Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Desire to Maintain Ties with Monarchy Grows in English Canada: Poll: Monarchy's Popularity Grows in English Canada

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Desire to Maintain Ties with Monarchy Grows in English Canada: Poll: Monarchy's Popularity Grows in English Canada

Article excerpt

TORONTO - A new poll suggests support for maintaining ties to the monarchy is on the rise in Canada, with only Quebec bucking a trend that may be partly driven by the star power of William and Kate and the Conservative government's cultural policy.

"It does seem things are, on this question, becoming more polarized between Quebec and the rest of Canada," said Harris-Decima consultant Robert Hughes.

It is a Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey conducted between May 17 and May 20 that indicates a rise in support for Canada's royal connection. The poll was conducted just before Prince Charles and Camilla made a whirlwind visit to the country.

Those surveyed were asked whether they thought the monarchy is an important part of Canadian history and political culture that ought to be maintained or if it is a relic of our colonial past that has no place in the Canada of today.

Overall, the poll indicated some 51 per cent of Canucks want to maintain Canada's links to the monarchy.

That is a six percentage point increase, up from 45 per cent of the population in support of keeping the Queen as head of state, when the survey's results are compared to a similar poll conducted in 2009. The increase is mostly seen among those over the age of 35.

In Quebec, however, just 24 per cent of respondents say the monarchy is an important part of Canadian history, a figure that's actually down six percentage points from the previous poll.

But the royals have increased in popularity in all other parts of the country, the poll indicates.

One possible reason for that increase in English Canada is likely the incredibly popular Canadian visit of Prince William and his wife Kate last summer -- the first international trip the couple made after being wed.

"That's probably given people a more positive view of the monarchy in general Canada," said Hughes. "They're younger, they're more photogenic, more popular...I think when they do come there's a bigger star power."

Another element driving support for the monarchy could be the federal Conservative government's efforts to highlight the country's long-standing links to the monarchy, said Hughes.

"There's been a shift in the way the Harper government has been approaching the monarchy, it's become part of their cultural policy," he said. "People have gotten on board with that. …

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