Robbins SCE Research
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Senate reform, and accountability in government-Are Gordon Campbell's Liberals corrupt too?
  Sep 14, 2006

This is an online poll of 5,288 British Columbians between September 7-13, 2006 and features a margin of error of 2.55%, 19 times out of 20 @ 97% competency. This poll was sponsored by New Trend Optical (604) 942-9300, Jim Van Rassel proprietor.

Question #1
Generally, how important is Senate reform to you?
Very important    24 %
Important    29 %
Unimportant    31 %
Very Unimportant    21 %
Question #2
Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants Canadian Senators to have an 8 year term limit. How important is it to you that this 8 year term limit be made law?
Very Important    24 %
Important    29 %
Unimportant    21 %
Very Unimportant    11 %
Unsure/Undecided    15 %
Question #3
Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty believes the Canadian Senate should be abolished. Do you agree with him?
Yes    37 %
No    63 %
Question #4
Prime Minister Stephen Harper would like to see all Senators elected. Which of the following statements BEST depicts how you would configure future Canadian Senates?
A Senator should serve one eight year term, and that is it for him or her    31 %
A Senator should serve an eight year term, and than run again in an election if they want to remain Senator    30 %
I think the situation is fine the way it is, with Senators appointed and serving until age seventy-five    11 %
We don't need any Canadian Senators    28 %
Question #5
In your opinion should it be necessary for the government to make a Constitutional amendment, which requires the approval and consent of provinces, prior to implementing all Senate reforms
Yes    52 %
No    48 %
Question #6
-If the Opposition Liberal party frustrate or otherwise appears to be purposefully blocking Senate reforms and the Conservative government’s accountability legislation, is this, in your opinion, grounds for Prime Minister Harper to call a pre-Christmas election (2006)?
Yes    56 %
No    44 %
Question #7
How much time should the Opposition Liberal Senate be permitted to negotiate Senate reform bills and the Accountability legislation advanced by the Conservative party of Canada?
One month    45 %
Two months    24 %
As much time as it reasonably needs    17 %
I don't know    14 %
Question #8
How much time should the Opposition Liberal Senate be permitted to negotiate Senate reform bills and the Accountability legislation advanced by the Conservative party of Canada?
Yes    09 %
No    91 %
Question #9
If a federal election were held within the next 10 days for which federal political party would you vote?
New Democratic party    28 %
Green party    13 %
Liberal party    24 %
Conservative party    35 %
Question #10
If a provincial election were held within the next ten days for which provincial party would you vote?
New Democratic party    42 %
BC Liberal    36 %
BC Green party    18 %
BC Conservative party    04 %
Question #11
In your opinion does Canada require Human Rights Tribunals as part of Administrative Law and quasi-judicial courts?
Yes    29 %
No    71 %
Commentary
One half of respondents in this ROBBINS poll believe that Senate reforms are very important or important. The other half does not. However, the majority of respondents who are of the opinion that the Senate should be abolished are also of the opinion that Senate reform is very unimportant or unimportant.
Slightly more than one half of respondents are of the opinion that an eight year term limit as law for Senators is very important or important. Some of these respondents also indicated that Senate reforms were very unimportant or unimportant.
Over one third of respondents agree with Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s assertion that the Senate should be abolished, however in Q#4 which follows, only (28%) of respondents affirm this opinion.
Slightly more than one half of respondents are of the opinion that constitutional amendments are required for Senate reforms, but a large number of these respondents also believe the Senate should be abolished.
Well over one half of respondents will accept a pre-Christmas federal general election if they accept that the Opposition is blocking changes to the Senate or Accountability legislation. Once again, many of these respondents also are of the opinion that the Senate should be abolished. There is a correlation between respondents who wish to maintain the status quo on Senate appointments (until age 75) and those who believe that Senators should be permitted to run again after serving an eight year term.
Slightly less than one in ten British Columbians in this poll are watching the federal Liberal leadership race. Of these not all are supporting the federal Liberal party insofar as the results of this poll are concerned.
The federal Conservative party is holding its core support in this ROBBINS poll, while federal Liberals continue to remain low and New Democrats and Greens increase support.
The provincial New Democrats have overtaken the BC Liberals as the most popular party in BC politics. Provincial Greens like their federal counterparts are also well supported by British Columbians and BC Conservatives have proven to ROBBINS their right to be included in future polling, although their actual numbers were cut in half from 8% to 4% with the other 4% added to BC Liberal totals (in order to better reflect likely outcomes between these two parties at this point in time).
We believe the hard left Green total is around 5% and the additional 13% has been taken from the other two mainstream BC parties or possibly conservative totals. Our speculation is that 7% of this has been taken from the NDP, while the other 6% is taken from the BC Liberals, all other respondent shifts being relatively equal.
The BC Liberals are showing real signs of wear and tear. First they don’t want to work, second they are not telling the truth about private/public health care, and third they are lying about the 2010 Olympic costs.
Human Rights Tribunals are another Liberal construct designed to give Canada a modern face to the outside (third) world, when the reality is that it has germinated into a legal Sodom and Gomorrah of circus proportions, which serves to undermine our belief in true human principals, and have us believe that that part of life which can be freakish cannot be understood or accepted by personal liberty alone, but instead must be accepted by all as normal when it is often not. The lazy legal community should take cases like these to the Supreme Court or provincial court if they have merit and provide the same payment latitudes that they do to easy personal injury cases rather than make taxpayers subsidize articled students.
Demand is high for more accountability in the Senate (Senate reform) as part of the Accountability proposals from the Conservative government. This demand is pushed upward owing to the large minority of respondents who want the Senate to be abolished.
British Columbians in this poll desire an expeditious resolve to Senate accountability, and in the absence of the same, will accept a pre-Christmas election. (Watch for mainstream polls to reject this in order to accommodate Liberal leadership contest). Respondents also understand that there may be Constitutional implications associated with changes to the Senate, including the possibility that the Prime Minister may still have to make appointments, even after elections, in order to make these changes. For this reason many respondents would rather abolish the Senate than go through Constitutional wrangling.
Conservatives have core support particularly as it concerns Senate reform; however the New Democrats and Greens have increased federal and provincial support in this province. The former as a result of foot in the door techniques relating to an existing anti-war sentiment in the province, and the latter because they are seen as ‘better’ than the BC Liberals, and Stephen Harper is Prime Minister which helps to assuage some reform conservative voters sick of the BC Liberal ideological disorder.
Both federal liberals and BC Liberals have some cause for concern. BC Conservatives have sufficient elements of a bona fide party to be included in future polls, and also have the advantage of popular federal cousins. They won’t be invited into any election debates unless Stephen Harper has a majority, and one of his loyalists becomes leader of the BC Conservative party. The difficulties the federal Liberal party and brand name is going through as they make changes to their leadership and redefine themselves is also impacting on the BC Liberals who have exhibited problems of late, including a complacency of sorts aptly described by reporter Kieth Baldrey of CanWest Global. The overarching problem is a desire for the predominantly liberal media and pollsters to control the means of production insofar as the political industry is concerned with puff polling, and market research that continues to stereotype voters as purchasers and significantly neglects the real value of ‘despun’ polling provided by ROBBINS. Indeed, the primae facie results of this poll would likely have been wholly or substantially misinterpreted by the media, causing the continued erosion of confidence amongst voters in return for the assurance of economic gain for a few brand names who we believe continue to misrepresent the new emerging fundamentals of public opinion polling.
(Indeed, there are forces swirling around ROBBINS exhorting a sense of capitulation to the direction of mainstream media and polling, to which we politely decline. We are the future of public opinion polling, while the others are simply ‘squeezing the remnants of a very old lemon’). We believe that converting 20-100 people at a time is more consistent with the proper realization of a new growth industry while technology wanes, than the reconfiguring of old worn out ways)
Will mainstream media continue with the ‘soft’ interference of the natural evolution of politics in Canada as this relates to the redefining of Canadian values through progressive conservatism underscored by a positive sense of social justice, or will they more suitably place their collective emphasis on exposing all elements of government unaccountability which currently includes the Canadian Senate?
Canadian governments have never been properly accountable to its citizens. As a consequence Canadians have never properly learned to be accountable to themselves or to their fellows. Because of our proximity to the most powerful nation in the world, we have rested on a pious stance of sympathy toward others, rather than empathy. The United States has encouraged this easier softer Canada to flourish, (and we have gratuitously accepted the lack of a challenge). We have become one who more easily finds deficiencies in others than any in ourselves). This attitude if allowed to continue will ensure we flat line or ‘fail’ rather than succeed. Where moderate financial security is misconstrued as self-actualization and real personal ambition is understood to be the exclusive domain of the United States, and measured through dollars, not dollars and sense, is presently where Canada hangs it’s pride, which at the rate we have been going will certainly foreshadow a fall. We are to quote the song “comfortably numb” in our denial, predictably defended by our protestations that because we talk a good talk we are therefore better than our neighbors to the south. As a government and as a people be rest assured we are not. We still aren’t sure who we are, and the wrong people continue to provide our direction on this account.
Canadians are a good people, but we are underdeveloped emotionally and spiritually. As more countries come to us to articulate their concerns with the U.S., and to mediate in the changing global dynamic, in a world which is truly manifesting at light speed, it would behoove us to stop resting on old 'Pearsonian' platitudes and get our act together. This starts with accountable government, an accountable press, and the encouragement and nurturing of accountable people (beginning at a young age), while original baby boomers become too old to effectively hold onto power, let go, and mercifully go away.
Canadians (British Columbians) are nice, but this is an ambiguous and affectatious trait designed to restrain the majority of moderates, moderates in every sense of the word, (where modern is more fashion than progression) really a euphemism for average, for this is the standard Canadian governments have set for the last quarter century, go along to get along and so on. We have allowed the capricious optimism of the formerly downtrodden ‘refugee’ embraced and ordained in the pomp of caviar and liberalism socially engineered from the penthouse suite and newly minted for Canadian (alleged) idealism, to set the pace for an emerging greatness, which save for the denials which adorn this phoney construct, have all but reduced us the level of democratic sensibility that was acceptable in the shaky cultures these folks emigrated from. This is not to slag immigrants from war torn or troubled nations, it is to say that they are unlikely torches to the proverbial promise land of full democracy and accountability. It is also to say that save for our proximity to our U.S. allies; we may have had the opportunity for such gentile naval gazing in the first place. Liberals need to take heed of what I am saying without employing their first (and only) line of defense to it, denial which spawns victimization, which in full blossom creates tyranny of the weak.
Canada will never be the country it ought to be if a standard of excellence, personal excellence, where individual rights are translated into an understanding that all individuals can attain their own sense of freedom through personal development, if a co-dependent relationship with governments, (all too often) run by people with less self awareness than the folks they purport to govern, continues to prevail.
The federal Liberals need to define themselves against the proper measure of accountability. Historically they have hidden behind words, usually legal ones. This gives the illusion of accountability and infects the people with the delusion of the same.
The provincial Liberals have long been led by someone who has not sufficiently mastered his own personal domain of accountability, permitting the likely albatross of intemperate self-deception to run roughshod through his life, denying real opportunities for broad success, and relying on old standards of ‘money talks’ to smooth over this glaring psychological malady.
All in, these people who profess to lead actually drag us down. The toys for boys, and swirls for girls, provide ample distraction to a disaffected and somewhat childish middle class, whose world view is far narrower than it ought to be in a country which should permit all types of real opportunity, but more often than not suffocates.
All this at a critical juncture in our history when we could really make a difference.

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