OTTAWA, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Canadian voters have just made Stephen Harper's
task as Prime Minister much more complicated. That's the major finding of a
nationwide qualitative study of Canadian's hopes, fears and expectations of
the new government released today by Ensight Canada.
On Wednesday, October 15 Ensight Canada conducted a qualitative study of
primarily switch voters in Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, Calgary and
"Canadians believe Prime Minister Harper has a mandate to lead," said
Jaime Watt, Ensight Canada Principal. "They've clearly told all of the
leaders, however, they want their concerns addressed in a spirit of
co-operation and respect."
Harper made significant political gains in this election. For example, he
appears to have bridged the gender gap with important groups of women.
The significance of these gains, however, is matched by the governmental
challenges he now must confront arising from voter expectations:
- A stretched treasury with exploding demands for financial assistance.
- Defending a possible deficit to a political base likely furious at
- An expectation that he will deliver tough economic measures to help
Canada weather this current storm, but do so "nicely."
- The need to re-launch his Quebec outreach efforts, at the risk of
- Strengthening Canadian financial institutions when Canadians are
convinced they don't need or deserve support.
- Defending his timing for an Afghan exit, when the surprising cost
revelations have convinced Canadians that the mission should be over.
- Demonstrating his capacity to build consensus in a new minority
"The next year will reveal if Mr. Harper is the strong leader in
difficult times that Canadians grudgingly chose," said Robin Sears, Ensight
Canada Principal. "To do that, he will need to overcome fate, economic gales,
and the opposition."
"His critics are predicting a stormy winter ahead for the Prime
Minister," said John Weir, Ensight Canada Principal. "But throughout his
career, he has consistently proved his critics wrong."
This project was sponsored by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Porter
Airlines provided transportation support.
About Ensight Canada
Ensight Canada specializes in government relations and stakeholder
management at the strategic level. Ensight Canada was created out of a
strategic partnership between Navigator Ltd and OEB Enterprise Inc, two of the
country's leading research, strategic communications and government relations
firms. Designed to serve clients in today's tough regulatory atmosphere,
Ensight Canada was created to provide clients with a team experienced at
delivering results in Ottawa, and disciplined by the new era of
For further information:
For further information: Tyler Fleming, (416) 642-6122, (416) 899-5793