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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics March 15, 2007
  Mar 15, 2007

A random telephone sample-1,375 Canadians over the period of March 6-15th, 2007. This poll was conducted throughout the country in two ‘waves’. The numbers were not averaged as between the waves; however the number of respondents did vary slightly between calling waves in each region based on the protracted length of the poll and the conspicuous level of related news. For this reason alone we have allowed for a larger margin of error, but have not adjusted for confidence. The margin of error is (3.65%), 19 times out of 20 @ 97.5-98% confidence estimates (allowing for Quebec’s election which ultimately impacted on our calling somewhat). This poll was paid for by Glen P. Robbins and Associates (which includes an American third party), ROBBINS Media Works, and Canadian businessman Jim Van Rassel (25%) {Who was not informed he was included ‘politically’ in one question until Wednesday March 14, @ 11.00 A.M. PST.

Question #1
A young Muslim girl was directed NOT to wear her hijab (a Muslim religious head scarf) during her soccer game in Quebec as the International soccer rules forbid players from wearing head gear of any kind. This is a discretionary rule from one province to another, but is not permitted in Quebec. In your opinion should the young girl be permitted to wear her head scarf against International soccer rules?
Yes    41 %
No    59 %
Undecided    03 %
Question #2
How likely would you be to vote to re-elect Stephen Harper in an upcoming spring election?
Very Likely    32 %
Likely    14 %
Unlikely    32 %
Very Unlikely    20 %
Undecided    03 %
Question #3
There is widespread speculation of a spring general federal election in Canada soon. Canada has had minority government now since 2004. What we are asking you to consider is this: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not likely to put the country through a general federal election unless the populace will provide his government with a solid mandate, a majority government. Within your current sentiment about federal government, the pros and cons of minority and majority governments, are you prepared to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper a majority government?
Yes    42.5 %
No    57 %
Undecided    09 %
Question #4
Do you have confidence in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ability to implement a comprehensive and realistic climate change plan for Canada?
Yes    55 %
No    45 %
Undecided    07 %
Question #5
Conrad Black is a Canadian/British citizen, and was the former publisher in Canada of most of Canada’s major newspapers. His partner of 30 years David Radler was apparently in charge of matters relating to finance. Mr. Black is about to go on trial in Chicago on a number of charges including wire fraud and racketeering as this relates to his former publishing business. Mr. Radler has agreed to testify against his former partner Conrad Black in return for a lesser sentence. Mr. Black has taken the position that since Mr. Radler was in charge of finance and has admitted guilt, then ‘he’ is likely to be acquitted of the charges against him as they are mostly related to finance and are thus attributable to Mr. Radler. On its face does Mr. Black’s argument make sense?
Yes    31 %
No    13 %
I don't Know/Can't Answer/Undecided    56 %
Question #6
Would you like the Canadian government to bring back the death penalty for convicted murderers of police officers and young children?
Yes    73 %
No    27 %
Undecided    01 %
Question #7
If an election was held tomorrow for which political leader and party would you vote?
Jack Layton and New Democratic Party    16.05 %
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party    41.02 %
Stephane Dion and Liberal Party    27.71 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party    8.06 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois Party    7.24 %
Undecided    6.44 %
Question #8
For which political leader and party do you intend to vote in the upcoming Quebec provincial election?
Jean Charest and Liberal Party    37.5 %
Mario Dumont and ADQ    32 %
Andres Boisclair and Parti Quebecois    30.5 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer/Won’t Answer    23 %
Question #9
If an election were held tomorrow for which leader and party would you cast your vote? (BC)
Gordon Campbell and BC Liberal Party    35 %
Carole James and BC NDP Party    37 %
Jim Van Rassel and Conservative BC Party    16 %
New Leader and BC Green Party    12 %
Commentary
Let me first say this to the State of Illinois
With respect, Conrad Black’s criminal trial has got to be politically motivated. I mean really, I love Israel and respect her tenacity and courage, but this type of ‘corporate protectionism’ through the courts is abusive. If enemies of Mr. Black’s have a difficulty with non-competition clauses they should spend their own money and sue, don’t use criminal courts to deal with civil matters. Those that insist on the persecution for shareholders ought to have a better look at how they are handling their debt collection if shareholders are what they are concerned about.
The United States has sent a powerful message with WorldCom and Enron and others, but this Black trial is corporate small claims prompting this apt warning. If the United States continues along this line of corporate emasculation they will begin to make Mr. Putin’s reforms look attractive. Let’ be sensible shall we? Yes, WorldCom was a disaster. Billions lost. Shareholders hurt. Who are the shareholders we are worried about? The common shareholder, the odd lotter? Or are we talking about something else here? Are we talking about the institution pensions of labour? Those who are too afraid to step out of the shadows and declare their love of capital markets? I too feel for the moms and pops, but I confess, I’m afraid to say that all too often mom and pop are greedy asses too. I watched a special where an American investor hurt in WorldCom or Enron revealed that they had bought common stock three times, with capital gains available long after all three purchases, yet no sale. The company goes defunct (which I am not apologizing for), but this investor had three opportunities to make $10, 20 and $30 dollars per share profit. This is no victim.
The pensions are no victim. Conrad Black should not be used as a political catalyst for labour movements. For God’s sake be accountable. Labour made America, it contributed only in part to making American great.
Mr. (Lord) Black is an icon in Canada. The United States has John Wayne. I loved John Wayne. Canada has Conrad Black. You see, when Conrad Black was publishing writers in this country, they were not sterilized. We were all artists and writers (or rock stars). More than that, we were fully engaged Canadians. Great Canadians. I am not a ‘party’ person so I do not fawn over these ‘big shots’. What I care about is my countries fifth estate, and Mr. Black and his lovely wife are two important writers. Our country needs its writers, journalists and reporters (despite what my police officer friends are saying of late) are the most important people in the nation. Mr. Black sets the pace, he is the standard
Canadians are well on the way back, and back in a very big way. This isn’t about arrogance; it is about a change taking place in Canada. It’s a change the public is comfortable with. All country’s need a voice, a people’s mobile constitution, a sense of identity. Conrad Black is such a voice. (In his polite way Stephen Harper is also a voice).
Mavericks, men of letters, real women, and a grassroots connection to our land. Canadians are a very proud and (mostly) honest people. We aren’t all perfect, neither is Conrad Black (but he tries and that is our Canadian Heritage). In many respects it calls to a different time. This is a good thing.
My country and your country want to grow and be better. We are your countries BEST friend (we may in fact be your only friend). People around the world like us and respect us. You need us. We are a sufficiently respectful people to say the sentiment is mutual. Mr. Black represents all that is common to the four nations on the planet who are still most responsible for peace order and good government throughout the world. These include: Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and Australia. Mr. Black is tied to the first three. He is therefore relevant to the future. Hillary Clinton is relevant. John McCain is relevant. Stephen Harper is relevant. (Fred Thompson may become relevant). George W. Bush remains relevant. The Rolling Stones are relevant. Why are the courts in Canada and the United States becoming less relevant? Elliot Ness, what is wrong with you? Ronald Reagan and St. Patrick were great Irishmen. Why can’t this be good enough? What diminutive mind has had the temerity to draw parallels between this prosecutor, this prosecution and Al Capone? The Polish, German and Italian people are hard working. What a shameful and cheap sketch you draw for self aggrandizement.
You cannot simply decide to maliciously prosecute for ideals on the basis of a misty eyed desire for fractured, lost and outdated ideology by persecuting institutions. In doing so, you denigrate the very institution which has served democracy so well, and which we suggest we should ‘offer’ including using guns (and little butter) to other forlorn countries. The institution which is faltering here is the Rule of Law. Those who preside over it cannot see the downward tumble because they are so busy trying to raise it up as something that it ought not to be, an adjunct to politics.
Nowhere can the utter petulance of this compromising of conservative ideology (case precedent) etc. be so conspicuously emphasized than in this despicable railroading of Conrad Black. No matter what you believe, most people are in fact conservative like the courts ought to be. No change without the facts. The facts in this case, is that you have your man, and Mr. Ascariot has taken his wrist slap in exchange for virgins or silver or something which I am not predisposed to overly consider.
The world requires strong Conservatives like Conrad Black. Without his participation there are no benchmarks, no standards, simply the outgrowth of the selfish aggregation of wealth by the snide and the selfish, who lurk in the shadows of law firms, and care little for the betterment of society, only the increase of their bank accounts. Mr. Black is no capitalist. He is a leader of men. He is a man’s man. Without this sense of identity for (us) men, eventually we will all begin to look like Africa. A bunch of crazy people, dying from disease and killing one another. I say this with sympathy to the women and children who always suffer when men have dementia.
I have no quarrel with paganism. I am at heart and spirit a libertarian. I rooted for the Bohemians in the movie Moulon Rouge. (I would also like to place my boot up the ars of the punks who jumped our war hero Master Cpl. Fitzgerald). Our country needs to have heroes. My daughter told me she wanted to go to law school and prosecute criminals. I lovingly explained to her that the criminal courts have a duty to do away with ‘punks’. The criminal courts should not be abused for entertainment purposes. We discussed Mr. Black. I told my daughter that Mr. Black is being ‘railroaded’ but his enemies who are jealous of him and have connections to the courts. I also explained that a Presidential election is coming up in the U.S. and Democratic hopefuls Clinton and Obama are fighting for votes from all ethnic groups. Mr. Obama needs to protect his interests in Illinois, and with the major Stock Exchange in New York, maybe Chicago wants to show that its mercantile ‘blue collar’ industry is the real life blood of American commerce. But why do this at the expense of Canada. Oh Mr. Black is Canadian. Don’t believe anything (former) Prime Minister Jean Chrétien says. He was jealous of Conrad Black too. Social engineers are often like that, they are angry at people who are better than they are and will do anything to even the playing field.
For this to happen to Conrad Black is disgraceful. You see, Conrad Black is important to Canada, (as is Charles Taylor/Templeton Award winner). A country needs great men and women. No matter what you might think of Conrad Black, he is a great man. We don’t appreciate such muckraking with our greats. We don’t do it to your ‘great ones’ do we?
Mr. Black is no criminal and you know this is true. I would like to have him back by Easter. We’re not noisy about it, but Easter remains an important date in Canada, likely more important than Thanksgiving. Very deep in our northern secular souls lives a desire for all men and women to be redeemed. It is not a puritanical pursuit, it is a deeper consideration. Conrad Black for all his swagger understands redemption. He is no criminal. Both of our countries have strong elements who would like to make criminals of redeemers. We have seen this before, and it’s ugly.
Not to mention, (I’m Canadian, forgive my brashness), but with Conrad Black free and clear billions of dollars of industry will take place. Surely those political influences on your courts understand the importance of billions of dollars. It is after all the bottom line for you isn’t it? Shouldn’t we consider business leaders who actually care about the evolution of nations rather than the abuse of them for their own profit or gain?
Illinois, where is the U.S. spirit we have heard so much about? Dude’, maybe Canada has taken it. In the Lord’s name you must free Conrad Black so that he may be redeemed and rise again. (This latter with inflection).
Observations/Commentary-
A majority of respondents are of the opinion that the young girl in Quebec who wants to wear her religious head scarf (hijab) should abide by International soccer rules as set out by F.I.F.A. the ruling organization.
(47%) of ‘decided’ respondents are Very likely or likely to re-elect Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Slightly less than (43%) of ‘decided’ respondents are prepared to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper a majority.
Canadians in Quebec are most likely to reject the hijab (62%), while those in British Columbia (53% “NO”) are most receptive to the young girl’s desire to wear her religious headdress during soccer matches.
Of the larger provinces: Ontario, Quebec and BC, Ontario has the highest number of respondents who are “Very likely” to support Stephen Harper’s re-election (33%). When compared with the total number of Very likely and likely supporters (46%) BC has the lowest number of respondents (85.5%) who want a majority for Stephen Harper, followed by Quebec whose related respondents from Q#2 to Q#3 equals (89%), and where (31%) intend to give Stephen Harper a majority (32% women). There is no evidence that the Conservative Party is under 25% in the Province of Quebec.
Ontario has the highest continuity among respondents who support Stephen Harper’s re-election and who want a majority for him (93%).
The PM and Conservatives are very strong in Ontario.
BC and Quebec have some similar themes as this relates to the difference between likelihood of wanting to re-elect him Prime Minister, wanting a majority for him and not wanting a majority for him, but there are other differences as well.
Some V. likely and likely ‘supporters’ in BC do not want to give the PM a majority because they don’t want “another Chrétien government” {a huge majority}, are “angry” over Income Trusts or recent ‘Canada Revenue Agency screw-ups’, or “don’t want an election of any kind”. Yet some of these ‘conservative doubters’ will not vote for (or are saying they won’t for) Stephane Dion. A few men are of the opinion that the Prime Minister has become too moderate. The absolute majority of respondents who support the PM but are less secure about a majority government for him are men. Saskatchewan respondents are moving in synch with Stephen Harper. Saskatchewan people are not only very hard workers, they are also entrepreneurs. Watch for some interesting technological innovations for the environment to come out of Saskatchewan. How about Green Research and Development tax credits or did I miss the announcement? (There was a lot of federal stuff going on).
“A few men are of the opinion that the Prime Minister has become too moderate.”
Quebec’s explanation for the difference between the likelihood to support Harper and their desire for him and his party to achieve a majority relates ‘mostly’ to not wanting “another election” (because they are in the midst of a provincial election). Quebec does not seem concerned about a majority government. If I were to characterize this, I would say that Quebecors/Canadians are far more concerned about an election that produces another minority government, then they are worried that Stephen Harper might get a majority. This rendition of current public opinion is completely different then the rationales currently being provided in major news with political pundits, commentators, and mainstream public opinion pollsters. Currently, ROBBINS believes the mainstream is talking in ‘a bubble’, one in terms of public opinion that is a month or two out of a synch with reality on the ground. (Go ahead- I dare you ask Kym Campbell if she’ll run in Vancouver).
“I would say that Quebecors/Canadians are far more concerned about an election that produces another minority government, than they are worried that Stephen Harper might be getting a majority.”
Quebec is not worrying about its standing as a nation relative to discussions of sovereignty. If Quebec has worries, they are about its national identity relative to the problems or perceived problems brought by immigrants. Europe is having the same problems. Quebec is Roman Catholic/socially progressive, but not so progressive that they are willing to compromise their history and their culture to be ‘overly’ accommodating to ‘others’ that are confusing and frustrating them (not to mention overwhelming them). A social democrat in BC may have great empathy for countries in conflict with Israel, and the plight of Middle Eastern immigrants in Canada. Quebec is not as concerned. They have had to deal with duplicity from their own federal government, an underhandedness which goes back to Trudeau and most certainly was underscored by Chrétien, Trudeau’s partner in Constitutional ‘crimes’ against Quebec. The federal Liberals are seen from the Quebec perspective as being those who tried to undermine them, to cheat them, heck, they haven’t even signed on to our Constitution, are not part of our Charter, do not have a civil legal code the same as ours. Quebec is connected to Canada by history, not legally, at least not fully, not in any demonstrably credible way. Be serious. So why the drive to have so many francophone judges on the Canada Supreme Court? Would Quebec not be happier with an even more progressive approach to independent immigration policy?
Brian Mulroney’s Meech Lake Accord is starting to look pretty good. The entire Supreme Court of Canada could be constituted by francophone judges, but it doesn’t really matter to Quebecors. Men in their late fifties, and sixties, at least those who did not get fed up and move away, are sick of discussions of sovereignty, but they also want the little girl to behave like everyone else does in Quebec. Like everyone has for many years. Canadians may not necessarily go to church but that doesn’t mean they want God taken out of The Constitution OR symbols like ‘crosses’ removed from the landscape to accommodate others. This socially engineered political correct ‘stuff’ has had its day in Canada.
“Brian Mulroney’s Meech Lack Accord is starting to look pretty good.”
New Brunswick supports the death penalty for cop and young child killers over (80%).
The differences in perspective of expectations is making for a high number of Canadians who obviously support the Harper government, but in particular men, (and more particular men in Quebec and BC) who are feeling different types and levels of anxiety over an election they know is coming. With this in mind I think the mainstream pollsters do a disservice by underestimating Stephen Harper and Conservatives overall popularity, in order I suspect to ‘better coordinate’ the timing of significant news events (Budgets, election, federal Liberal raising money, etc.) with varying potentialities of political and news momentum. Its okay to say the Conservatives are at a majority, why be so afraid. Say it and let the people respond. Unless you afraid of a bandwagon.
This ROBBINS poll makes it clearly evident that nearly one out of two Canadians are ‘in’ the Conservative tent. These conservatives are an ‘odd’ mix. Some are wearing Royal Blue, some are wearing robins egg blue, some are wearing turquoise blue, cobalt blue, sky blue etc., but they are wearing blue. They are not wearing red (maybe undergarments). It is not precisely clear how many of these ‘blue’ Canadians are “hoping” for a Conservative majority, how many might leave if they believe the Conservatives are going to run away with the election, how many are concerned the Conservatives may not win a majority, (when they want a majority) (and are less inclined for an election now), how many of these overall Conservative ‘supporters’ who are ‘in the Conservative tent’ are aware of the number of other ‘supporter’s who are ‘outside’ the tent in line-ups waiting to get in to ‘have a look around’, and how many suspect that an overwhelming change in taking place in the country, and want to be part of the New 21st Century Canada.
Canada’s Governor General Michaelle Jean our Commander-in-Chief likely reflects the attitude of many Canadians who support our valiant troops overseas. She like Canadians prefers peace on earth goodwill towards one another, but understands that there are people involved in Afghanistan. Our people, their people, many people. We cannot continue to keep women in the world down. We must embrace women for their outstanding capacity for greatness and leadership. Have faith in your women and watch what they can do for this world. Don’t be afraid. Good things will come because women understand community, and they know when to fight, and God help you if they turn the fight on you. Women in Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere, who have been oppressed, ought to be liberated. Women in Canada and the United States are ready to go; the world is our collective oyster. (A kindler cleaner oyster in waiting?)
In late January 2007 ROBBINS told a reporter at a Stephane Dion luncheon that many Canadians were turning slightly blue, while many others were NOT turning Liberal red. What has happened in six weeks is that the aforementioned slightly blue respondents have increased in number and those that were slightly blue before have become more fully blue. At the same time Liberal leader Dion has not increased his number to the same level as the Prime Minister, although I believe he has aggregated a Liberal consensus, all his own.
The Harper government needs to ensure they communicate ‘humbly’ but with purpose to Canadians that his government only wants a ‘clear’ opportunity to achieve ‘work’ on behalf of the country, assure voters (particularly ‘anxious’ male voters) that he/they will never act like a despot as Jean Chrétien did, never embarrass the country like Chrétien did, and never mistreat ‘real’ men the way Chrétien did. Many men are embarrassed that they actually ‘fell for’ the Liberal dogma and Canadian (Liberal) values gibberish. It is important, it has to be seen for what it honestly is, a manifestation of a historic agreement through the eyes of a Supreme Court of Canada which only really began to take hold in this country in 1993 (about the same time Jean Chrétien came to power). I had a good time in the nineties, but we are changing and where change us I am not sure, but I am fairly certain it is a better place.
Canadians have come out of this ‘funk’ (one which almost always compels a new direction) and realize that they have values, Canadian values, specific to us alone, but they are not liberal values, and if they are they are only reflected in a remaining quarter of the population, the true blue Liberals. The current consciousness of the nation likely has little to do with Charter Rights values. Canadian values are basic and have their roots in Judaeo-Christian values, even if many Canadians are not ‘religious’. These Canadian values are: treating others as you would want to be treated, and live and let live.
Many of these themes are similar to those that existed over a year ago in the last general federal election, yet because the Conservatives have since proven themselves, these dynamics {which we revisit once again} have changed a little and a lot. They have changed because so many Canadians, who are seriously interested in the Conservative Party, were somewhat doubtful of the Conservatives last time. What a difference a year (or so) makes.
The Reformers understood the values of Canadians in terms of their expectations of the courts, of law and order. The Reformers did not understand that many Canadians found them to be dry, too much like religion, a sense of good sense wrapped up way to tight in piety. Yet, with Harper reaching out to Quebec, reaching out to moderates, reaching out to minorities, and now working like mad on the environment, both men and women have come to realize that maybe they would like to re-think some of those Reform values because it is not being preached at them, rather it is an outgrowth of maturity, and in some cases of necessity. The Liberal label still has links in voter’s minds to corruption, both in the severe criminal sense, or in the lowering of standards sense. If the Prime Minister can ‘resist’ the temptation to tell these voters “I told you so”, these ‘doubting’ men will eventually follow the women who have settled in with Harper. Mr. Harper needs to tell Canadians that if they are interested in working government, it will require everyone’s support to get a majority. Canadians are NOT concerned about Stephen Harper, let’s be clear. If anything there is evidence that he is tougher on his own caucus and executive than he is on minorities such as gay people. The fact that women have made their decision to give Stephen Harper a mandate (particularly in Quebec-relatively speaking) is sufficient evidence to me to support our ROBBINS overall claim that the people of Canada are ready for a Conservative majority.
“The fact that women have made their decision to give Stephen Harper a mandate (particularly in Quebec-relatively speaking) is sufficient evidence to me to support our ROBBINS overall claim that the people of Canada are ready for a Conservative majority.”
By communicating to Canadians that it will take every ounce of effort to obtain the bare majority PM Harper desires (in a Liberal media and government culture), and gradually ‘increasing the size of the proverbial party tent’ and permitting the ‘line-ups’ outside the tent to gradually seep inside, the ‘soft’ support will stick around and won’t notice that the size of the structure of the tent has been augmented, and voila (45%) solid.
Canada Revenue Agency hurt the government’s credibility and the Prime Minister needs to determine what happened, and blame the mistake on an inept culture ‘leftover’ from the days of the Liberals, and assure Canadians that changes will be coming if the Conservatives can ‘achieve’ a majority. IN this way he is able to design a ‘hypothetical wedge’ against the past Liberal regime (and its leftover bureaucracy which demands taxpayers pay their taxes, but doesn’t pay taxpayers the money it owes). In so doing, the Prime Minister can mitigate some of the Ministerial responsibility which is otherwise on his government. In fact I would go as far as to request an internal investigation of sorts, and if Canada Revenue’s Commissioner (not someone lower down) does not produce a flawless explanation, I would ‘hang’ everyone near the top. This is about credibility at budget time, Canadian’s don’t appreciate all the taxes they pay, and many are angry. Where women accept a glitch, men sometimes see a conspiracy.
During an election the Opposition parties won’t alert the country of the possibility of a huge majority (at least initially) because to do so would be admitting that the Conservatives are expected to get a majority in the first place, which would provide enough ‘likely’ Conservative voters with the affirmation (some seem to need) that the voting direction they are thinking of taking is okay and compel them to be comfortable with the decision. If this ‘thinking’ manifests the Conservatives might break (45%).
Women show a significantly higher correlation between Likelihood of wanting to re-elect Stephen Harper and desire for him to have a majority (94%). (40%) of women respondents in Canada want a majority for Stephen Harper. This number is as high as (43%) in some suburban areas of Ontario and British Columbia. These numbers are even higher on the prairies. It was no mistake that the Prime Minister did not meet and greet Saskatchewan’s Premier during a visit there. Saskatchewan’s Premier Calvert is a good man, but politically speaking he was disrespectful to Prime Minister Harper, threatening and carrying on without any real sense of good faith, or a desire to properly communicate. Unilateral partisanship may work in the world of business, but politics carries with it, is own sense of capital. Often it is an artist’s capital but this creative capital is no community trust.
The Prime Minister has managed to convince over one half of Canadians that he is moving in the right direction with respect to dealing with matters associated with climate change and the environment.
In one simplified rendition of spin in what is likely to be one of the most spectacular trials in U.S. history Canadians (who answered) by a rate of two to one buy into Lord Black’s position that his former financial partner David Radler is probably solely responsible for any financial irregularities because he was in charge of finance and has admitted guilt.
Conclusion: ROBBINS REASONS
Not even a young talented soccer player can move Canadians to accept an exception to F.I.F.A. soccer rules and regulations relating to head gear.
Nearly one out of two Canadians are V. likely or likely to vote for Stephen Harper in a re-election, a poll from which to pursue a majority government. Yet despite the high number of men in this poll who support the PM’s re-election bid, not all are encouraged by the myriad prospects of majority. The upcoming budget with Finance Minister Flaherty could greatly smooth this ‘inconsistency of opinion/perspective’.
What approach should the Prime Minister take to engineer an election majority in such a tempting climate? The answer may lie in establishing the banks as bad guys on Bank Fees, permitting Jack Layton to protest the Budget if provisions are not made therein to address these. In the alternative, if the PM wants to keep this engineering outside the control of the House of Commons, he can focus his rationale on Canada Revenue Agency which has interrupted the momentum of the Prime Minister’s re-election bid leading up to the budget, and Canadians will accept ‘taxman’ and its apparent problems as a Liberal ‘bureaucratic hangover’. Mr. Layton must strike while Mr. Dion is apparently unpopular with voters, and connect with Reform Liberals particularly those outside of Quebec. Mr. Dion likes to charge from the back and the liberal press is getting set to re-write this pedantic script on his behalf if the Conservatives look overwhelming, or alternatively vulnerable. The fact remains that the Liberals are weakened by Dion and are unlikely to make much of a comeback without some fairly dynamic manipulation by liberal media, although I don’t believe the mainstream media has the same ‘pull’ as it used to with voters.
Mr. Dion is ‘extremely unlikely’ to win an election if one is called, and ROBBINS believes that many of the respondents in this poll, who support Harper but were unsure if they want a majority for him, will vote for Harper once (a) Mr. Dion exhibits better leadership skills, (b) if the budget satisfies them, or (c) if Harper et al run as good a campaign as they did over a year ago. Some male respondents are concerned that the Conservatives will have no proper Opposition, and ironically are concerned that the Conservatives will take advantage of a landslide win, or alternatively are a little concerned about giving up control they feel they retain in a minority government situation. The message for the Prime Minister is that the women have made up their mind, are sick of Parliament getting nothing getting done, and are very unhappy that security concerns are compromised for perceived ‘outsiders’. (Never piss women off on security matters-men often feel they have to ‘act tough’ but women do not have the same ego obstacles-if they feel government is messing with security they will hang you). Remember, the bottom line is this; men like to negotiate or think they are negotiating, while women (despite their apparent reputation to the contrary) do not screw around once they have made up their mind, and there are enough women in this ROBBINS poll who are willing to give the PM and his party the wheel. For this reason I predict a majority government. Read this: ROBBINS callers unequivocally commented how women answered the “support” and “majority” question quickly, while (some) men mused.
Beware the sandbaggers of March! No matter, all of this could have significant implications for the Bloc Quebecois if Harper continues his upward swing in Quebec, (and the Liberals perform better as well).
Mr. Dion’s increased popularity will propel Mr. Harper forward as well as many Canadians see that a capable Opposition is available while Mr. Layton’s increased popularity combined with Mr. Dion’s “nominal increase” in popularity is more likely to frustrate Mr. Harper’s growth somewhat, as voters become concerned as to the level of Opposition available and decide not to necessarily help Harper. As confusing as this sounds these are the interrelationships of coefficients at work. If Mr. Dion is seen as too weak and Mr. Harper as too strong this will slow down Mr. Harper, and benefit Mr. Dion ONLY IF he can recover well in the midst of the election, before the Harper part of that Dion driven coefficient can properly kick in, establishing a sort of zero sum 11th hour benefit for Mr. Dion.
If Mr. Dion shows recovery too early then ‘blue shaded’ Canadians will presume that Opposition will be satisfactorily in place, and feel comfortable providing Mr. Harper with a majority (which they believe he deserves). Given the look of this poll a majority could easily translate into a pretty significant majority. The caveat here is that If Mr. Layton performs flawlessly and rather than pretending to be a viable replacement to the Liberals in Opposition, sets up the possibility that a combined NDP/Liberal Opposition will be powerful by showing himself and his party to be the Liberal’s equal (not better) than Mr. Layton will increase his own future viability AND put further Liberal expansion into his territory in question, forcing the Liberals to go with Ignatieff (the rightful heir) who can than encroach on Progressive Conservatives and others if Harper missteps while in majority. Mr. Layton can then make the case that the Greens belong with him and Reform Liberals belong with him. It is a bold plan for Mr. Layton who if he can pull it off could see 40-45 seats in the next election. Clearly the future of the New Democrats under Jack Layton will be decided in this election. 35 seats or better he stays fewer than 30 seats ( with Harper majority) and Pat Martin takes over.
If Quebec produces a minority government then the Bloc is in trouble as the lingering doubt with the provincial ‘circumstance’ will compel Quebecors to produce a more settled decision in a Federal election, which likely translates to more seats for Conservatives (contrary to some other forecasts). This will also provide Mr. Dion with an opportunity to takeover the Quebec Liberal party from current Quebec Premier Jean Charest, (if Mr. Charest does not produce a majority), and provide the federal Liberal party with a bulwark in that province against Stephen Harper, and for Michael Ignatieff.

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