Pro-Israel Harper faces drubbing as Canada heads toward vote

Incumbent Conservative PM, who is maintaining embargo on Iran, slumps into third place in latest polls

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset, Monday, January 20, 2014. (Photo credit: Flash 90)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset, Monday, January 20, 2014. (Photo credit: Flash 90)

OTTAWA, Canada — Canada’s leftist New Democrats took a giant leap ahead of rivals in an election campaign, according to polls published Friday, which predict a thumping for staunchly pro-Israel Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his bid for a fourth Tory government.

Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats have the support of 33 percent of Canadians surveyed, according to an Ipsos poll, the same figure as a previous poll on August 11.

Backing for Harper’s Conservatives, meanwhile, has plummeted to 29%, while the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau, the son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, moved up to second spot with 30 percent support.

The Poll sampled 1,000 vote-eligible Canadian between August 24-26.

An EKOS poll that quizzed 3,524 Canadians between August 19-25 showed similar results with the NDP scoring 33.6% of the public support, the Conservatives 28.1%, and the Liberals in third place with 26.7%, iPolitics reported.

In the 2011 election, the Conservatives scored 39.6% of the vote, the NDP 30.6%, and the Liberals 18.9%.

According to Ipsos, only 29% of those polled agreed that the “Harper government has done a good job and deserves re-election” while 71% believe it is “time for another federal party to take over.”

Earlier polling had the three parties neck and neck coming out of the gate after Harper called for new elections in early August. Voting is slated for October 19.

Under Harper’s Conservative government, in power since 2006, Canada has taken a steadfastly pro-Israel line, vehemently supporting the Jewish state on the world stage and continuing to ostracize Iran even as the Islamic Republic makes inroads with the West.

Harper has largely backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on the Iran crisis and during multiple rounds of fighting with Hamas in Gaza.

In a show of pro-Israel support, Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson said last month that Ottawa would hold its embargo on Tehran despite the nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers, an announcement that drew the ire of Iranian officials.

The Harper government also announced last month an upgrade to the bilateral free-trade agreement between Canada and Israel.

On Saturday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took his campaign trail to an Islamic conference in Mississauga where he told the audience he would abolish the Conservative sponsored citizenship law that gives the government the power to revoke the citizenship of Canadians convicted of terrorism, treason, or espionage whether at home or abroad, The Star Canada reported.

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