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RSR ROBBINS Super Survey: Leader & Party, Terrorism, Economy, Environment, Senators/Judges, Mandatory Voting- Commentary by Kellie Robbins
  Apr 13, 2015

In this RSR ROBBINS Super Survey we set out to determine what Canadians were thinking- “Today” on matters pertaining to leader and party support, the work ethic of party leaders, the economy, the environment, terrorism, and the importance and relevance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We also measured support among Canadians for the Prime Minister and Attorney General of Canada appointing (electing) judges and senators, as well as the appetite of Canadians on mandatory voting suggested by Justin Trudeau, leader of the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. The outcomes provide some insight into the shifting mood of Canadians on issues in front of them during the survey period … “Today”.
Commentary is provided by Kellie K. Robbins of Port Moody, British Columbia. Ms. Robbins is an employee a Crown Corporation in the Province of British Columbia.
Methodology: This is a targeted RSR Super Survey of 11,307 Canadians from lists developed privately of voters from the 2011 federal general election in Canada.
This survey includes outcomes of respondents from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
This Super Survey is represented as a collection of respondent outcomes from March 5, 2015 to April 7, 2015 following an initial period of outcome collections fro February 7, 2015 to February 25, 2015.
The Margin of Error based on numbers of Canadians voters in 2011 and sample number is 0.92% plus or minus. This is not a public opinion poll which features a random collection of sampling, rather this is a survey of 'known' respondents. The representation methodologies are not necessarily identical. Best efforts were made to tie 2011 outcomes per party to respondent amounts and where this did not occur adjustments were then made. Best efforts were made to reflect sampling amounts per province relative to voting percentages from the 2011 election and this was generally accomplished across each province in Canada, save for Quebec where these numbers were underrepresented and were adjusted accordingly.
The Conservative government of Stephen Harper is in serious trouble with Canadian voters. The Conservative Party is now tied with the New Democrats. Justin Trudeau's Liberal of Party of Canada leads the other two main parties by 5 per cent nationally.
The Made in Canada Terrorism legislation in Canada may have passed Parliament where the Conservative governs a majority with only 39% support (2011) and 26% now, but is not popular with Canadians.
The Economy and the Environment are of more concern to Canadians than Terrorism is. Canadians are fed up with Senate and Judicial appointments. Barely 3 in 4 Canadians indicate they are affected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with slightly more than one half of these believing it is important and relevant to them.
A clear majority of Canadians will accept mandatory voting.

Question #1
Today, which of the following leaders and party do you want to win the next federal general election? (Adjusted for ‘current’ gender amounts)
Justin Trudeau and federal Liberal Party of Canada    31.21 %
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    26.67 %
Tom Mulcair and New Democratic Party of Canada    26.24 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    8.86 %
Mario Beaulieu and Bloc Quebecois    4.58 %
Other Leader and Party    1.52 %
(Undecided)    3.21 %
Spoiled/Unavailable    7.44 %
Question #2
In your estimation who is the hardest working party leader from these response choices?
Tom Mulcair, leader of the New Democrats    34.47 %
Justin Trudeau leader of the Liberals    28.63 %
Stephen Harper leader of the Conservatives    20.06 %
Elizabeth May Leader of the Green Party    12.98 %
Mario Beaulieu leader of the Bloc Quebecois    1.73 %
Question #3
Today, does ‘Terrorism in Canada’ concern you?
Yes    25 %
No    63 %
Question #4
Today, which concerns you more?
Economy    75 %
Terrorism    20 %
Question #5
Today, which concerns you more?
The Environment    54 %
Terrorism    26 %
Question #6
Today, how do you rate your level of confidence in the Conservative government on the economy?
Very High    9 %
High    12 %
Moderate    13 %
Low    38 %
Very Low    24 %
Question #7
Today, how do you rate your level of confidence in Stephen Harper’s ability to protect Canadians from a terrorist attack?
Very High    12 %
High    9 %
Moderate    13 %
Low    50 %
Very Low    16 %
Question #8
Today, is Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms an important and relevant document to you?
Yes    39 %
No    33 %
Question #9
Should the Prime Minister and the Attorney General of Canada continue to appoint Senators and Supreme Court Judges in the Provinces?
Yes    16 %
No    71 %
Question #10
Would you like to see changes made where Senators and Judges must be elected and not appointed?
Yes    64 %
No    29 %
Question #11
Would you support a law making voting in federal elections mandatory in Canada?
Yes    57 %
No    37 %
CANADIANS are far more concerned with the economy than they are the threat of terrorism by four to one. Falling oil prices, a weak Canadian dollar, and doubt surrounding the budget are at the heart of this concern. Today, Canadians are concerned about tomorrow.
Anecdote suggests Canadians are beginning to doubt whether the budget will be believable. Delay in government finance disclosure creates serious doubts among voters and gives some of them the impression the government is “up to something”, whether the suspicion is valid or not. The issue which has kept the Conservatives in government is moving from strength to weakness.
Ontario produces the highest disparity for the economy over terrorism (80%) concerned with economy, (19%) with terrorism. Alberta and Saskatchewan are second in Canada at (74%) concern for the economy over terrorism (25%).
British Columbia produces the highest disparity on the subject of the environment (59%) v terrorism (23%). Newfoundland and Labrador is the lowest disparity at (36%) support for environment v terrorism (25%). Newfoundland and Labrador reflects (73%) concern for the economy v (22%) for terrorism in question 4. Anecdote suggests some fears relating to terrorist activities relating to oil industries. Newfoundland’s numbers may be linked to concerns about environmental protests as much as they are about middle-east terrorist desires percolating among a handful of Canadians.
British Columbians by anecdote are particularly sensitive on the subject of environment v terrorism as many believe the terrorist bill is aimed at their distinct societal rejection of pipelines and oil tankers, at least in the lower mainland and without any doubt on Vancouver Island.
Will BC’s lower mainland plebiscite sponsored by the federal Conservatives provincial BC Liberal team seeking voter approval of an increase in consumer taxes for transit budgets take some wind out of the B.C. backlash against the Harper government and his national energy board, or have these political efforts been nullified by a recent oil spill of Vancouver’s English Bay?
Women are more concerned about terrorism than men, but are equally concerned about the economy as men are.
Considerably less than one half of Canadians see the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as important and relevant to them, with one in three saying it is not. Ontario scores highest percentage of respondents who see the Charter as important and relevant (43%) with Atlantic Provinces and British Columbia at (39%). Quebec is lowest (32%) and Saskatchewan 2nd lowest at (33%).
CANADIANS are “sick of” persons being appointed to positions of Senator and Judge. Persons appointed to positions of high authority have become the new national disgrace on the basis of conspicuous lack of transparency. Only one Supreme Court of Canada has been properly vetted in any discernable manner (Rothstein J.) despite (more) promises of the Government of Canada to make changes. Senators are only now going through that process – more commonly referred to as a criminal trial.
At what appoint will greater scrutiny through New Media of judicial appointments result is similar events occurring?
The support for further appointment is grassroots low. Saskatchewan and BC are the lowest in support (13%) for appointment of senators and judges, while Ontario is highest at (19%). The Province of Quebec supports appointments at (17%).
More than two thirds of Canadians would like to see Senators and Judges elected. Ontario is the most reluctant to accept the proposal of voting for senators and judges at (53%) while BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan are the highest averaging (70%).
The Constitution makes it clear that Senators and Judges are to be appointed but this originated in 1867 when Canada was a large country with a much smaller population. Although the Constitution was reconsidered in 1982 including a Charter of Rights and Freedoms by then Prime Minister Trudeau, even his genius could not foresee the problems relating to senator and judicial appointments that would occur over 30 years later.
No sincere critical thinker could reckon that these appointments can be anything but political when both Senators and Justices must be seen to be independent, when it is intellectually farcical to suggest they are. Saying they are doesn’t make them so.
NEW MEDIA and the greater broadcast of free speech that comes with online mechanisms like Facebook and other Social Media make this ‘secret society’ of Senator and Judicial appointments very nearly ridiculous, moving forward in a young progressive democracy like Canada. Canadians are able to find out more about the persons appointed to high positions including their personal lives, which makes them more human and vulnerable like many Canadians about themselves every day.
Canadians NOW take a different approach to authority now than they did even fifteen years ago, but authority has failed to a catch up to Canadians and this imbalance cries out in this RSR Super Survey.
Senator’s historical roles in Canada’s Parliament have been as a second sober consideration to parliamentary vote outcomes and legislation often representing upward of 40% of the country’s population. Judicial roles were related to the laws of each province with the overarching authority of the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With new (and unpopular) legislation of greater secrecy for policy and spy agencies, what becomes of the construction of our democracy as this involves Senators and Judges.
Is it any wonder Canadians are fast losing confidence in the democratic institutions they once admired?
With many Canadians once again raising the issue of proportional representation as a method for voting in parliamentarians would it not make better sense to solve the problems that citizens are already angry about a lack of unaccountability of appointed senators and judges rather than embark on an entire new odyssey on complex voting methodology?
PERHAPS Justin Trudeau’s proposal to make voting mandatory though somewhat aggressive is the simplest solution to people not voting.
In fact, if the percentage of Canadians voting were raised to 75% or higher through Mr. Trudeau’s mandatory policy provision (a turnout last experienced in the early Prime Minister Chretien era), raised up from the current lower amounts approaching one half, a 39% majority government would appear even more laughable than it currently is.
FIRST THINGS FIRST might be the wisdom of approach on this account.
British Columbians, Albertans, and Saskatchewan respondents reject senatorial and judicial appointments the most ((73%), (74%), (77%)). These are provinces which have sponsored Stephen Harper’s Conservatives for many years with numbers better nearing true majority. Now these numbers are fading somewhat. After promising accountability and transparency including particularly on the matter of appointing senators the Prime Minister now faces a criminal trial of one or more of his appointments that could prove his undoing on exactly the issue that the Prime Minister traipsed about the country on his way into office.
THE TIE of senator malfeasance to negative public perception of judicial appointments is easily taken because of the significance of the office of judge and to the most aggressive challenge of judicial appointment at the Supreme Court of Canada in our history by none other than the Prime Minister. The importance of this office has become stark given the increase in secrecy in policing and spying promoted and made law by the Conservative Government of Canada.
THE political scrutiny is further invited by events. Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin informed the CBC on August 14, 2014 that she had ‘moved on from the spat with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Federal Attorney General Peter McKay’. These RSR numbers indicated that the learned Judge may have moved on but quite clearly Canadians have not.
AFTER the announcement to defer the budget, the government immediately moved a campaign in the mainstream media to argue its case to combat terrorism with legislation here in Canada for additional police and spying powers. The government then appeared to change its original premise for combatting terrorism based on Canada's role in providing military assistance in Iraq to combat ISIL.
Confusion has increased over Canada’s role is in the Middle East relative to the terrorism bill. Canadians aren’t sure where the problem is- here or there? Many wonder if there is a problem for Canada at all or whether it is “more hype than substance” or alternatively is “government security policy being made up on the fly?” The roll out of the associated news at least as digested by Canadians, appeared disorganized and was either poorly communicated or not received well. When this occurs on any issue when it doesn’t directly affect daily life, Canadians will dismiss the issue as irrelevant to them as evidenced by these RSR numbers.
By deferring the conversation surrounding the budget and replacing it with the subject of Made in Canada terrorism have Conservatives hurt their ability to keep the economy as their own issue as they have previously done since being elected in 2006?
As the temperature turned down on terrorism issues, Opposition parties realizing waning interest among Canadians on the subject positioned them to then – demand the deferred budget. Ownership of the economic issue is now up for grabs and the opposition parties know if it can strip the government of its erstwhile preeminence over the economy, and replace elements of it, or all of it, with their vision of what Canada’s fiscal and social policies should be –harnessing Canadians to that vision, it will ultimately pay dividends in the polls (possibly higher dividends than the anticipated Conservatives income splitting policy).
CANADIANS are solidifying in the rejection of the terrorism in Canada bill as politics of fear. At first the percentages of respondents concerned with terrorism in Canada were relatively high (mid 30’s percentile) but this numbers quickly began to fall.
EVIDENCE of Conservative lack of control of the economic issue can be seen in question 5 where (21%) of Canadians have a ‘high’ level of confidence in the Conservative government on the economy and (60%) or better have a ‘low’ level of confidence. These numbers are politically explosive and blow a hole in the government’s message that must and will be filled up quickly by its opponents if they hope to capitalize.
IN TERMS of respondent support for leader and party, Conservative support has dropped significantly in the Province of Ontario (Canada's largest) to (27%), and remains at lower totals in Quebec at (12%). It is noteworthy that the Conservatives began this survey at (9%) in Quebec. What is also noteworthy is the commensurate rise in Bloc Quebecois support to (21%) from (13%) at survey commencement 1st week of February 2014.
Kathleen Wynne – Liberal Premier of the Province of Ontario is taking the attention away from the leadership race of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party – many don’t like her positions, but many do and it keeps the Liberal brand hot in Canada’s epicenter of democratic, legal and financial activity, which also helps the federal Liberal brand in that province.
The Progressive Conservative brand is becoming detached from the Conservative brand of Stephen Harper in the Province of Ontario and if it is happening here and in Atlantic Canada it will head out west as well. The RSR numbers in the Prairie Provinces suggest this political contagion over conservative branding is already well on its way in the Prairies.
The Province of British Columbia is another kettle of fish and the political dynamic there doesn’t benefit Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
Voters in Ontario look for any reason (or excuse) to vote Liberal and not Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Conservative federal brand is hurting the provincial Progressive Conservative brand according to many federal voter/respondents in that province.
IN TERMS of voter estimation of which federal party leader is the harder worker – the results are telling and must be interpreted by Conservative supporters as problematic for the Prime Minister. The New Democrats Tom Mulcair is easily the front runner, with Justin Trudeau 2nd, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper a distant 3rd. Voters from 2011 are recognizing hard work particularly from the New Democrat and Green leaders.
The possibility exists that voters don’t see the effort on terrorism and the Middle East as ‘work’ to the degree they do matters that impact them personally like the budget. In fact many respondents see this topic as more about the political leaders showcasing themselves on the world stage which causes a type backlash of negative opinion from many Canadians who see work on financial and social matters for Canadians as work they pay for. High ranking Conservative officer John Baird retired and took on appointments with many well- paying corporations. It isn’t difficult to see how many Canadians perceive the correlation between the International stage and commercial benefits out of office.
The Canadian rage over Senatorial over expenditures of many thousands of dollars, relatively small potatoes in the scheme of things – nevertheless reflects the Canadian attitude toward inappropriate spending by leaders. This type of issue spills over into provincial politics where Canadians like those living in British Columbia are currently trenched in a NO vote against raising the GST consumer tax by one half percent.
Canadian Judges cannot escape the wrath of the population even though the spotlight is squarely on Senator’s malfeasance. (In a small sample of Canadians on the question of payment of justices the average pay speculated to be in the vicinity of $500,000 per year. When informed that judicial salaries were (mostly) under $300,000 per year respondents became “more concerned” about judicial appointment).
Canadians aren’t ‘cheap’, rather they are concerned with quality for dollars and understand if Bank CEO’s are paid millions every year, paying judges less than $300,000 installs a very real concern about the propriety of judges (in the face of a lack thereof among some Canadian Senators) (not the Canadian hockey team).
As the saying goes, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. (In public perception this is unrelated to the plant hormone ethylene).
The numbers of respondents concerned with terrorism began to descend through the survey period as did Mr. Harper’s numbers on estimation of hard work. Opposition leader Mulcair’s pounding prosecutorial presentations punished and pulverized Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s more flippant responses. This helped the former’s reputation greatly and hurt the latter’s more.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s hard work numbers is below his and his party’s totals on the question of who Canadians want to win the next election suggesting that the party label can maintain the up and downs swings of the leader’s popularity.
New Democrat leader Mulcair got out in front of the budget (economy) at the right time as Canadians lost interest in matters of terrorism and war and began to consider tougher battles with their pocket books. Mr. Trudeau spoke but mostly about income splitting potential subject matter of a budget – where Mr. Mulcair simply asked for the budget, and got an answer from the finance minister – April 21, 2015.
Mr. Mulcair performance was far superior than Prime Minister Stephen Harper in this survey period according to comments from Canadians. Mr. Trudeau was not criticized to any degree save from Conservative supporters, as New Democrat supporters knew party leader Mulcair was on message and preferred to cheer than jeer. In the House of Commons Mr. Harper was dismissive to the leader of the Opposition in question period and news clips derived from there producing sarcastic remarks to pointed and important question.
This may have been a bigger mistake than anyone was aware of at the time as it has caused Canadians to doubt the sincerity of the Prime Minister’s efforts, and exposed him as a more self-centered personality than a political leader focused on the job of directing the country with an even hand.
WHEREAS the Prime Minister was expected to be politically partisan to Conservative ideals, he is now seen to be partisan to interests beyond just his, and the criminal trial of Senator Mike Duffy is not a good bug to have in one’s bonnet during a criminal trial of a Canadian Senator coming up through spring and summer when these Canadian perceptions are acute and not in your favour.
RSR Survey suggests the major press may be underestimating him and his party, or wrongly connecting his party’s support position in zero-sum relation to Liberal gains. This is a different Canadian voter, this is a different political time – it is entirely possible that status quo function of political deduction may ring true in determining outcomes, it usually does, but this RSR Survey suggests something different may be in the wind, and handicapping the political landscape may be the most difficult it has been in a long time.
The Conservative government’s biggest asset Stephen Harper may have become its biggest liability - overnight. For many Canadian voters – the position of Loyal Opposition is seen as government in waiting, and this status, in these circumstances preempts the party brand of the Opposition. This is what is causing the switch of some Conservative voters 2011 to support New Democrats.
Justin Trudeau also seems to have placed himself in a good position – so long as he ‘kicks’ strong in the final lengths. The design of his soft approach may have annoyed the media – but politically it has turned out well for his party, as he now knows his new base of support nationally is in the low (30 percentile),and also knows his party label is strong.
MISTER Trudeau will need to step up convincingly to turn this current support to government, and perform well above current expectations to win a majority. His charity boxing match with another Stephen Harper Canadian Senator and martial artist, prior to his becoming Liberal leader, had most people mocking him entering the ring. The ‘beat down’ of Mr. Harper’s senate appointment provided by Mr. Trudeau left no doubt how tough he was. Mr. Trudeau needs a repeat of this forcefulness in the political culture to balance his thoughtful attitude-and now is not too soon.
The deferral of the budget and other important matters to Canadians has put (relatively speaking) serious downward pressure on Conservative support in the Prairies where “high” levels of confidence in the Conservative government on the economy are under (33%) there.
Conservative losses are more frequently Liberal Party gains all across Canada. Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal Party benefits significantly in the Prairie Provinces, where support increases may have been least expected. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are attracting (30%) support in Alberta, (27%) in Saskatchewan and (33%) in Manitoba. The Liberal Party of Canada remains strong in Ontario (39%) and Quebec (29%), and is performing very well in Atlantic Canada at over (39%). Liberals are performing well in the City of Montreal with pockets of support at 50%.
Stephen Harper moved too far to the right and 2011 voters are fleeing the party (fully dressed) with most landing in the arms of the Liberal Party, and others looking for the protectionist vows of the New Democrats. A swath of Conservative supporters from 2011 are supporting the Green Party particularly in British Columbia where that parties numbers put it in contention to win numerous ridings beyond Elizabeth May’s.
Predicting election outcomes at this point in political climate would be similar to predicting the success of herding cats at any given period of time. The numbers in this RSR Survey are sufficient to predict that the Conservative Party of Canada will not win a second consecutive majority.
The Conservative Party may be consolidating its base of support, but these numbers are likely (10%) lower than expected to have at this time. Nevertheless, it is becoming more obvious that the Conservatives do not expect a majority government but hope rather to benefit from a tough race with a last minute minority win, with Quebec’s Bloc Quebecois adding to its totals and putting downward pressure on the New Democrats or Liberals totals in Canada’s 2nd largest province.
VOTERS ON THE PRAIRIES may be considering hedging their bets that if the Liberals win government they will have a voice at the federal table. Alberta is in financial trouble – and its citizens realize that the Prime Minister may have been the problem is securing access to delivery of their oil. The change in direction for the provincial government to a more diverse economic plan may mitigate against the pain the dependence of oil can bring in down times.
Conservative support across the Prairies is in the mid 40 percentile, with support pushed downward overall by lower numbers in Manitoba (36%). Conservative support across the Atlantic Provinces has softened to (27%) and has become relatively anemic in British Columbia (22%).
New Democrats finished the survey positively with national numbers in view of their 2011 totals. Overall, New Democrats improved to (24%) in Ontario from high teens at commencement point. This support is equivalent to party support across the Prairie Provinces with Manitoba support the most promising at (30%). Support in Quebec is also up to (34%) and the Atlantic Provinces at (31%).
Green support is up from 2011 totals. British Columbia support for federal Greens reflects (22%) and Ontario and Alberta (8%) and Atlantic Provinces at (7%) with Newfoundland and Labrador at (3%).
DURING this concluding survey period of March 7, 2015 until April 8, 2015 trends in leader and party support changed from party to party with the terrorism bill front and center stage. Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party of Canada remained stable and well above (30%) through the survey period perhaps down (1.5%) from beginning (the initial period) to outcome end period.
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party fell about (4.5%) over the period, while Tom Mulcair and New Democrats increased by (4%). Although not directly related, these numbers are no accident as New Democrats proved they can take voters from the Conservative list and onto their own.
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada had an extraordinary experience during this survey period with extraordinary gains in British Columbia at (22%) support, ironically, now equal to the Conservatives in the B.C. whose support has been more than halved. Growth in support in the Province of Ontario for the May Greens is at (10%) perhaps not enough to win seats but enough to give her party an impact on Canada’s most influential province. Double digit support in Nova Scotia puts many Conservative seats at risk in Canada’s heritage province as support for Liberals and New Democrats remains powerful.
The Bloc Quebecois was but a whisper away from extinction prior to this survey however thanks to Stephen Harper’s terrorist bill over this period support has been rejuvenated in Quebec affecting New Democrat totals downward from 2011 totals to (37%).
Election outcomes from the 2011 Canadian Federal Election are as follows: Conservative Party of Canada: (39.62); New Democratic Party of Canada (30.63%), Liberal Party of Canada (18.91%), Bloc Quebecois Party (6.04%); Green Party of Canada (3.91%).
Heading toward the final turn and federal election 2015 Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party have lost support from 2011 voters. Their support has declined from 39.62% to (27.23%), a loss of (12%) nationally. There is little chance of a second majority government for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives as Canadians have lost and are losing faith in him and his party. Third place looks as likely as first.
Most damaging loss of support in terms of seat translation has occurred in Canada’s largest province (Ontario) with a loss of nearly (17%) from 2011 totals of 45.5% to current support of (27%).
Second most damaging loss of Conservative Party support is in British Columbia with 2011 election totals of 45.5% decimated to current support of (22.5%). This started with removal of coast guard, continued with perceived aggressive bullying through the National Energy Board involving pipeline issues (mostly lower mainland B.C.) and then continued through the terrorism debates that were so negative British Columbians found them a “buzz kill” in the summer like sun in February.
Support is down (9%) in the Atlantic Provinces from 2011 totals. Perhaps the most conspicuous loss at this time has actually occurred in the Prairie Provinces where support for the Conservatives has fallen (15%). Given the ‘residual’ support for the Conservatives on average just off (50%) in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the biggest concern is Manitoba where support has fallen from 53.5% to (36%). The Conservatives could lose 10-seats across the Prairies if this continues, and be lucky to hold a half dozen in BC.
Conservative support is down (13%) nationally from 2011 election totals explained as follows on a national basis: Ontario (-6.5%), British Columbia (-2.5%), Atlantic Provinces (-1%), Prairie Provinces (-3%).
The New Democratic Party achieved 30.63% from electors in the 2011 federal election on the strength of a late surge of voters to the party led then by the late Jack Layton. Jack Layton was a politician who Canadians liked even if they didn’t like his party. Tom Mulcair new leader of the New Democrats isn’t like Jack Layton. He is personable enough, but the growth in his popularity is based on the fact that he is simply very good at his job. At the end of the day Canadians vote for quality either as it exists now or as it may exist in the future, the latter the current reasons Mr. Trudeau and his party remains on top.
In the coming weeks Mr. Trudeau will need to shine perhaps not so much for the obvious challenge from Mr. Mulcair’s New Democrats, but from a challenge from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives who we believe are in more political turmoil than anyone in the party or the major press cares to admit. If Thomas Mulcair roughed up the Prime Minister, Mr. Trudeau must be the one seen to put the picador in him and finish him off, unless he chooses to give away some of his support to Mr. Mulcair, a proposition not only with national support implications but one that also poses threat of voter contagion in the City of Montreal where Mr. Trudeau is very strong.
The New Democrat surge was particularly evident in the Province of Quebec providing the party with a national uptick of great significance as a consequence. Under present leader Tom Mulcair these numbers have dropped to (26.5%) nationally, a loss of (3 and one half %) nationally. New Democrat numbers rose in British Columbia over this survey period and are equivalent to 2011 totals in that province. New Democrat numbers are about even in the Prairie Provinces, up (2%) in Alberta, down (9%) in Saskatchewan, and up (4%) in Manitoba.
Over this survey period Tom Mulcair put new life in the New Democrats. More importantly he placed less dependence on the success of the 11th hour miracle Jack Layton produced in Quebec. Now, though down slightly in that province, the New Democrats are still holding strong despite pressures from all sides. This is due in large measure to the stellar performance of Tom Mulcair who few doubt has what it takes to be Prime Minister.
Atlantic Province support remains steady for federal New Democrats from 2011 vote outcomes at around (30%).
New Democratic support is down (4 and one half %) nationally from 2011 election totals explained (in part) as follows on a national basis: Quebec (-2%); Ontario (-1%).
New Democrat gains were as much about the unexpected scraping away of support from the Conservatives as it was taking support from the Liberals.
The Liberal Party obtained 18.91% of the national vote in the federal election in 2011. They have increased support nearly (8%) in British Columbia, (13%) in Alberta, (18%) in Saskatchewan, (11 and one half %) in Manitoba, (12%) in Ontario, (13%) in Quebec, and (7%) in Atlantic Provinces.
Nationally this translates in increase by province as follows: British Columbia (1%), (>3%) in the Prairie Provinces, (<5 %) in Ontario, (<3%) in Quebec; (> one half percent in Atlantic Provinces).
We believe the Liberal Party – though baited by the mainstream press – was smart with its political plan on covering Stephen Harper – knowing will have issues with the budget and knowing it will be far more scrutinized than usual because of the wait in producing it. The parties support for the terrorist bill included demands for oversight that were consistent through the period and were followed with less volume by Tom Mulcair with similar conditions of support.
The Green Party has doubled its support totals from 2011 in the Provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, but are off slightly in the Prairie Provinces – and roughly equal in Quebec. If Elizabeth May and the Greens can translate the British Columbia survey numbers into the real thing at the voting booth – the only place is matters - anything is possible. At nearly 30% on Vancouver Island – as the song says – there is something in the air – with the Green Party of Canada in the Province of British Columbia.
The Conservatives are in huge difficulty in the Province of British Columbia. New Democrats have nearly held 2011 support, but are threatened by Greens on Vancouver Island. The federal Liberal Party has achieved higher support levels in British Columbia more in line with the Jean Chretien and Paul Martin era, but has floundered somewhat of late in line with a rise in Green support and an unpopular provincial Liberal brand.
This fact and the additional fact that the Greens have exploded in support without the New Democrats losing too much should concern Conservative supporters. The pipeline debate involving a National Energy Board perceived as unilateralist have British Columbians, known for their quick political temper, turning on the Conservatives. The oil spill in Vancouver’s English Bay just days before press time may be the final nail in the Conservative political coffin. Many BC Conservatives should be thinking about alternative employment strategies based on this RSR Survey.
Conservative support remains high in the Prairie Provinces but is off, really off in Manitoba including the City of Winnipeg the heart of human rights Canada (and cattle). The Conservative Party support is sufficiently high to make them dominant in this part of the country but many more seats are up for grabs. (34%) Liberal support in the city of Calgary has to have Conservatives wondering if some former supporters aren’t hedging their bets.
Could a very popular Calgary mayor challenge the Prime Minister for his seat?
The Conservative Party is not holding anywhere near its 2011 support in the seat rich Province of Ontario. According to these RSR numbers the Conservative Party of Canada is in serious trouble in the Province of Ontario. The Liberal Party underperformed badly overall in 2011 but held its own in bad overall circumstances in Ontario. Ontario is a Liberal party province which gives Conservatives a turn now and then. Support remains high for the Liberal Party in the province.
The New Democrats have added support in a number of areas of the province some from Liberal totals, and still some from Conservatives totals. The additional Green support currently shrinks the total percentage remaining for the 3 main parties, but with Liberals holding a good share while New Democrats make minor gains, opportunities for major turnarounds for Conservatives are dwindling and not even a provincial Progressive Conservative leadership race can help them with traction.
The election of John Tory former Progressive Conservative candidate for premier to Toronto mayor may have mollified a number of Conservatives supporters including particularly progressive conservatives, now feeling less guilty about going back to the Liberals – where they really want to hang their hat.
It is hard to know what the Conservatives were thinking in Quebec. The terrorist debate and the Niqab issue grossly over promoted in the press has squeezed Stephen Harper’s opponents a little, but in so doing has given energy to the separatist Bloc Quebecois which was all but extinct just months ago. Former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney held Quebec through his Lieutenant Lucien Bouchard, but the province was later lost when Mr. Bouchard went on to lead the Bloc Quebecois. Mr. Harper appears to want to help build up the separatist Bloc Quebecois (that is what is happening) perhaps with the idea that more seats in its hands might help him in a minority government situation. This must be seen by more hardcore federalists as the most petulant of Machiavellian political tactics employed in a long time. The potential damage done to national unity is unconscionable and reflects national voter support in line with this contempt.
ATLANTIC PROVINCES Conservatives are fading noticeably in the Atlantic Provinces – where Conservatives tend toward the progressive side. Former Progressive Conservative Party leader Peter McKay has been transformed to a full Conservative and may not have enough influence to alter the change that will likely occur in the Atlantic Provinces in the 2015 election. Nova Scotia – Canada’s moderate broker for the Atlantic Provinces is now moving Liberal and New Democrat. How badly the Conservatives perform here remains to be seen. The Conservatives may be hard pressed to achieve 10% support in Prince Edward Island – (small potatoes indeed).

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