IN a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1392 Canadian voters, one quarter said that, of the past six elected Prime Ministers, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was the best (25%), and he is followed by Jean Chretien (22%).
More than one tenth say none of the six was best (13%) and just fewer pick Stephen Harper (12%). No other recent Prime Minister makes double digits on this measure (Brian Mulroney – 9%, Paul Martin – 6%, Joe Clark – 4%). One tenth don’t know who was best (8%).
Trudeau is preferred by the oldest (31%), in Atlantic Canada (36%) and Ontario (31%). Stephen Harper is especially preferred by prairie residents and Albertans (21% each).
Among Conservatives, Harper is clearly seen to be the best PM (39%). Among Liberals, Chretien (34%) and Trudeau (36%) are tied. Among New Democrats, Trudeau (30%) is favoured over Chretien (23%).
“He haunts us still. After more than 20 years, Pierre Elliot Trudeau is still the most popular leader the country has had, followed closely by his protégé and successor, Jean Chretien. The fact that Stephen Harper barely makes it out of single digits after being in power 10 years speaks volumes to his lack of personal charisma,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.