethnic hatred as the No. 1 concern (55 per cent of us say so), followed by pollution and the environment (44 per cent). Close behind, 37 per cent of us cite the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

In a country where 44% would restrict Canada’s intake of Muslim immigrants, you’re damned right religious and ethnic hatred should be a concern! Similarly, in a country where, according to a May 2002 Leger Marketing poll, 42% own or lease either a mini-van, pick-up truck or SUV, pollution and the environment had best be one of the top concerns. Now if only Canadians would practice what they preach, we might stand a chance at properly addressing these concerns.

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