Canadians Would Rather See an Atheist Prime Minister Than an Evangelical One

Canadians. You have to stop making those of us in the U.S. feel even worse than we already do. You get Justin Trudeau. We have… Christ, it’s sad to finish that sentence. You have a Cabinet that’s diverse and full of experts in their fields. We have a bunch of evangelicals who deny science and have no business running their departments.

And now, a new poll suggests that Canadian citizens wouldn’t let someone’s atheism, sexual orientation, or gender identity get in the way of their voting habits.

The Angus Reid Institute found that an astonishing 80% of the population would have no problem voting for a party led by someone who’s an atheist. (By comparison, Gallup found in 2015 that only 58% of U.S. voters were comfortable supporting an atheist from their own party for President.)

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In Quebec, specifically, the percentage of people supporting atheists jumped to 83%. And the numbers for openly gay leaders were no less amazing.

some seven-in-ten (71%) see a gay man as likely to become PM — a development that would see Canada join the small handful of countries, including Ireland as of earlier this month, to have a gay leader.

Similarly, large numbers of Canadians anticipate a Jewish, lesbian, or atheist leader. Notably, the percentage who expect each is higher than the perceived probability of an evangelical Christian leading Canada’s government

The difference in support for an atheist leader in the U.S. and Canada was larger in than any other category. And I suspect it’s not that Canadians have an urge to see an atheist in office so much as they just wouldn’t care. Why would it matter? It’s not like atheist leaders would push their non-beliefs on everybody. They know full well, however, than evangelical Christians in power would do everything they could to use the government to promote awful faith-based policies. Hell, all they have to do is look to the south to see how that’s working out.

To be sure, a candidate’s gender, religious beliefs, ethnicity, etc. shouldn’t matter at all. People should only care about the candidate’s ideas and policy proposals. Good ideas can come from devoutly religious people and I’ve heard plenty of bad ideas from the mouths of atheists. So while I wish all of these percentages were higher, it’s nice to know that at least in Canada, they’re nearly all closer to where they should be. We all have a long way to go in some categories, but it’s a shorter distance up north.

There’s more analysis at Canadian Atheist, if you’re interested.

(Thanks to Dorothy for the link)

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