69% Canadians can think of voting for turbaned Sikh Jagmeet Singh

77% agreed that "ultimately , a politician's religious or cultural identity shouldn't matter -only their ...

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."

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".

But, 77% agreed that "ultimately , a politician's religious or cultural identity shouldn't matter -only their policies should." When respondents were asked, "how many people in Canada do you feel could not vote for a party led by a Sikh man", 80% of the respondents replied in affirmative. Out of these, 21% respondents answered "most people" and 59% said "some" (think like this).

The survey also noted that the pushback for Jagmeet was strongest in Quebec, where debates over public officials wearing religious symbols and accommodating religious minorities are part of both recent history and an ongoing political process.