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Re-Opening The Constitution: Canadians Cool With It, Poll Finds

(CP) -- A new poll suggests Canadians have overcome their aversion to constitutional wrangling.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates a majority is willing to risk re-opening the constitutional can of worms to accomplish some specific goals.

For instance, 61 per cent say they're willing to re-open the Constitution to reform or abolish the appointed Senate.

And 58 per cent say they're willing to offer constitutional amendments in a bid to finally secure Quebec's signature on the Constitution.

Politicians have avoided constitutional issues like the plague since the demise of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional accords in 1990 and 1992.

Those agreements, aimed at meeting Quebec's constitutional conditions, ended up bitterly dividing the country. Their failures were followed by a spike in separatist sentiment in the province.

The telephone poll of just over 1,000 Canadians was conducted May 12-15 and is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

The poll was released on the same day NDP Leader Jack Layton restated his belief that a straight majority of 50 per cent plus one would be enough for Quebec to legally secede from Canada if a third referendum on sovereignty was held, The Globe and Mail reports.

With a file from The Huffington Post Canada

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