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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics November 3, 2005
  Nov 03, 2005

A random sample of 1,044 Canadians between November 1st and 3rd, 2005. This survey has a margin of error of 2.15%, 19 times out of 20 @99% competency. A company doing business in the United States of America and Canada paid for this survey.

Question #1
Question #1-Do you agree with the Gomery Report?
Strongly Agree    19 %
Agree    40 %
Disagree    15 %
Strongly Disagree    22 %
Unsure    03 %
Question #2
Do you believe in Ministerial responsibility?
Jean Chretien is 100% at fault    26 %
Paul Martin is 100% at fault    11 %
Jean Chretien should be exonerated    06 %
Paul Martin should be exonerated    34 %
Both Jean Chretien and Paul Martin are 100% at fault    21 %
Both Jean Chretien and Paul Martin should be exonerated    02 %
Question #3
Do you think a new government can clean up the culture of entitlement and corruption?
Stephen Harper and the Conservatives    28.5 %
Jack Layton and the NDP    17 %
Paul Martin and the Liberals    34.5 %
Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc    14 %
Other/Undecided    6.5 %
Question #4
If there were an election today would you vote?
Stephen Harper and the Conservatives    27.5 %
Paul Martin and Liberals    33.5 %
Jack Layton and NDP    18 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    14 %
Other/Undecided    07 %
Question #5
Based on your voting patterns what outcome would you prefer after the next general federal election?
Liberal Majority    04 %
Liberal Minority    29 %
Conservative Minority    20 %
Conservative Majority    18 %
Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition    02 %
Liberal/NDP coalition    20 %
Conservative/Bloc    1.5 %
Undecided    05 %
Commentary
A majority of respondents agree with the recent findings of the Gomery Report. A majority of Canadians in one fashion or another believe that either former Prime Minister Jean Chretien or Prime Minister Paul Martin are 100% at fault with two-thirds of those respondents blaming Jean Chretien.
Despite the findings of fault by Justice Gomery and the determination of fault by Canadians Paul Martin’s federal Liberals are still able to hold their own in terms of who can clean up a culture of entitlement and corruption. Many respondents commented that Brian Mulroney was no better than Paul Martin, while others don’t think the NDP is ‘tough enough’ to get the job done.
Respondents in this poll ‘post Gomery’ suggest another Paul Martin Liberal government is likely with the balance of power once again in question.
The most interesting aspect about the initial Gomery Report in this poll is that at least for the time being, it clears the air with Canadians about how they see the political dynamic in Ottawa. The patterns emerging from this poll suggest Canadians have now taken an initial position after the Gomery report. A type of ‘fresh’ political environment exists insofar as battle lines are concerned. Prior to this during the Gomery inquiry respondent preference was volatile and afterward settled into a sort of ‘unresolved complacency’. As a number of Ottawa journalists have suggested, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien is the bad guy, Prime Minister Paul Martin the good guy, with the federal Liberal name badly bruised.
Many respondents who strongly agree with the Gomery report who think Jean Chretien is 100% at fault still choose Paul Martin and a Liberal minority government. Many respondents who agree with Gomery and think Paul Martin should be exonerated choose Paul Martin and a federal Liberal minority government or choose Jack Layton and a Liberal/NDP government. A few respondents who believe Paul Martin and the Liberal government can best clean up government still refuse to vote for him.
Federal Conservative and Bloc Quebecois supporters can agree that they don’t agree with the Gomery findings, likely because they wanted Prime Minister Paul Martin to be found guilty, or at least not be exonerated from blame. The agreement between respondents supporting either party does not hold up however when you ask them about the prospects of a Conservative/Bloc coalition. The reason for this is simple; Bloc supporters do not like the Conservative position on social issues.
Insight (ROBBINS Report)- The Liberal Party is hanging on by the skin of Paul Martin. The Vatican may find it distasteful but federal Liberal caucus members should be doing a significant amount of genuflecting to their ‘boss’ over the coming weeks. The Conservative Party has not lost any ground, but none has been truly gained either. Their position on social issues, which plays well in the west, is not as popular in Ontario, Quebec or the Maritimes. In addition, the Liberals maintain the advantage of two well placed political firewalls with Ministers Scott Brison and Belinda Stronach protecting the Liberal ‘right flank’ in the east, and former B.C. Premier Ujjal Dosanjh protecting the Liberals ‘left flank’ in the west. The former serve as constant reminders of where Progressive Conservatives ‘belong’, and the latter (as Canadian federal Health Minister) always ready to take attention away from Jack Layton on Canada’s number one social issue, health care.
Comments regarding release of Ipsos Reid and Strategic Counsel polls following ROBBINS- Although both polls which followed the release of ROBBINS poll post Gomery essentially support one another, the Strategic Counsel poll in our view, could be seen as a bit of a Trojan Horse to the federal Conservative party. For instance, even though the Conservatives are shown at 31%, the Liberal, NDP and Green vote equals 55%, with the NDP up nearly five per cent to 20% and the Greens at 07%. If the Bloc receives 13-14% depending on which poll you believe most, this totals 68-69% of votes NOT available to the Conservatives. The federal Liberals can access NDP and Green votes more readily than Conservatives. The possibilities for a transition to the positive for the Liberal party are made available by Ipsos who reveals that Paul Martin is more popular than Stephen Harper by 10-12%. In convention polling wisdom Leader amount (25%), plus party amount (75%) would in the Ipsos poll actually put the Liberal support around 34%, where ROBBINS currently has it.
Also, the two mainstream polls give the Conservatives a tie in Ontario with the Liberals. Ontario’s impact on overall public support nation-wide is statistically significant, with any correction in the Liberals favour ultimately changing the overall fortunes of that party nationally, with the full understanding that Quebec is ‘pretty much’ Bloc. Also, it is ironic that both mainstream pollsters are careful to show the Conservatives in decline in British Columbia, a province where the outcome of the next federal election may reside.

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