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Glen P. Robbins - ZEUS poll British Columbians on Equalization and Lobbying
  Dec 27, 2009

A strategic sample of 521 BC 'voters' between December 19-24, 2009. MOE approximately (4.5%), 19 times out of 20. {Adjustments made relative to population from Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, and Norther and Interior of British Columbia. Poll sponsorship Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
Which political leader and party do you currently support in British Columbia?
Carole James and BC New Democrats-(190)    36.0 %
Gordon Campbell and BC Liberals-(117)    22.0 %
Glen P. Robbins and BC Conservatives-(74)    14.0 %
Jane Sterk and BC Green Party-(54)    10.0 %
Other-(13)    03 %
Don't Know-(18)    03 %
Undecided-(55)    11.0 %
Question #2
In your opinion should 'lobbying' government elected officials and/or public service employees be banned in British Columbia?
Yes    68.0 %
No    19.0 %
Undecided    13.0 %
Question #3
Federal equalization payments are essentially government transfers of money from one province to another based on revenues in each province--each year--and then divided by the size of that province's population. Critics argue that this method of one wealthy province paying while another less wealthy province receiving rewards (ed note: this is how question was pitched) one province absolutely, and punishes another absolutely. In your opinion is this current method of equalization an effective way of sharing the wealth in Canada?* *often questions which translate on paper literally and editorially as near perfect, fail when presented that way to respondents-particularly in questions that attempt to explain a complex matter quickly and fairly to the responses--this is often ultimately subjective--however theories that might flow from question series--beyond the primae facie outcomes (%'s)--are no less relevant.
Yes    42.0 %
No    51.0 %
Question #4
Critics of equalization also suggest there is ample evidence to suggest that provinces which receive equalization payments from wealthier provinces spend 20% more on government wages and substantially increase debt in their provinces as well. How does this criticism impact on your impression of federal equalization payments to less wealthy provinces? (Not asked to those who responded "No" in question #3).
I change my mind--I do not believe current federal equalization payments are an effective way of sharing wealth in Canada    21.5 %
I still believe equalization payments are an effective way of sharing wealth in Canada    74.0 %
Commentary
Gordon Campbell and Glen P. Robbins -- BC Liberals and BC Conservatives are barely a match for Carole James and BC New Democrats. The Campbell label is definitely a negative--as is the BC Liberal label. Glen P. Robbins would not likely be recognizable to many to most respondents--however the BC Conservative label is known and likely positive-to the extent that the Liberal label is negative and many voters don't support the B.C. New Democrats. There is no-one in the mainstream speaking on behalf of the BC Conservatives yet, placing a ceiling on credibility and thus support from respondents at around (14% - including Undecided). On the centre right--an acceptable leader and BC Conservatives may overtake the BC Liberals in the New Year (2010), particularly if Gordon Campbell is still around.
The political spectrum in B.C. is tilted ideologically -- (55%) support New Democrats and Greens, while (45%) support Liberals and Conservatives--when only these (decided) parties and leadership choices are considered.
Respondents in this Glen P. Robbins and ZEUS poll clearly believe 'lobbying' government elected officials and public service employees ought to be banned in British Columbia. We believe that most respondents -- have a perception of what 'lobbying' government is -- and they don't like it.
BC Conservative and BC Liberal supporters are all over "Yes" and "No" in question 3. It's my assessment that there are some conservatives who don't like giving up money-extra taxes and other--while there are others who take a more nationalist view of government participation. Don't sell off paid for government owned interests etc.
BC Greens were most uniform in their opposition to equalization payments--anecdotally as-- many opposed ideologically--and (in their view) pragmatically-the entire concept. This is strange particularly when the BC New Democrats (and presumably 'the left') are more inclined to support this equalization methodology. Could it be that BC Greens are looking for a more comprehensive equalization package that more fairly considers social cost accounting methods? Ottawa doesn't love the Greens apparently--and I suspect from these numbers that the sentiment is mutual.
Many BC Conservative and BC Liberal respondents who supported equalization in question Q#3--fall off--and "change their (sic) mind" Q#4 -- while BC New Democrats hold fast in their support. How would British Columbians respond to a more robust equalization methodology -- alternative valuations for limited resources--like oil and gas--and agreements that equalization payments would be directed to programs and not pay raises.
The current method of allocating equalization payments in Canada is "old" to many respondents. What are we going to do now? Kick hell out of Alberta for keeping the engines aroar? Ignore how this is gutting lasting legacies for the citizens of that province--and how do we go forward promoting new business? Should the relationship between provinces (through the trusteeship of the federal government) continue to be zero sum--and what mutual accountability will we have to another in the future?
Tried out my 'running for leader' on a few Christmas celebrators. Took note of a couple of respondents. The first-- a man in his early sixties in real estate -- said "It was a good idea so long as I (sic) did not split the vote and let the New Democrats back in". I asked him "How can you remain so loyal to Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals?" His response was "I agree Campbell has got to go -- and he will soon I expect --but everyone in politics lies anyhow." My last question was "What if I was able to win it all?" The man answered "Well that's okay I guess -- because I like the Conservative party."
Another --manager type male in his mid-fourties--responded "hey I'm sick of Campbell--and would vote Conservative in BC -- so long as you don't give away anything more to aboriginals--that's my bottom line."
Hope everyone had an excellent Christmas--enjoy New Year festivities--//wishing good luck to Jim Van Rassel with the new weather station at his ranch to go along with his water testing apparatus for Burke Mountain.
I am wondering if Douglas Horne (BC Liberal MLA Westwood Burke Mountain) -- is moving to Iain Black's constituency office located in Port Moody/Coquitlam to save taxpayer's money -- as he says he is--or is the real reason -- a fear of -- acting as MLA for his constituents without support from the more experienced Iain Black. In any event -- this smells bad politically in my view -- what do you think?

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