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Canadians asked 'Who would you rather' questions about Harper, Mulcair, Trudeau

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Trudeau the favourite for choosing movies, Mulcair trustetd for giving kids advice, Harper picked for investing money

How would you describe Harper, Mulcair or Trudeau in one word?

Many Canadians have reservations about the NDP possibly forming government

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Out of the three main party leaders, which one would you let watch your children for the night, or give you money advice?

These are some of the questions being asked in an exclusive poll in this week’s Maclean’s Magazine, which hits news stands today.

Abacus Data asked 1,500 Canadians a series of “Who would you rather” questions.

When it comes to babysitting your kids, cooking the best meal and choosing the best movie to watch, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was the overwhelming favourite.

For negotiating a contract or giving your children advice about their future, the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair is your man.

For investing money and being the best CEO of a company, it’s Conservative Stephen Harper.

These questions may seem light and fun, but Maclean’s Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes says the answers are a signal of the trust Canadians have with the leaders and when you compare them to results from January, there’s definitely a trend.

“Trudeau’s scores are respectable and nudging up. But Mulcair’s score has risen dramatically this year,” says Geddes.

Meanwhile, Harper’s numbers have declined with every question, many of them falling between seven and 10 per cent.

How would you describe Harper, Mulcair or Trudeau in one word?

it’s hard to describe someone in one word, but the words people choose can give you an indication of the general impressions voters have.

The poll tried to find out how you would describe Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau in just one word.

For Mulcair, the top words were “unknown” and “unsure,” although Geddes says there was some positive language, as well. “‘Honest’ is creeping up there… ‘leader’ has also popped up.'”

For Trudeau, the top words were “fresh” and “young.”

For Harper, they were “arrogant” and “liar.” But Geddes points out the survey happened just after the Mike Duffy trial wrapped for the summer.

“You have to wonder whether or not the sense of the Prime Minister’s Office was guarded, if not outright deceptive about how they’d handled that affair — if that wasn’t rubbing off on the prime minister.”

Many Canadians have reservations about the NDP possibly forming government

Federally, the NDP has never run the government. The poll also finds nearly half of Canadians say they have worries about what the party would do if elected to power in October.

But Geddes notes the more surprising result is that 21 per cent of those who are worried are NDP supporters and 25 per cent say they could be persuaded to vote for the party.

“It’s a paradox, in a way. It’s suggesting that people who are really tired of a governing power or really discontent with traditional choices might throw the dice on a new party, even if they weren’t 100 per cent secure about that vote.”

Pollsters say they saw the same trend before the NDP took power in Alberta.

For complete poll results, check out the latest issue of Maclean’s or head to macleans.ca.