JALANDHAR: After Jagmeet Singh was elevated as the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) – the first nonwhite and turbaned Sikh to head any political party in Canada – 69% respondents in an online poll said they would consider voting for a national party leader who wears a turban and carries a kirpan.
The survey by Angus Reid Institute, a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation founded in 2014, revealed that Canadians were even more enthusiastic about Jagmeet Singh+ representing a visible minority, with 71% agreed with the statement, “Having a member of a visible minority leading a major political party is good for Canada overall.”
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The survey also suggests that being a practising Sikh will hurt Jagmeet Singh’s chances in an election. When respondents were asked how many of their close friends and family members would not vote for a party led by a Sikh, 50% replied “most or some of them”.
“The greater hesitancy of Quebecers to vote for a party led by a practicing Sikh is troubling for the NDP , which once viewed Quebec as its base, after the province provided a majority of the seats that led the party to official opposition status in the 2011 election,” it said. In Quebec, 47% agreed with the statement about Singh’s religion would hurt his party’s electoral standing compared with 33% in the rest of Canada
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