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British Columbians who support federal Liberals tell ROBBINS who they want for leader
  Mar 29, 2006

This is a survey of 207 British Columbians in the lower mainland of the Province between March 19-25, 2006, including Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, and Richmond who were called from ‘lists’, which indicated to us that respondents were likely federal Liberal supporters. Callers achieved the highest ratio of respondents per hour in ROBBINS history (average 23) owing in large part to the promise of being less than one minute, the fact that it was a poll of potential Liberal leadership candidates from a qualified list, and somewhat surprisingly owing to the level of interest in this race, which we had not anticipated. This survey features a margin of error (out of an abundance of caution) of 4.5%, 18 times out of 20, @ 99% competency (respondents were happy to take the survey).

Question #1
In your opinion must the Prime Minister of Canada be fluent in French?
Yes    92 %
No    08 %
Question #2
In your opinion which of the following choices offered would make the BEST leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?
Former CBC Chair and current BC Liberal finance minister Carole Taylor    43 %
Former NHL Hockey great and federal Liberal cabinet minister Ken Dryden    19.5 %
Former Conservative Leadership candidate, Conservative MP and federal Liberal cabinet minister Belinda Stronach    18 %
Former Conservative leadership candidate, Conservative MP and federal Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison    09 %
Former NDP premier of Ontario Bob Rae    05 %
Other    06 %
Commentary
An overwhelming majority of British Columbians who are known to support Federal Liberalism understands that in order to run the country you must be fluent in French, which is the dominant language in Quebec.
BC Liberal Finance Minister Carole Taylor must give some seriously thought to the possibility of entering this federal race. In BC politics right now she is the belle of the ball. This assertion has been generally supported by ‘high end’ political pundits Keith Baldrey (CanWest Global), former Progressive Conservative Chief of Staff under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney Norman Spector, and Professor Emeritus (Uvic) Norman Ruff.
More importantly however is that Ms. Taylor has the perfect pedigree for the job. She is coming from BC which is not Ottawa, she speaks French, she Chaired the CBC (which many New Democrats love (as do I)), and she makes her predecessor, former BC Liberal Finance Minister and federal Liberal supporter Gary Collins, look like a cigar store Indian. ROBBINS was never thanked by Premier Campbell despite our efforts to help him see the light over Carole Taylor’s need to be on his BC Liberal Team prior to the last general provincial election. (see: http://www.robbinssceresearch.com/polls/poll-159.html, “Sandy McCormick Vancouver Langara MAY hold key to Gordon Campbell’s plan”-January 2005).
Carole Taylor’s grace, thoughtfulness, and ease particularly relating to some very sensitive labour negotiations make her a platinum candidate for the Liberal leadership.
Ken Dryden isn’t very noisy but he has support in British Columbia particularly among political people who are ‘aware’. Callers indicated that Dryden supporters were very confident. He is sensitive, smart and not showy, he doesn’t need to be, and he is a political person who lets his work do the talking for him. ROBBINS is keeping a very close eye on this dude. In politics you don’t need to be a circus clown to have charisma. Ken Dryden has all the right stuff.
Belinda Stronach gets criticized for her ‘ambition’, but if one looks at the original interviews she did when she first came on the political scene and watches and listens to her now, the transformation is absolutely stunning. In my opinion the only evidence of a faster political learning curve is former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (and where is Justin?) Ms. Stronach was criticized for leaving the Conservatives to cross the floor to join the Liberals, but at the end of the day and after the episode with transplanted Conservative Minister David Emerson, that simply shows she’s got moxie. Belinda is from Ontario, has a lot of money behind her, if she learns to speak French she has all the right stuff, and a lot of British Columbians think so too.
Scott Brison is another politician who has really matured over the last few years. He has proven himself a worthy debater in the House and is constantly underestimated. The Liberals would do well to see Brison and Stronach in this thing to the end. Between them they have nearly one-third of decided Liberal support in this province.
I don’t think Bob Rae is given enough credit for his work in Ontario as Premier, but he has all the right credentials to lead a party, he certainly has the experience. He has been out of the political limelight save for some work on the Air India file, but this could be a good thing. His background as a political New Democrat won’t hurt him in the Liberal race, but he sure has upset some New Democrats.
What is really going to be interesting is Carole Taylor’s position on childcare as Finance Minister of British Columbia with the BC Liberal government. Premier Gordon Campbell isn’t saying anything about the subject insofar as his meetings with Prime Minister Stephen Harper are concerned, but given Ms. Taylor’s obvious influence with the federal Liberal Party amongst its supporters in BC her statements on the subject could go a long way to influence debate on child care in British Columbia.

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