Canada and the United States are countries of immigrants. Their electorates are diverse, and include people from different ethnic, cultural, religious, and sexual backgrounds. But the history of each nation includes just one example of the highest office in the land being held by someone other than a white man.
A new, bi-national public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds Americans and Canadians nearly unanimous in their willingness to vote for a woman for president or prime minister, and similarly enthusiastic about supporting a Jewish or Indigenous candidate.
Fewer than half of all Americans (47 per cent) say they could vote for a Muslim presidential candidate, and respondents in both countries are divided as to whether they could cast a ballot for a candidate who covers his or her head for religious reasons.
There are also significant gaps on both sides of the border, between those who say they could vote for diverse candidates, and those who say the chances of such candidates becoming head of government is probable in the next 25 years.
- Younger respondents on both sides of the border are more open to voting for diverse candidates than older age groups
- American respondents are deeply divided along political lines when it comes to these issues, while Canadians are divided along regional lines
- The vast majority of respondents in both nations say they could vote for a national leader who is a woman, but there are significant differences between countries on atheist and LGBTQ candidates
Link to the poll here: http://angusreid.org/who-could-be-prime-minister-president/