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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics April 5, 2006
  Apr 05, 2006

Total respondents interviewed: 1,250. Atlantic Canada (150) (6%); Quebec (130) (9%); Ontario (350) (4.25%); Manitoba (50) (7%); Saskatchewan (50)(7%); Alberta (250)(4.5%); British Columbia (270). (6.25%). 175 respondents were collected from April 4, 2005 and the morning of April 4, 2006- the Throne Speech. Females (52%) Males (48%). 37% women, and 52% of men support PM Harper. Accordingly, this ROBBINS poll conducted between March 30-April 4, 2005 features a margin of error of 4.15%, 19 times out of 20 @96% competency. This survey was sponsored in part by James A.R. McFarlane President and CEO of McFarlane Marine Services, LLC, of Moss Landing and Santa Cruz in ‘sunny California’, California-telephone number 831-915-4696, doing business in the United States "All things underwater", and in Vancouver (Port Coquitlam) Canada.

Question #1
How would you rate Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s performance to date?
Very Good    22 %
Good    23 %
Satisfactory    25 %
Poor    12 %
Very Poor    17 %
Question #2
In your opinion how will Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush affect political relations between our two countries?
Our political relations will improve tremendously    37 %
Our political relations will improve    28 %
Our political relations will not improve    19 %
Our political relations will worsen tremendously    16 %
Question #3
U.S President George W. Bush told Canadian reporter Tom Clarke in an interview at the White House that he got along well with former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Paul Martin. Do you believe the U.S. President’s words?
Yes    54 %
No    46 %
Question #4
If you were in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s shoes would you accede to Mexican President Vicente Fox’s request to permit more Mexican workers into Canada?
Yes    47 %
No    53 %
Question #5
In your opinion was Stephen Harper the right choice for Prime Minister in the most recent federal general election?
Yes    44 %
No    56 %
Commentary
The vast majority of respondents who selected “very good” and “good” in Q#1 also are of the opinion that Canada/U.S. relations will “improve”.
There is no consistent correlation between responses in Q#1 and Q#2 from “positive choices (very good, good, improved tremendously, improve) and “yes” responses in Q#3. Respondents who were either positive, satisfied, or negative about PM Stephen Harper, “believed” President Bush’s words. Respondents who were positive, negative and satisfied did not.
There is also no direct correlation(s) between responses in Q#1 and responses in Q#4.
There is a strong correlation between positive and negative responses in Q#1 and Q#5. PM Harper’s very good to very poor ratio scores 56.5%. Good to poor ratio is 66%.
PM Harpers current positive to negative rating is 61%. The % of respondents who are positive about PM Harper and the future of Canada/US relations is 62%. Harper’s negatives are about 37% at this early point in his leadership during and following trilateral meetings in Cancun, Mexico, and in the early days of Canada’s most recent Parliament.
These numbers reflect on an extraordinary situation for PM Harper. He is very popular amongst Canadians right now coming off his summit with US President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox.
The Liberal Party of Canada is at the beginning of a re-building and leadership process, which will certainly grab some attention away from Mr. Harper. The other side of this however is that the Liberals are for all intents and purposes without a ‘real leader’. What affect this will have on Mr. Harper’s success or lack of it is unknown. However this is a very serious consideration for his political agenda moving forward from this point to (at least) years end.
Respondents are relieved and pleased that Stephen Harper appears to be a Prime Minister in charge of the country. The Conservative ‘back to basics’ approach to governance is welcome after many years of Liberal ‘mid to high anxiety’. Many respondents were extremely pleased (and are still talking about) Mr. Harper’s trip to Afghanistan. The legend (the reality?) is that he actually slept on the front lines with the other Canadian troops. Nevertheless his actions and demeanor have installed a sense of pride in mainstream Canada, something that “seemed to be missing for a number of years.” The fact that he has been Prime Minister for this long and the sky has not fallen as predicted by his Liberal adversaries plays well to his advantage.
Although his leadership style may prefer less interaction with the press at this time, in the mid and longer term this is certain to change particularly with Members of Parliament back in the Commons. Mr. Harper’s numbers ought to remain higher at this time, but he must continue to take a positive and consistent approach to political action to push his positives upward. Former ROBBINS colleague and political scientist Christie Jung told CTV News (Lloyd Robertson) “Mr. Harper says what he means and means what he says.” Staying away from controversial social issues remains a wise approach, as these elicit too much ‘toxic’ emotion amongst a public weary of this burden. His continued message of simple but emphatic changes is welcome news to Canadians who are exhausted after years of Liberal ‘spin’.
ROBBINS does not believe that revoking the Liberals childcare agreement will erode existing positive support. It may however tip some satisfactory support into the negative columns. Mr. Harper must always be wary of ‘made in Ottawa’ agencies!
There is an unequivocal sense from caller’s comments that to a large extent, settling the softwood lumber issue is the most important symbol of a renewed and positive relationship with the United States. Canadians understand that Canada has some powerful bargaining ability with its natural resources, particularly oil and gas. A softwood lumber settlement is the Parsifal Canadians are looking for and (all things being relatively equal) could push Prime Minister Harper’s personal support numbers upwards to the high 40’s or even 50%. You heard it here first!

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