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The Freedom Convoy are truckers and supporters who are protesting (and blockading) in Ottawa against covid measures. Ostensibly it started out with cross-border truckers getting a vaccine mandate, but it has generalized to asking for most covid restrictions to be dropped.

That's the background, but my question is about the reasons for the following poll findings:

Two out of three (68%) interviewed in our latest nationwide poll feel they have “very little in common with how the protestors in Ottawa see things”, while 32% say they “have a lot in common.”

Those who are more likely to feel aligned with the protestors are People’s Party voters (82%), Green Party voters (57%), and Conservative Party voters (46%). Large majorities of Liberal (75%), NDP (77%), and BQ (81%) voters say they have little in common with the protestors.

I can understand the People's Party anti-government, pro-freedom stance at 82% support, that was part of their 2021 platform.

The PPC announced it would contest the 2021 federal election with the same platform it used in 2019 and Bernier running in his former riding of Beauce.[75] The PPC also announced its opposition to further COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measures, vaccine passports, and compulsory vaccinations as part of its campaign.

I can understand the Conservatives sitting at 46% support (one reason among others for dropping O'Toole was his tolerance of covid restrictions). And I can understand the Liberals and NDP being largely against the aims of the protesters.

Covid, as seems to be the norm worldwide, tends to divide people on a left/right axis, pro covid restriction/anti covid restrictions.

But why would Canadian Green Party voters have a much higher sense of affinity with the protesters than even the Conservative party, second only to the People's Party?

Or could this just be a low quality poll? I don't seem much else to support this claim, besides news outlets quoting the poll.

To be clear, I am asking about Green Party voters, not about the official position Green Party itself, which made its views clear:

The Green Party of Canada condemns the hatred, racism, misogyny, homophobia and utter disrespect for treasured Canadian institutions displayed by some of the participants in the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa.

“We will always defend the right of citizens to assemble in peaceful protest, but what we have seen over the past four days is indefensible,” said interim Green Party Leader Amita Kuttner.

p.s. Here's a little bit more (opinionated) background on the convoy.

p.p.s. Maybe it's a statistical limit on the poll?

The poll's numbers are as follows:

The survey was conducted with 1,410 Canadian adults from January 31 to February 2, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

Now - with a very limited knowledge of stats - 1410 would seem fairly robust, overall. But not every party is treated equal: with national polling for Greens in the 2-6% range, the sample of Greens might have been too small to give as solid a result for the 57% finding as it would for more mainstream parties like the Conservatives, NDP or Liberals where more respondents formed the basis of their numbers.

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    Most Green Parties have strong anti-authoritarian elements, as well as certain Conservative elements (lots of wealthy rural types oppose development which gives them common cause on individual projects). If you're willing to do some research yourself you can look at how different issues are viewed by green voters. Modern green parties are a weird coalition of anti-moderns, anti-science types, and young urban hipsters.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 6, 2022 at 1:34
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    @StuartF I kinda think you're right except a quick search about these terms really did not show any great amount of info about the Greens position. Most of them had to do with other parties positions. In fact, rather than finding something about the members' view, I ended up at the, unsurprising, statement by the party leadership condemning it. Feb 6, 2022 at 1:38
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    One explanation: Even if we take your top number of 6%, that means that the survey of 1410 people got in touch with about 85 Greens. The odds of the thoughts of a sample of 85 people being anywhere close to representative of the thoughts of Canadian Green Party voters in general is negligible. Moreover, the article to which you linked suggests support is closer to 2% rather than 6%. If one takes the 2.3% figure cited in the linked article as current, that means about 32 of the respondents in the poll are Greens. The odds that that group is representative of Greens as a whole is near zero. Feb 6, 2022 at 14:23
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    Another explanation: The poll in question somehow did contact a somewhat representative sample of Greens. If the anti-vaxxers in Canada are anything like those in other countries, those anti-vaxxers are a weird mix of the more extreme ends (both left and right) of political orientation. The protests started as anti-vax, so it is entirely possible that support for those protests is one area where the Greens see eye-to-eye with the People's Party and the more conservative elements of the Conservative Party. Feb 6, 2022 at 14:29
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    @DavidHammen The margin of error for the Green party support with 32-85 people sampled from 2%/6% of the total respectively would be ± 5 percentage points.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 7, 2022 at 5:43

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Part of the problem may be how the question was asked:

Do you feel like you have a lot in common with them and how they see things?

This is a double-pronged question, meaning that people may response 'yes' differently depending on how they live their lives. That means, the Greens may have a lot in common even if they don't see things the same way and/or could see things the same way but not have anything in common.

You could say "yes" but this is the case for all the other parties too. True. But people who vote for the NDP and Liberals would be directly opposed to the trucker convoy for political reasons. The Canadian Green party is quite different:

  • Green party members tend to have a populist bent.
  • Anecdotally, I know that many green party people work in jobs that would align with the trucker convoy: transit, farming etc. and a good number of them would have trade union ties.
  • The Green party itself has had a severe lapse in leadership at its head, and was decimated at the polls in the last election.
  • Because the numbers of Greens are smaller, the opportunity for bias due to low numbers is high.
  • there may be an association between voting Green and being a "wellness influencer" that could be influencing the poll.
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  • I'm gonna upvote but I was more looking for publications, blogs, etc... coming from the Canadian Green members that would shine some light. I.e. "We feel that way because...". And, yes, very much nailed it on their pre-election leadership turmoil - that would definitely shake things around. Feb 10, 2022 at 19:46
  • Thanks. Unfortunately, I have not seen much on this issue. My guess is that sampling error is the biggest reason for the percentages. You have already noticed that the party itself is very much against the convoy. If you want to get into the data on green party voters, you could try the CES. ces-eec.ca Feb 10, 2022 at 19:57

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