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HomeWorldIndian-Canadians 'strongly skew Left', remain with Trudeau-led Liberal Party, survey shows

Indian-Canadians ‘strongly skew Left’, remain with Trudeau-led Liberal Party, survey shows

Survey by YouGov and researchers Milan Vaishnav, Caroline Duckworth & Devesh Kapur found 38% Indian-Canadians back Liberals, 21% prefer Jagmeet Singh-led NDP.

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New Delhi: Indian-Canadians continue to support the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party of Canada in large numbers, and tend to “strongly skew Left” on the political spectrum, found a recent survey by research firm YouGov, in collaboration with researchers Milan Vaishnav and Caroline Duckworth, as well as political scientist Devesh Kapur.

The survey, which sampled 724 Canadian citizens of Indian origin, was conducted on the eve of the country’s parliamentary election that took place on 20 September, in which Trudeau failed to regain the majority he was seeking and had to rely on smaller parties to form the government in another fragmented parliament.

According to the survey’s findings, published in the Toronto Star newspaper last week, 38 per cent of respondents indicated their support of the Liberal party — twice the number that planned to vote for the Conservative Party. Also, 21 per cent backed the New Democratic Party (NDP), currently led by MP Jagmeet Singh, who is a Sikh.

“Remarkably, this breakdown is nearly identical to the distribution of Indo-Canadian votes in both 2015 and 2019, according to our analysis of the Canadian Election Study,” stated the survey.

Indians are the largest group of new immigrants in Canada. In 2019, over 80,000 Indians moved to the country, comprising one-quarter of all immigrants arriving that year. According to the 2016 census, there are nearly 1.4 million people of Indian origin in Canada, comprising four per cent of the population.

Vaishnav is a senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, while Duckworth is a junior fellow at the institute. Kapur is the Director of Asia Programs and Starr Foundation Professor of South Asian Studies at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, USA.

Healthcare, cost of living and economy the top issues

Indian-Canadians care about issues like healthcare, the cost of living and the economy, the survey found.

“On a standard Left-Right ideological spectrum, Indo-Canadians strongly skew Left. Nearly three in four Indo-Canadians self-identify on the liberal half of the scale,” it stated.

It added, “When it comes to the issues topping their agenda this election season, respondents identify the same bread-and-butter issues that weigh on most Canadians’ minds: Health care and Covid-19, the cost of living, the state of the economy.”

The survey also shed light on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s growing “allure” among Indian-Canadians. “Nearly half of respondents reported that Singh’s leadership of the NDP makes them more enthusiastic about the party, in large part due to his Indian and/or Sikh roots,” it stated.

Asked to rate their views of political leaders on a scale of 0-100, respondents gave Singh an average rating of 67, higher than Trudeau at 65 and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole at 49.

However, the perception that the NDP is unlikely to form the government has held some Indian-Canadians back. The survey found one-in-four Indians say the primary reason they do not vote for NDP is because they don’t want to “waste their vote”.

The poll found that younger voters tilted more to the NDP, but older voters perceived Singh’s party as unable to win — and therefore a waste of a vote.

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)


Also read: China awards prison term, death to Canadians as Huawei CFO fights US extradition in Canada


 

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