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Metro Vancouver Poll-BC Suburbia speaks to BC MLA pay hikes and pay raises
ROBBINS does some 'Smithin' for his 'peeps'  May 23, 2007

A random telephone sample of 520 British Columbians throughout suburban BC ridings including Burquitlam (highest BC NDP support Q#1), Port Moody Westwood (highest BC Liberal support Q#1-even with BC NDP), Burke Mountain/Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam Maillardville, Burnaby North, and Surrey Tynehead. This poll of 'voters' features a margin of error of 3.95%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% competency and was sponsored by ROBBINS MediaWorks and Jim Van Rassel/New Trend Optical (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
Whose position do you support on the recent pay hikes and pensions for MLA's, the Premier and Others in government?
The BC Liberal government who took a huge 30% pay hike and massive pension    32.5 %
The BC NDP who took a huge pay hike and massive pension, but are donating the huge pay hike to charity    54.5 %
Neither    13 %
Undecided    08 %
Question #2
British Columbians pay to government(s) an estimated 50% of Incomes in the form of both direct personal income taxes, and other indirect taxes such as gas taxes, PST etc. In terms of return services from government, what percentage in your opinion most accurately reflects the level of government service you feel you receive?
10%    15 %
20%    34 %
30%    26 %
40%    12 %
50%    13 %
50%+    00 %
Can't Answer/Undecided    14 %
Commentary
Net of "Neither" and "Undecided" choices, approximately one out of four suburban "voters" in the lower mainland of British Columbia accept the "huge" pay raise and "massive" pension for the BC Liberal government. Approximately net 40% accept the BC NDP who accepted the same package as the BC Liberal government but are donating their "huge" pay hike back to charity.
British Columbians are of the opinion that they do not receive the services back from government that they pay for. At least one half of voters in the suburban lower mainland of British Columbia are of the opinion that they receive about one half of what the preamble in the question asserts that British Columbians on average 'globally' pay per person.
The recent pay and pension hike for MLA's was characterized by BC Liberal House leader Mike de Jong as something that the public won't like, and by much of the media as something the public will soon forget.
This is nonsense.
The public may forget about it over the summer, but they will keep a picture of Gordon Campbell and his Liberal government in their pocket for a later date, on this you can be sure.
British Columbians in this ROBBINS poll feel they pay more in taxes than they receive in services. Normally, this might be explained as either i) people always feel that way, or ii) part of the difference is that some taxes are used to benefit others and are part of ensuring peace, order and good government.
This poll marks in history the seperation between the Campbell government and the huge pay hike and massive pension they voted for themselves, and the Opposition party BC NDP's attempt to delay gratification.
The actions of the BC NDP (if they stay the course)with respect to the proposed legislation providing a huge pay raise and massive pension will ultimately pay dividends as they have obviously connected with the people in a far more positive way on this account, than the BC Liberals have.
In terms of public perception of government services, respondents are not generally seeing their political world cut in two. There are those who control their tax dollars, including elected officials and the bureaucracy which is paid from tax dollars, as well as the special interests who exist closely to government and the bureaucracy through lobbying etc. who seek benefits from these tax dollars through favourable policy etc., AND there is the average person/family etc. who pays those dollars and expects some return on investment.
According to this ROBBINS poll if government services were a debt instrument, such as a GIC or Bond, few if any voters/consumers/taxpayers would be buying.
This is one reason why mainstream media grossly underestimates the challenges which are brought to the forefront in terms of voter subconcious by actions such as those of the anti-poverty group and other protestors.
Although on their face, they are rejected by the public, they also serve to undermine government public relations insofar as the utility of tax dollars are concerned. The gap between the amount of tax paid by voters/consumers/taxpayers, and the perception of services received generally can sometimes be explained by the amounts provided by government to those who need financial support, including those in need.
When hundreds of millions are paid into something like the Olympics, and other money (even promised)is not seen to be taking hold in terms of tangible effort in areas like housing for the poor etc., than this 'shortfall' in perceived services is illuminated for those who are paying the bills.
To wit: If government is going to collect significant portions of earnings from the citizens, and pay themselves and their bureaucracy well in the process, than the people expect them to ensure that everything through the entire public service spectrum, including reasonable monies for the less fortunate are SEEN to be implemented.
The BC Liberal government is making a mistake. They mistakenly believe the public will sympathize with them, and hate the protestors. The public will in fact hate the protestors, but because the protestors are fighting for the downtrodden, and not receiving any apparent benefit for their efforts, ultimately when all is said and done, the psychology of the mainstream will be that they had to witness all of this discomfort, and in turn they will punish those in charge for making this 'public service shortfall' so conspicuous.
Glen P. Robbins
(604) 942-3757

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