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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics February 8, 2007
  Feb 08, 2007

READ THIS POLL: FIND OUT WHY FORMER BC PREMIER BILL VANDER ZALM REFERS TO ROBBINS AS "THE BEST PUBLIC OPINION POLLSTER IN CANADA"
Glen P. Robbin, Glen P. Robbins and Associates, and Jim Van Rassel owner New Trend Optical (604) 942-9300; (604) 328-5398, sponsored this excellent ROBBINS poll.

Question #1
In your opinion which of the following two federal leaders is BEST suited to deal with Quebec’s relationship to Confederation?
Stephen Harper    51 %
Stephane Dion    28 %
Neither    21 %
Question #2
In your opinion which leader is BEST suited to deal with the environment and global warming?
Stephen Harper    42 %
Stephane Dion    30 %
Neither    32 %
Question #3
In your opinion which of the following two leaders is overall the BEST political leader in the country?
Stephen Harper    45 %
Stephane Dion    32 %
Neither    23 %
Question #4
In your opinion which statement BEST reflects your impression of the new global report that confirms unequivocally that global warming is upon us?
we had better get on with ratifying Kyoto    26 %
we had better get on with PM Tony Blair’s UK world model-    04 %
we need a fresh new global model consistent with the new global report    26 %
we need a Canada First environmental model before we jump on any new global ones    44 %
Question #5
Which of the following statements BEST reflects your current position based on this question: In your opinion, if, at the end of the next general federal election there is a majority government, will you be pleased with that result?
Yes    58 %
No    18 %
Not if it is a Conservative majority    12 %
Not if it is a Liberal majority    14 %
Question #6
In your opinion should wealthy Canadians residing in the United States have their Canadian pension cheques mailed to their United States residence?
Yes    17 %
No    83 %
Question #7
In your opinion who is most responsible for pollution in Canada?
Oil fields in Alberta, Car manufacturers in Ontario, coal burning businesses and other    75 %
According to a recent report of global scientists, the people    28 %
* Over 100% accounted for with ‘tough to decide’ who ‘split’ out of 1-8     %
Question #8
If an election were held tomorrow for which political leader and party would you caste your ballot?
Stephen Harper and Conservative party    39.64 %
Stephane Dion and federal Liberal party    31.14 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    8.17 %
Jack Layton and New Democratic party    13.04 %
Elizabeth May and Green party    8.01 %
Question #9
(BC respondents only) Currently, which BC provincial party do you support most? (450 respondents)
BC Greens    08 %
BC Liberals    43 %
BC NDP    47 %
Other    02 %
Question #10
Federal Seat Projections based on this poll:
Stephen Harper and Conservatives-152     %
Stephane Dion and Liberals-97     %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois-33     %
Jack Layton and New Democrats-24     %
Elizabeth May and Greens-03     %
Commentary
The best leader to deal with Quebec is Conservative PM Stephen Harper by nearly two to one over Liberal Opposition leader Stephane Dion. The PM is favoured by a three to two margin over Stephane Dion on the environment file nationwide. Overall, PM Stephen Harper is favoured as leader by a three to two margin over Stephane Dion. Mr. Harper’s success on Quebec and federation, and the environment is telling.
Of the fifty-six per cent of Canadians who favour some type of ‘International’ global warming covenant, (46%) of these stand by the Kyoto Accord. It is reasonable to say that Canadians remain split on Kyoto vs. a new Canadian Accord (Clean Air Act); however (70%) of respondents choose ‘something new’ (given that the Clean Air Act is not specifically mentioned) relative to the Kyoto choice offered/selected. Of those members in the House of Commons who voted for Kyoto (60%), this poll reflects their value in public opinion at (52%). The natural odds for selection of one in four or 25% reflects actual support for Kyoto in this poll whether or not this is determined by calculated the outcome on a one out of three basis (International choices), or one out of four (total choices).
A successful implementation of Conservative environmental policy reflected in the ‘anticipated’ budget could provide a percentage score of (46.5%) for the Conservatives on the environment (an increase of nearly (11%) for Stephen Harper on this account from his current base). All things being (somewhat) equal, if the Greens supported (by this I mean focused the debate on) the Conservative environmental policy, they could improve their POPULAR position on the environment (by International standards in the polling question) by (3.5) times their present popularity, and a net (2.5) times after Kyoto is factored out.
Put another way ‘mutualism’ in policy support by BOTH the Conservatives and the Green Party in this ‘perfect environmental storm’ for a reconstituted Clean Air Act would occur parasitically against (particularly) the Liberals and the New Democrats who collectively have an estimated (07%) of popular support which could be lost overall on this account. Elizabeth May needs to champion the debate over the Clean Air Act without denigrating the International alternatives. Is Jack Layton willing to wait out Stephane Dion in order to claim Kyoto as his first prize, and at what cost to his overall popularity given the Conservatives are moving in another direction on the environment? Can Green leader Elizabeth May benefit from applying blame to Stephane Dion (for injuring/helping to kill) Kyoto, while at the same time becoming the point of conversation surrounding the emerging debate over Canada’s handling of the environment and global warming through the evolving Clean Air Act?
Ms. May must be seen to have always been a Kyoto fan because it, like her, has always endorsed ‘good things’ for the environment. Beyond this however, she must also be seen to be the political advocate of good points of the Clean Air Act as well as the critic of any shortcomings based on the merits of the revamped Clean Air Act, not based on a comparison to Kyoto. Kyoto can be acknowledged as ‘utopian’ but in the political circumstances unattainable (which is the Liberals fault apparently), but no longer practical given the political situation and the opportunities at hand.
Perhaps not surprising is the high percentage of respondents who desire a majority government from the next federal general election who are either Liberal or Conservative. (85%) of Conservative supporters and (73%) of Liberal supporters are desirous of a majority outcome from the next general federal election, although it is likely that this is not an altruistic objective from either of these party supporters. (15%) of New Democrats want a majority government even though they do not have a likely chance of forming that government. (38%) of this group DOES NOT support Kyoto, yet some 23,000 NDP supporters who do support Kyoto under this illumination are Quebecors. On the other side of this NDP ‘investigation’ three times more NDP supporters DO NOT want a Liberal majority than DO NOT want a Conservative majority. There is far more animosity against the federal Liberal party by New Democrat supporters than against the Conservatives. This suggests to me that some NDP supporters are anticipating a majority government (or are sick of minority governments) after the next election and better Harper than Dion.
(15%) of Conservative supporters agree with mailing pension cheques to ‘wealthy’ Canadians in the U.S., while just less than one-third of Liberal supporters agree as well. About 22% of respondents who are either Conservative or Liberal supporters agree with mailing pension cheques to the U.S., while of the ‘other’ parties only one-quarter of this amount (6%) agree with the status quo action proposed in the question. Pensions and age of retirement are important issues. As the pool of seniors in this country increase and health care and pension costs also rise the issue of income testing for pensions will become more relevant, particularly when as the question suggests, these Canadians are living in the United States and Canadian pension cheques are being mailed to them. Although a minority of Conservative and Liberal respondents support the payments (“because they are deserved”), it is pretty clear the NDP, Bloc and Green supporters do not approve.
(27.5%) of Conservative supporters blame ‘people’ over oil, gas and coal producers. One-third of Liberal supporters blame people. Many of these respondents do not support Kyoto but do choose a new global agreement over Kyoto. Mr. Harper or Mr. Baird needs to clarify who ‘the people’ are in this scenario, and make the people understand that globally this refers to preponderantly urban areas, but with an understanding that what happens to urban areas spills over demographically into suburban areas (here at home). {If one looks at a map of Asia particularly through China, the Philippines and over to India they will see a population rise in urban areas from 1960-present day which is absolutely staggering). Yet these regions of the world particularly China are not part of Kyoto. Really, they are not part of the conversation. For this, Kyoto now declines to the status of mantra, and certainly not a viable policy regime to deal with International environmental problems. The International community blames ‘people’ rightly, but to the extent that they are really saying that ‘people’ will have to pay for this with taxes, which if Kyoto is considered, with wealth transfer to stalled economies such as Russia, or for subsidizing integration of East Germany into German and other endeavours of the EU. The EU is having enough difficulties with its own integration, and along these lines immigration to be a central figure in Canada’s economy of any product including the environment. Mr. Dion espouses social cost accountability articulated particularly through the political prism of the environment issue, but was unwilling to recently reflect upon this as it applies to the potential for intra provincial trading of debits and credits as this concerns specifically the matter of federal provincial relations and specifically equalization. Let there be no doubt that Kyoto as a potential policy diversion from Canada’s perspective in terms of the strategic implications of this dynamic could be disastrous economically, without far more certainty in our footing than presently exists.
Stephen Harper is beating Stephane Dion badly from Victoria to Ottawa. He is tied in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Mr. Harper’s momentum has moved from a march to a preparation for a parade as Conservatives enter the Emerald City of majority government, which ROBBINS suspects, the Canadian (without necessarily saying so) is ready for. Mr. Dion’s Liberal party has stalled. Where there ought to be motion there is inertia. Paul Martin’s desire to continue to have control over the lever of politics will ensure that his successor does not better him.
Commentary- Currently Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined by the Canadian public to be the best person to deal with Quebec and the Canadian Federation. He is seen as being even handed and reasonable without kowtowing. Liberal Opposition leader Stephane Dion remains (particularly in Quebec) to be part of the old Liberal crowd and thus is perceived to be (at lest residually) part of the problem. On this Quebecors are clear. Speculation of a Quebec provincial election being in play makes the federal dynamic interesting particularly if a federal general election is called concurrent with the provincial one, or overlapping any part of the provincial election.
Stephen Harper is perceived by respondents to be the right person to deal with the environment for two apparent reasons. The first is that respondents now are more fully aware of the importance of the issue. Two, Kyoto is part of the history of ‘denial’ of many of ‘these’ respondents (swing voters), who want another chance to revisit the issue with their undivided attention, so they can feel they are ‘consciously’ part of the solution. These swing voters aren’t judging the Prime Minister badly, because they are in the same boat as him. They may not have understood the issue before, and may not fully understand it now, but will try harder. It is more difficult for these respondents to consider Kyoto because it is a reminder of a recent time when the environment really wasn’t that important to them, and to be forced to reconsider it over and over makes them feel uncomfortable. Also, Kyoto is easily criticized and the more ‘knowledge’ voters have the more easily their rejection of Kyoto will become, even if that rejection isn’t entirely based on merit.
As long as Mr. Harper reasonably deals with the problem of the environment NOW his direction on the matter will be affirmed more easily by these voters because it is easier for them to support something and to ‘cheer’ the new direction and feel part of the solution, so long as they can believe it is truly a policy moving in the right direction. There is a double positive hit for the Prime Minister on this account, and that is, if he moves environmental policy in an acceptable direction for most Canadians who have come to trust him, and are HOPING he will be successful, AND the other parties continue to aimlessly pile on Kyoto, the voters will not only support Harper, they will reject the other parties creating the separation he desires. Often this type of separation can cause a tremendous positive bandwagon effect.
Mr. Harper’s difficulty is that Canadians KNOW automobile and oil producers and coal burners are a big part of the problem (aren’t happy with Oil company profits and high gas prices), and don’t accept that a smaller population like Canada is fully part of the “people” problem which recent scientific research asserts is the main source of global warming. Canada has three or four larger cities. Gas prices under 90 cents per litre will help the Prime Minister. Gas prices in the mid 80’s (given the market dictates) may ensure 42-43% for the Harper government in the next federal general election, all things being relatively equal.
The recent ‘symbolic’ vote in the House of Commons plays to Mr. Harper’s advantage as that vote reflects over 60% of MP’s supporting Kyoto while in this ROBBINS poll only 27% are ‘firm true believers’. The results of this poll also reflect that intrinsically approximately 52% of ‘non-Conservatives’ will be in power if an election were called soon.
The Prime Minister needs to continue to distance himself from Kyoto without castigating the ‘admirable principles’ of it through sarcasm. (Eventually, Mr. Dion may feel obligated to change his dog’s name on his own without undue pressure from the PM). By so doing he would reveal his diplomatic side in recognizing his own shortcomings in terms of acknowledging the problems relating to the environment, which makes him ‘no worse’ then Stephane Dion, but likely better, as this poll attests. Also, he will reveal to other Canadians looking for direction, that he is able to see the error of his past ways and immerse himself in the new improved environmental project for Canada in a manner which makes his direction more palatable to Canadians, who themselves want to ‘feel’ immersed but not preached to. Kyoto was once the name label for Global Warming issues, gradually it is losing that distinction, at least with Canadians.
Kyoto proponents seem to be moralizing like religious people sometimes do and that annoys Canadians who see this conduct as highfalutin, and don’t hold a particularly strong loyalty to Kyoto. This may be why women respondents/voters from wealthier neighbourhoods are FAR more inclined towards Stephane Dion. Mother Earth is their new God and Stephane Dion is sitting at the right hand. It’s as if the vast attention being paid to global warming has many Parliamentarians ‘caught up’ in the ether of environmental ideology of Kyoto only, many having abandoned the idea of how practical most Canadians are. Respectfully, Canadians will first check their pocket-books before they look to the environment, no matter what pollsters say.
Canadians do not understand why a healthier version of some foods are more expensive than the unhealthy ones, and why environmentally friendly cars are so much more expense than regular cars, when few believe that it is actually more expensive to produce either, and as many more are aware that the SUV ‘craze’ was a Big Auto driven phenomenon. This is why respondents are so obviously more inclined to blame obvious producers of pollution like big oil, big auto etc. rather then ‘people’ who are characterized in the most recent global report as the problem. The people they are speaking of are in the huge cities in the United States, Asia, and South America, NOT CANADA. European and American large cities are not growing at the rate that they are in Asia and South America. Auto makers are already trying to influence Canada’s environmental policy by threatening job losses. The Prime Minister can influence the efforts of the car manufacturers without falling victim to the oldest political ploy in the book that capital uses, namely the loss of jobs. This is an old, tired and (frankly) dishonest way to negotiate and is not in the interests of Canadians. By introducing very rich tax credits for vehicle purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles, the government will induce the demand which would ultimately compel automobile producers to make more of these cars, which invariably will bring costs down. The SUV market was a contrived one, predicated on the ingenuity of New York advertising executives which has created thousands of ‘white elephant’ vehicles. The automobile industry has long profited through stalling and procrastinating, and has acted in its self interest toward the bottom line. This is not a judgement, it is a statement of fact and should now be the starting point from which car manufacturers themselves to begin to take responsibility as far as clean air is concerned.
The oil fields are no better. They use up ranchers water, they move forward in an unimaginably dirty way. But we cannot stop this overnight, we may not stop it at all. But we must apply a conscious overlap of public policy interest (that of all of the citizens and the planet) in terms of assessing the costs to the public in each barrel of oil, not just the cost of the oil to produce. At some point if we are honest in this ‘audit’, we will find the point where our energy needs, and the desire to make a profit, can be reconciled with the now much greater need to be wholly accountable. This debate is no longer one which is delegated to some Masters thesis at university but must NOW be undertaken for real. The provinces who enjoy the benefits of energy must understand they will have to pay. Those who have come to the benefits more recently ought to be given sufficient room on this account and reasonable chronological target dates to not prejudice their attempts to keep their economy on track. I believe Canadians will accept this as a fair compromise as it concerns Federal and Provincial relations and discussions of equalization.
Respondents in this poll want to give the Prime Minister an opportunity to do his job, because so many of them are acknowledging the fact that “he is doing the job we pay him to do”. This sentiment cannot be underscored enough as it is indicative of the new Canadian voter. So long as politicians are seen to be working for them, they will be successful and ought to be paid commensurate with the responsibilities. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is clearly seen as doing the job he is paid to do from coast to coast (save for Quebec but this is clearly influenced still by the Bloc). Contrast this in British Columbia where regional respondents view politicians in a less favourable light. The federal Liberals lost the 2005/2006 general federal election owing to corruption, which Mr. Harper’s Conservatives are helping them to forget. Bev Oda’s recent expenses for her work including limousine travel are not what the Prime Minister needs and HIS asking her to step down is unlikely but it would certainly go a long way to reflect the seriousness of Mr. Harper’s desire to be accountable, and provide him with an opportunity to reconstitute his relationship with some women voters who unlike the steady stream of men moving to Harper, are only moving in a trickle to him, (or the alternative make her pay back the rest of the money she used for the limo to make a point with all of the many husband’s out there whose wives ‘spend like Marcos’). There is still a quiet but large group of men out there who do not believe that women can balance a budget in earnest as one guest on Michael Smyth’s Nightline BC show said about child care ‘Michael what’s a billion dollars (?) its not a lot of money’. Oh Help me Hillary say it ain’t so!
Prime Minister Stephen Harper crushed Liberal Opposition leader Stephane Dion on the leadership question. Mr. Dion hurt himself badly particularly in Quebec by not cutting off Gomrey related former Liberal MP’s who have publicly indicated they want back in, and now appears like a very second place finisher by taking on Garth Turner who is of the image of the last kid (who isn’t very good and messes himself) being selected in a ‘pick up’ game. Mr. Dion’s English isn’t good enough for Westerners who see him as uppity because he is so intelligent and ought to be able to speak two languages as well as English politicians are expected to speak French. Mr. Chretien got away with this because his speech was an integral part of his personality, and Mr. Trudeau was, well, Mr. Trudeau. The best out for the Liberals is to re-introduce Michael Ignatieff in a conscious effort to articulate that the Liberals in essence have two leaders, one the primary, who can speak well on all accounts with Canadians. In the event that Mr. Dion’s efforts continue to stagnate, at a minimum the Liberals ready themselves for the next time with Ignatieff. The upside may be a political leadership dualism which is attractive to Canadians and certainly innovative.
Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair is supported by only one in 7 respondents inclined towards a new global model to deal with the environment and global warming. This reflects a similar problem Mr. Blair is having in the United Kingdom where he is not popular, in part because of his participation in Iraq and close association to U.S. President George W. Bush. Unlike Mr. Blair, Mr. Harper’s political star is on the rise. French President Jacques Chirac will support a new direction on the environment, is already distancing himself from Kyoto, has not been a big supporter of an EU Constitution, and will have no problem going against the Blair government proposal, and seizing the opportunity to politically integrate with new ideas on this front. The Italian Environmental Minister is also not singing the Kyoto song. The Germans may also be inclined to get on board to reconstitute their bilateral arrangement with France on the global front, which puts further pressure on U.S. President Bush as he ‘goes the last mile’ at High Noon in Iraq (likely the way he prefers it). This provides Canada with an opportunity to be front and centre in the development of a new Global Environment Accord unrelated to Kyoto with major players in the European Union, and with some sway with China and the United States (when China isn’t prosecuting our citizens in a kangaroo style court).
NDP leader Jack Layton is not being very pragmatic. He is miscalculating the country’s (and his potential constituents) devotion and commitment to Kyoto and is not able to see that the ‘Kyoto Caboose’ is loose and beginning to head backwards. Mr. Layton is suffering from what Canadians call ‘Toronto Head’ (which is like Nixon-head during Watergate with a more Liberal dose of denial). What Mr. Layton should be doing is getting his ‘clean hands’ all over the Clean Air Act while treating Kyoto as the ‘spirit’ of the environmental movement as the Bible/Marxism was to the humanitarian movement. If Mr. Layton is just being politically clever, (which I don’t believe) he will induce Mr. Dion to remain exclusive to Kyoto and if he can attempt to commit Green Party leader Elizabeth May to remain exclusive to Kyoto, and be the first to cooperate on the new environmental policy, arguing his dramatic flair over Kyoto was merely induced leverage upon the Prime Minister to make the Clean Air Act serious. Mr. Layton is not going to win the next election and must ensure that he protects his own party’s political interests first and foremost. If he remains an ideologue he will injure his party and his own political future, and be compelled to fight Liberals for seats in Vancouver and Toronto while Conservatives add all rural and more suburban seats to their column which might otherwise have been in his column. Politicians in Canada need to understand how politicians in the United States operate. Don’t use your own people to poll public opinion, hire people who don’t give a damn to tell you the truth. The political game is about votes Mr. Layton, find out what your potential voters REALLY think and see if you can reconcile the associated policy initiatives involved to the ones YOU ARE CERTAIN are consistent with your base profile.
Believing that people at Tim Horton’s vote one way and people at Starbucks vote another is the litmus test of ‘pure political crazy’.
Stephane Dion is not in a very admirable position. His acquisition of former Conservative Garth Turner to the Liberal caucus is not a trade off for the Khan defection same for the seat they are sitting in, as Khan’s defection to the Conservatives was ‘more natural’ than Mr. Turner’s as he had been working as a special advisor to the Prime Minister relative to Afghanistan. Mr. Turner who is in fact competent intellectually does not do maverick or independent very well as he is seen by Canadians as more of an opportunist than a natural independent in the more principled role of someone like the late (great) BC MP Chuck Cadman, an everyday person who made a difference and who had integrity (it isn’t so tough to do if you stick to your principles). Mr. Turner advertised his move as that of a Progressive Conservative, but the only Canadians who care about Progressive Conservatives are former insiders and not Canadians who don’t see Stephen Harper as a right winger, (and others who do don’t mind if he is so long as religion isn’t part of the equation). The Progressive Conservative notion may have some play in the Atlantic Provinces but it is presently irrelevant everywhere else in the country. (That’s 40% Stephen Harper is sitting on NOT 30%-time to get over the difference).
Former Liberal environment minister David Anderson may not have defended Stephane Dion’s record as Liberal environment minister as well as he might, but he did attempt to provide Mr. Dion with a bridge to a new discussion about federal provincial relations, which Mr. Dion ought to have pursued, but instead appears to be doggone devoted to Kyoto. Mr. Anderson who represented the Chretien Liberals for years for simply saying that Mr. Dion is Paul Martin’s man and the ultimate results from the next election will affirm this. (Is Michael I. happy or sad over this turn of events?) The overplay of Kyoto particularly when everyone is talking Global Warming is actually encouraging some respondents who are not as earnest in their support of the environment (as us pollsters have previously thought) are now beginning to waver, not on the basis of the fact that Global Warming is here, but rather on what is perceived as the non-stop discussion of the matter, and to that end, Kyoto is beginning to shoulder much of the blame. (My daughter in grade 12 and her friends ask me “what the heck is Kyoto anyways?”)
The Bloc Quebecois are in a little difficulty. The provincial election in Quebec could obfuscate the Bloc’s message at a time when they require clarity of communication. It is pretty clear that there is incongruence amongst the other parties on the environmental front which the Bloc should exploit. If as this poll suggests Canadians are ready to blame oil producers and car manufacturers, the obvious benefactor of any ‘intra provincial wealth transfer’ would be Quebec. Which level of government in Quebec will succeed in making the case for more money for Quebec from any new government policies vis-à-vis the environment?
Elizabeth May has something to consider. The three Opposition parties have clearly set their sails on Kyoto (with little thought to the icebergs poking through the political sea). No party more than hers deserves recognition on the environmental file, but are she and her colleagues going to be able to capitalize on a shifting consumer and voting culture as far as this subject is concerned? If they play this correctly they can change the voting dynamic drastically as far as voting is concerned, particularly with the NDP and Liberal party. Endorsement of a new approach from the Conservatives by the Greens (if it is merited) could go a long way to increasing mainstream voter acceptance. Greens could conceivably achieve national support of 11-12%. Now is the time for the Green Party of Canada to throw everything they have at Federal politics, because naturally this is where the money starts for environmental programs, and for their political base. The big win for the Greens in the next general federal election would be 5 or 6 seats, with that same number reflecting what the Conservatives are short for a majority.
There is a sea change at the heart of federal politics in Canada right now. Younger voters do not view Stephen Harper as some horrible dangerous person. They may not all vote for him, but that is simply something some never planned to do anyway. Where the change is taking place is at the point of baby boomer, particularly males, who as they become older and more mature evolve into their Conservatism with Stephen Harper more naturally, no longer so psychologically pre-disposed to thinking exclusively Liberal thoughts and pursuits which has served as a response to sacrifices made by earlier generations particularly as we consider the second world war. There is a prevailing sentiment that the world must unequivocally address its problems which are poverty, war, and now difficulties with climate change and the environment. This is a daunting task with no wiggle room for procrastination. How much money you have or how much you are going to make cannot be the exclusive driver of today’s responsible citizen. We are confronted with challenges that are as much cerebral (and in some cases intuitive) and thus make it as difficult or more to respond than it was for our father’s to respond (react) to life issues regarding with what they understand involved questions of good vs. evil. Part of this sentiment is a very deep understanding (even from those like the writer who support our military) that at some time, at some point, the wars for all their destruction and despair (which might be considered as necessary by some Faustian considerations about natural evolution), must come to end sometime, and sometime soon. To baby boomers it is the awesome realization that our father’s and grandfather’s fought within the last century in some very ugly and disturbing wars, and that we are witness to (particularly Americans) of the same age involved in daily activity of war and death. This is not to compel a dialogue to the Lennonism’s of “Give Peace a Chance”, it is actually a pragmatic view of what must be the eventual outcome of man on this planet which WILL ULTIMATELY determine whether at the end of the day, whether or not we are inherently good or evil. This struggle takes place on an individual basis, and collectively amongst us. Children of younger ages are dealing with these problems (at least theoretically) in school. We are confronting our real future as we speak!
In Canada no-one wants a debate on Quebec but it is coming. It appears to this writer that we are moving toward a referendum on Canada’s political future, and depending on where you stand (for the writer I stand with my country-all of it and certainly with Quebec). With all mighty respect to Quebec’s fierce independence and natural spirit (and early years supporting the Canadiennes with extreme devotion), it is not an option to consider Canada’s future without Quebec. Accordingly, with the same respect, I must state my absolute disagreement with those who would wish to create any type of separation with Quebec and the Canadian federation. It seems that people don’t really want to talk about this, and would prefer that the problem goes away, but it won’t do any good. The confrontations involving the question of Quebec from the past are well documented. 1995 was the closest we came to a national disaster. The Clarity Act of that era will do nothing to ameliorate tensions between Ottawa and Quebec. Quebec is an original partner of the Federation and as such should be treated with the level of respect that this would strongly imply. It would seem though that the discussion of Quebec’s future cannot be conducted through the politics of dishonesty as was witnessed when the Liberals were most recently in power, but rather through a new sense of positive political influence and that would be permitting the country and Quebec through a federal and provincial election, the ultimate in democratic processes, to decide what direction Canada’s final family picture will take. By answering this question, at the same time Canada modernizes its democratic principles and pursues a sensible and deliberate course on dealing with our responsibilities on climate change and the environment first here at home, and in conjunction with other democracies, Canada can emerge this year at the new point in its history, better then it has ever been, a natural progression of greatness.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper should seriously consider focusing on election readiness for the short term. The opportunity to secure a majority government is at hand, as ROBBINS believes the people are ready to provide the federal government with a mandate for governance without the encumbrances (surety) that a minority government brings. To make this work for Canada Mr. Harper will have the daunting task of managing a majority government with an attitude that he still has a minority government. If he can accomplish this, the next four years of our history may be some of our best.
Interviews by Province/error rate: Atlantic Provinces-120 (NA) Quebec-150 (NA) Ontario-300 (6.5%) Saskatchewan/Manitoba-100 (NA) Alberta-100 (NA) B.C.-450 (5.5%)
Methodology-This is a random telephone sample of 1,220 Canadians between February 1st and 7th, 2007. This ROBBINS poll features a margin of error of 3.3% (based on averaged adjustments to gender, population, and voting history), 19 times out of 20, @ 98% confidence/competency. This poll was sponsored by Glen P. Robbins (20%) Glen P. Robbins and Associates (30%); and Jim Van Rassel (50%) proprietor New Trend Optical (604) 942-9300

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