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Is USA Harper Country?

US public opinion might surprise our new PM.

Angus Reid 7 Mar 2006TheTyee.ca

[Editor's note: This is the first in a new Tyee series sharing with you the global scan of Angus Reid Consultants, the Vancouver-based leaders in public opinion analysis. TrendWatch columns will offer quick, concise context for developing stories in BC and beyond.]

Stephen Harper is set to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox in Cancun at the end of the month. Harper is likely to welcome the company of two fellow conservative leaders (Fox, like Bush, represents his country's right-leaning party). Still, it would be wrong to assume that U.S. citizens are natural allies of Harper's agenda, or that Bush's presidency indicates that Americans are mirror opposites of Canadians on issues like gay marriage, health care, UN diplomacy or marijuana. And if you assume 9/11 fallout has made Americans hostile to their more "friendly" Canadian neighbours, think again.

Gay marriage: 53 percent of Americans think a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is a bad idea and only 36 percent of the population thinks banning same sex-marriage is a good idea. For more click here.

Health care: 62 percent of Americans believe that the federal government should provide health insurance for all Americans. For more click here.

Iran's nuclear power: 78 percent of Americans would like the United Nations to deal with Iran and their nuclear program. For more click here.

Marijuana: 59 percent of Canadians and 57 percent of Americans don't think the conviction of possession of marijuana should result in a criminal record. For more, click here.

Mutual admiration? 85 percent of Americans agree with the statement "I like and admire Canadians, that is citizens of Canada," but only 60 percent of Canadians felt the same way about Americans. For more, click here.

TrendWatch will run twice monthly on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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