The Toronto Star, a left wing paper, reports Canadian Jews seem to be switching in some numbers away from the Liberal Party:
[S]upport for Harper among Jews is wider than a few influential business leaders. Across the community there are rumblings of discontent with the Liberals. Whether it's deeper than the rift on the issue of Israel and will lead to a clean break on the part of Jewish voters remains to be seen. As Michael Marzolini, chair of Pollara opinion research, says: "People are not going to do a whole lot of party switching during a leadership campaign. Though once they get their act together ... "
Historically, Canada's Jewish voters have stood with the Liberal party, voting them in at a rate 20 per cent higher than the national average during the 1970s. That support has fallen in recent years to 8 to 10 per cent above the average. Jewish voters remember that the Liberals under Trudeau appointed Canada's first Jewish cabinet minister, Herb Gray, in 1969, and they have favoured the party's progressive social policies.
For years, left—of—centre parties were at the vanguard of promoting pluralism and religious and ethnic tolerance, says Conrad Winn, head of Compas research firm. But now, he says, "almost everyone accepts these pluralist ideas, and you see a reversal in centuries—old patterns of attitudes toward Jews."
Polls show that instead of showing hostility toward Jews, churchgoers and Christians show the most support for the religious rights of Jews in Canada and also the strongest support for Israel, says Winn. "Right—wing voters are more favourable to Israel and Jews than left—wing liberals."
Will they switch parties? Will American Jews? At some point Jews in both countries have to realize the parties they traditionally support do not really advance policies supportive of Israel.
Clarice Feldman 8 21 06