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"Western" Canadians want U.S. President George W. Bush's style of leadership
  Mar 02, 2005

A survey of 508 Canadians living in ‘rural’ regions in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. This survey was conducted between February 20th- and 24th, 2005. By rural we mean in those constituencies whose boundaries would be reasonably considered to be further than 50 kilometres from urban areas ‘proper’, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, and Saskatoon. This survey has a margin of error of 3.15%, 18 times out of 20, @97% competency.

Question #1
During the United States Presidential election in November 2004, were you hoping that U.S. President George W. Bush would win re-election?
Yes    41 %
No    53 %
No Opinion    06 %
Question #2
Now that U.S. President George W. Bush has met with the leaders of the European Union and he and those leaders are collectively discussing issues relating to democratization in the Middle East, which of the following statements BEST reflects your most current opinion of U.S. George W. Bush?
More Favourable    48 %
Less Favourable    08 %
No Change in Opinion    43 %
Undecided/No opinion    03 %
Question #3
Canada’s Prime Minister Paul Martin has pledged (30) Canadian troops and a few million dollars to help train Iraqi forces in that country. In your opinion should the Canadian government be pledging:
More troops and many millions of dollars    59 %
Less troops and little or no money    03 %
No troops or money    38 %
Question #4
Recently, a major Canadian pollster indicated that Paul Martin possessed nearly one-half of all Canadian’s support in his role as Prime Minister. In your opinion how likely is this polling assessment accurate?
Very likely    13 %
Likely    23 %
Unlikely    27 %
Very Unlkely    37 %
Question #5
With regard to the previous question relating to support for PM Paul Martin, in your opinion how likely is it that if support for Paul Martin is high, it is because he is extremely popular in Quebec?
Very Likely    29 %
Likely    59 %
Unlikely    08 %
Very Unlikely    04 %
Question #6
In your opinion is the province of Quebec an Asset or a Liability to the overall function of Canada?
Asset    12 %
Liability    82 %
Unsure/Undecided    06 %
Question #7
In your opinion would western Canadians be ‘better off’ if we had our own separate and distinct economic and political sovereignty from the rest of Canada?
Yes    51 %
No    41 %
Undecided    08 %
Commentary
Canadians live in a world of half truths, and smoke and mirrors when it comes to news coverage of public opinion and political matters. They don’t feel involved because they are not. At least this is the hypothesis being advanced by ROBBINS as a result of this poll and previous ones we have conducted relating to this type of subject matter.
Conventional public opinion pollsters do not generally phone rural areas to ask for their opinions. Usually they contact urban and/or some suburban respondents and than speculate on what the public opinion of rural regions would be based on incomes and other information.
During this month pollster Ipsos Reid revealed that 47% of “Canadians” supported PM Paul Martin and his federal Liberal Party. ROBBINS conducted a similar poll but only from BC to Ontario (the “English provinces”), and discovered support for Paul Martin and his Liberals at 31%. Two vastly different results in two distinct areas of public opinion.
ROBBINS addresses this difference and the emerging hypothesis of what drives mainstream public opinion numbers? Are they a function of select calling environments? To what extent are they impacted by regional differences? To what extent are they used for public relations purposes?
The Ipsos Canada poll showing Paul Martin at 47% was conducted around the time of the budget. Some in the news media speculated that because of these numbers there would not be a vote of non-confidence in the budget by Opposition Parties for fear that the resulting election would be favourable for Paul Martin
Our ROBBINS poll suggesting 31% of Canadians from BC to Ontario support Paul Martin’s Liberals, and if our poll were accepted as accurate that would mean either Paul Martin is vulnerable to losing an election, or in the alternative his support in Quebec and Atlantic Canada is so high that the Ipsos numbers are thus explained. Clearly respondents in this poll of rural westerners see Quebec as responsible for Paul Martin’s popular support suggested by the Ipsos poll.
U.S. President George W. Bush receives significant support in rural regions in BC, Ontario and Saskatchewan. This support (in Canadian parliamentary terms) was high at the time he won re-election in November 2004, and he is presently seen in a much more favourable light after his recent trip to visit heads of State of the European Union. (Although a few westerners who supported the President’s re-election were not so pleased President Bush bothered to go at all).
These respondents in rural western Canada favour more support of troops and money to Iraq, however the question was designed to be somewhat provocative and many respondents who answered no troops and money seemed to be somewhat sarcastic, in that they felt we had already abdicated our responsibility to the United States and there was no point in trying to make up for that now.
Western Canadians are clearly ashamed at our government’s conduct over Canada’s defence role in the world and our abdication of responsibility to shared efforts with the United States in this regard.
Quebec continues to be seen as the spoiled child by many respondents, but there are others who simply see Quebec as acting in their own self-interest even if that means they are a liability to the rest of the country for doing so. Quebec’s historical behaviour, its actions in attempting to realize on threats of separation from Canada, and its perceived benefits or economic gains from the Federal government, make talk of economic and political sovereignty a “why not” type of affirmation as this relates specifically to Question #7.
Although there is a distinct reluctance to be “separatists” amongst respondents in this survey there is not doubt that the overwhelming majority has no doubt that ‘they’ are not getting the sweet end of the political stick in Canadian political consideration at any level.
This raises many questions about the function and role of mainstream polling companies in Canada. Do they exist to provide insight between election Writs as to the total opinion of all Canadians, or do they exist to frame only discussion based on primarily mainstream discussion points?
It seems clear that only ROBBINS is providing a clearer picture of the opinion of all Canadians and in this survey, rural Canadians.

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