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RSR - British Columbia DAY - BC Greens, BC Liberals tied - overwhelming support for student loan interest relief 'across the spectrum'.
  Aug 01, 2014

An RSR poll of 625 British Columbians conducted July 23-28, 2014. Margin of Error is 3.75%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence.

Question #1
Which political party in British Columbia do you currently support?
BC NDP    34 %
BC Liberal    29 %
BC Green    28 %
BC Conservative    8 %
(Undecided)    10 %
Question #2
In your opinion should British Columbians with outstanding student loans, who have graduated, be granted relief from interest charges?
Yes    75 %
Commentary
Finally, there is a three way race (early days) in BC politics, or at least potentially. If margin of error is factored it is a tie between BC NDP (34%), BC Liberal (29%), and BC Green (28%).
Let's begin with BC Green numbers. (32%) on Vancouver Island, (19%) in Vancouver City, (27%) in Vancouver suburbs - that's right - (27%) in Vancouver Suburbs (and Langley). The BC Greens are flourishing in the Fraser Valley (20%), (17%) in the Southern Interior and (25%) - in the Norther Interior and Kootenays.
The BC NDP are in the lead, but must be concerned with some of these numbers - and may wish they had used the opportunity of a leadership contest. BC NDP on Vancouver Island (37%) {down 10% + from Carole James days}, a solid (38%) in Vancouver City, (32%) in Vancouver Suburbs (and Langley), (25%) in Fraser Valley, (23%) in Southern Interior, and (25%) in Northern Interior and Kootenays.
The governing BC Liberals appear back in trouble, as they were for so long belong the surprise election win in May 2013. (21%) on Vancouver Island, (30%) in Vancouver City, (28%) in Vancouver Suburbs (and Langley), (28%) in Fraser Valley, (34%) in Southern Interior, (35%) in Northern Interior and Kootenays.
There is no doubt that British Columbian want interest relief from student loans for BC students who have graduated. More than 3 in 4 British Columbians support this policy. BC Green supporters are all in with this proposition at over (90%). BC New Democrats follow the average with over (70%) in support, while the BC Liberals follow in the (60%).
Vancouver Island support is (87%), Vancouver City (71%), Vancouver Suburbs and Langley (75%), Fraser Valley (78%), Northern Interior (72%), and Southern Interior (58%).
In terms of public support the BC Greens are the real deal. Is nice weather, beautiful British Columbia, mountains, oceans - the whole package making citizens think Green? Or is it the pipelines? Is it anti Stephen Harper or Christy Clark? Is it pox on both your houses BC Liberal and BC NDP? Whatever it is - the BC Greens are definitely in business - but can they turn this support into something substantial - loyal support.
These numbers in support are well over 'parking your vote' percentages.
Once again the BC Liberals are tanking in the Vancouver Suburbs. Do they care? Not if they believe they can do as they please and wait for the next election - delighted to see BC Greens the natural voting competitor to the BC NDP - growing in support.
The BC New Democrats need to take the BC Greens very seriously on Vancouver Island - Green contagion is setting in, and we believe this support will stick. However BC Green support in other regions of the province, particularly the Suburbs, Fraser Valley and Northern Interior is remarkable.
Our relief of interest on student loans has produced some interesting results. Support for this is high across the board. Our federal sample of 100 Conservatives reveals majority support for relief on interest (for graduated students). We believe from anecdote that the fact that the question included graduated students - prompted many to see this relief in conjunction with these students looking for employment, and needing to see some relief from interest in these jobs. How depressing is it for students to finally be working after achieving their degree or certificate and to confront huge student loan payments?
Interest is counterproductive in the extreme and British Columbians agree that relief should be in place. Many graduates are taking a year or so to get decent paying jobs - making payments in the interim with interest piling up on $12 an hour is senseless and cruel. Prohibiting those student graduates who find better paying jobs where they can hang their hat (and degree) and have more disposable income for purchases and consumption generally, in a consumer driven market makes better sense.
How will the suggestion on student loan interest measure up to this weeks announcement from BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong - ready set to pay $40 to parents of children in K-7? To us, this policy seems nearly foolish - in comparison to the RSR solution that would satisfy the majority of British Columbians (and likely Canadians if the 100 Conservative sample provokes presumptions), by easy margins.
BC New Democrats and BC Liberals must recognize the BC Green support and the support of BC Greens for interest relief on student loans. BC NDP Kathy Corrigan is the new shadow minister for Post Secondary - I hope she is in good voice because she has quite a broad platform. BC Liberals were not thinking through the policy on education overwhelmed by the teachers debate - they were trapped intellectually and practically and failed to see the opportunity that the interest relief would provide for British Columbians who see that graduating students need to become healthy consumers in the market place.

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