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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics September 24, 2005
  Sep 24, 2005

A random telephone survey of 750 respondents throughout 14 regions of British Columbia between September 21-23, 2004. Numbers of respondents per region are generally consisted with population bases for each region. An additional 225 respondents were achieved in the Prince George area and the Okanagan including Shuswap, and this is reflected in the margin of error and commentary. All respondents indicated they had voted in the previous provincial general election, and were designated as to gender (male/female) and to age (voting age to 45/over 45). This survey has a margin of error of 2.25%, 19 times out of 20 @ 98% competency.

Question #1
In your opinion, since May 2001 when they first won a super-majority government, has the Gordon Campbell BC Liberal government been a success, or not a success?
Success    29.47 %
Not a Success    69.20 %
Question #2
Now that there are only (4) BC political parties remaining, which of the following in your opinion,deserves your support the most?
BC Liberals    31.73 %
Reform BC    11.87 %
Green Party    16.27 %
New Democrats    40.13 %
Question #3
In your opinion, is it fair to say that the FREE community newspapers and flyers “dumped” on homeowner doorsteps is a form of pollution?
Yes    51.20 %
No    39.87 %
Question #4
Do you agree or disagree with this statement: I supported the BC Liberals in the provincial general election in May 2001?
Agree    54.80 %
Disagree    43.07 %
The aggregate numbers in this political survey of British Columbia tell part of a much larger and more detailed story about provincial politics at this flash moment in time. For instance, the Green Party has benefited substantially from the resignation of Deputy Premier Christy Clark.
This includes the Kelowna area where the Greens have jumped an additional 10 percentage points (10%) since our last province wide survey. Fourty two respondents in this survey (5.6% of total respondents and 10.22% of May 2001 BC Liberal voters) who currently support Green, voted for the BC Liberals in May 2001. By contrast, only twenty-four (3.2%) respondents who say they support Reform BC admitted to voting BC Liberal in 2001, and twelve (1.6%) of these respondents are from regions in the province where the BC Liberals cannot retain seats.
If there is a vote split in the province it is NOT between the BC Liberals and Reform BC. The vote split is within the BC Liberal party itself, between Gordon Campbell and his Reform handler Martyn Brown, and the remainder of the BC Liberal party, and/ or between the BC Liberals and the Green Party owing to the resignation of Deputy Premier Christy Clark.
In the city of Prince George, there are some respondents in this survey who say that the Gordon Campbell BC Liberals have been “successful” (Question #1), but insist in Question #2 that they support Reform. These respondents do not like the BC Liberal label and do like Gordon Campbell. There are other respondents in Prince George who do not like Gordon Campbell and do not think his government has been successful, yet they will choose BC Liberals in question #2.
Of the previous sets of respondents referenced, most do not like Gordon Campbell and select the NDP brand over the BC Liberals brand as a consequence. In the city of Prince George, Reform BC attracts eight per cent (8%) of support, most of it as a result of the BC Liberal label. These Reformers all confessed in Question #1 that Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals had been successful. In comparison, the NDP takes more than ten per cent (10%) of former BC Liberal vote, because of the Gordon Campbell brand. Eighteen per cent (18%) of ‘overall support’ is confused in the Campbell/BC Liberal dichotomy. In the Prince George area it is more important to the BC Liberal Party that they do not lose votes to the NDP party. With a liberal’s liberal like Gordon Gibson for instance, Prince George would be dominated by the BC Liberals, rather than lost to the NDP.
With the recent announcement of Shirley Bond as Deputy Premier, in the wake of the Doug Walls fraud-Campbell family scandal, an election hole that was supposed to be closed, has instead become much larger in Prince George, where Shirley Bond is not that popular.
Based on urban numbers in the city of Prince George, the BC Liberals might win one of three seats with Gordon Campbell as leader, but would likely win at least two of three with a ‘real Liberal’ leader. In every riding where BC Liberals and NDP compete, one seat lost to the other, is actually a loss of two.
Outside the city of Prince George the NDP and Reform BC are both much stronger than within the city itself. This further underscores the detrimental affect Gordon Campbell is having on his party here.
In the Interior of the province there is no vote split because Reform’s numbers are too high to be characterized that way, notwithstanding the abstruse (and dated circa 1996) BC Liberal spin. It would be just as fair to say the BC Liberals are splitting the Reform BC vote in the Interior. In some areas of the Interior such as Kelowna, Reform BC’s numbers of support are higher than BC Liberals.
If you include Sicamous in with Shuswap, Salmon Arm and Vernon numbers, the NDP and BC Liberals are close. Reform BC is in the low twenties and Green below double digits in the corresponding pool of respondents.
In the Okanagan region, those respondents who were a little teary for Social Credit, choose Reform BC, and not BC Liberal. Gordon Campbell is not seen as being Social Credit, a party known for building infrastructure, not selling it off. Campbell is seen as a Vancouver Conservative/Market Liberal leader in amongst urbane Liberals, particularly as this relates to the City of Kelowna. A market liberal is not ‘green friendly’, per se whereas the urbane liberal in contrast is very much a Starbuck’s type of ‘green’ friendly person.
This incongruence is hurting Gordon Campbell in an area where some sitting MLA’s will not seek re-election, or in the case of MLA Sindi Hawkins, is physically not well.
In Kelowna, Penticton and Summerland the only vote split is between BC Liberals and Green. BC Liberals are in the low thirties support, however the Greens are in the high teens near the NDP. The Reform BC vote is solid with much of it coming from older women. The jump in Green vote comes directly from the BC Liberals May 2001 totals. Gordon Campbell’s “success” evaluation is in the low twenties here, some of the lowest support in the province on this question. What has happened to Gordon Campbell in Bennett country, to warrant this crucial downturn in public support? I’ll bet Bill Bennett wasn’t crazy about Campbell’s idea to sell the Coquihalla!
The Kamloops-Merritt area is evolving from its previous country and western image as well. Kamloops is becoming a younger and funkier place to live, with a need for newer facilities to accommodate a very young “hip” population. Although they are not a threat, the Greens are siphoning off enough BC Liberal support here to be considered a vote splitter. They will not forgive Kevin Krueger here for defending the proposed sale of the Coquihalla Highway. The BC Liberals should thank their lucky stars for Claude Richmond (another Social Credit).
Both Reform BC and NDP are strong in this area. Some respondents enjoyed the difficult choice between Green and Reform, (a protest decision we heard in some other regions of the lower mainland as well-which we estimate to include 2-2.5% per cent of the total “vote”). The liberal vote is growing in this area as lower mainland resident’s move up to this very sports friendly region.
In the Kootenay region of the province Gordon Campbell is not seen as “successful”. In this region and throughout the province women don’t like him. The word “arrogant” is used over and over by women respondents to describe the Premier. The Reform support in this region of the province is remote, and the Greens can see the New Democrats in their sights, but won’t catch them even with Campbell as their unlikely catalyst.
In the Cariboo region including Quesnel and Williams Lake, respondents aren’t fond of Gordon Campbell. Vancouver city slickers like Gordon Campbell, take on more of a ‘girlie-man’ image in this more masculine region of the province, and the non athletic Premier with “U.S. Senator phony hair” is not welcome in these parts. Rural folk and small town respondents prefer Reform and New Democrats. With a new more moderate BC Liberal leader, these ridings could conceivably go Reform, an important deduction of seats from the emerging NDP majority.
In Fort St. John the BC Liberals and Reform BC challenge one another. The respondents “like” Gordon Campbell up here, but are not fond of the BC Liberal brand. Can Liberal Richard Neufeld hold the fort in this Reform stronghold if Gordon Campbell resigns or fails his leadership review in November?
In the Fraser Valley, the BC Liberals are being hurt over this Sumas legal challenge that could bankrupt some of its citizens in legal fees or Judgements if civil allegations are not properly defended. The Yankee liberals are invading our province with litigation against citizens, and BC Liberal Attorney General Geoff Plant is out sorting logs in Northern BC. Unless I have misread my strategic callers ‘ticks and comments’ it would appear that the NDP is increasing its totals particularly in unlikely places such as Abbotsford. Randy White needs to kick up a little more commotion over this legal threat.
I would direct $250,000 from government coffers for emergency legal aid (initially) to fight these Yankee liberals. Kooks who go to the Human Rights Tribunal complaining about everything from soup to “nuts” get millions of dollars of free legal aid to help pay for Jean Chretien’s huge salary with Heenan Blaikie, why shouldn’t the real BC troopers who are in need of assistance receive the same benefit. Our citizens have acted in good faith defending our environment and now they are being bullied, and the BC Liberals are letting it happen.
In Surrey BC, the New Democrats have made tremendous inroads. They could win the majority of seats here, and will win the Surrey Panorama by-election easily. Reform BC has a modest presence here but bigger numbers are entirely possible. The Green Party has benefited from BC Liberal Christy Clark’s departure. Adrienne Carr has selected to run in the upcoming Surrey Panorama by-election. Anything less than fifteen per cent and she is finished as Green’s leader. Less than ten per cent her party should be finished as well. (Those ex BC Liberal women won’t be going back to Gordo). For the Green’s to do well they must receive significant support from disgruntled BC Liberals, but at what cost to Gordon Campbell’s political future? Either the Green Party or Gordon Campbell loses in the Surrey Panorama by-election.
In the Tri-City, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows region, Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals are shown more respect for their “success”, than are “supported” in Question #2. The New Democrats are in the low fourty percentile while the Green Party is now nearly twenty per cent in the Tri-City region. BC Reform gets notice but not enough to cause a significant impression on this regional political culture. This area revealed a much sharper rise in Green support in this survey than it did in Surrey. The Tri-City is more Green friendly than is Surrey, owing in part to migration from Burnaby and Vancouver to this area.
In Burnaby-New Westminster the NDP is easily the winner, with BC Liberals and Green struggling in the NDP’s wake. Reform BC gets enough support to make its participation here worthwhile. Gordon Campbell plus Reform BC still does not touch the New Democrat totals in these four constituencies.
In Vancouver, the New Democrats could conceivably take all 10 seats (although I predict eight). The Green support is remarkable, but they will not catch the New Democrats here.
In Richmond and Delta, Reform BC and New Democrats have increased their total support, and one or the other could surprise one or two of the Richmond MLA’s, particularly with former Richmond Mayor Greg Halsey-Brand on the way out, and someone the stature of very popular Conservative Member of Parliament John Cummins in the area.
On Vancouver Island Reform BC has done better than it has in the past, but will be very lucky to see double digits, without some higher profile candidates. Parksville Qualicum will go New Democrat. There is a chance for BC Liberals seats in the north of the Island but there will be a challenge from the New Democrats. The Greens are taking a few New Democrat votes here. The most talented BC Liberal Graham Bruce, could be hard pressed in Duncan, trying to support Gordon Campbell’s re-election bid.
The New Democrats are doing amazingly well on the North Shore, and their leftist friends the Greens are doing superbly in wealthy West Vancouver through Squamish to Whistler. Women of means who do not like Campbell, and who refuse to vote for ‘labour’, choose Green. Adrienne Carr better start shopping for new clothes. Why not get some rich lady clothes for free at the Avalon Women’s Centre where rich drunk women trade in their used clothes for ‘grossed up’ tax deductions, (which help offset the lovely rewards from Gordon Campbell tax cuts-don’t say anything though-some of Campbell’s best friends are Directors here and they could lose their right to raise funds from casino nights-to help replace alcoholics with gambling dependants).
Adrienne Carr has a chance in Powell River Sunshine Coast, if she doesn’t disintegrate in Surrey-Panorama. If Adrienne Carr has the guts to start talking tough on real environmental issues rather than simply hiding behind the one hit wonder of proportional representation, the entire BC political environment could change. She won’t be changing NDP minds in Surrey Panorama, it’s the BC Liberal women from May 2001 who will be listening to her. Ms. Carr gains more from disgruntled BC Liberal women and not from the NDP. The NDP will NOT lose any support they currently have between now and May 2005, if all things remain the same. The NDP can only lose support to Reform BC in some rural areas of the province, particularly Kamloops, the Cariboo and now the Fraser Valley.
Women throughout BC do not vote for Gordon Campbell. At best he can count on 15-18 per cent of women’s vote. Men and women over the age of 45 are often inclined towards Reform BC and this number rises in the North and Interior 23 ridings of the province. Men and women of both age groups in this poll support New Democrats. An interesting sentiment for many NDP supporters in this survey, was that they felt Gordon Campbell had interrupted a lot of ‘good work’ that the NDP had accomplished in the previous decade. Approximately eight per cent (8%) of May 2001 BC Liberals supporters are now NDP supporters with 16 (2.13%) of these ‘supporter-respondents taking their time to decide whether or not the BC Liberals have been successful or not successful in Question #1 featured in this survey.
In the lower mainland, a more moderate BC Liberal could challenge in Vancouver, Burnaby, Tri-City Northeast, and Surrey, putting another 10 seats back in play for the BC Liberals. With Campbell gone the BC Liberals could make a case for re-election in 3-4 more Island seats as well. There may be a challenge from Reform BC in the Fraser Valley under such conditions, but there is far more to be gained elsewhere in the lower mainland than would likely be lost in the Fraser Valley. A re-designed BC Liberal party would be aided by Reform BC in a number of Northern 23 ridings.
If Campbell stays, the NDP will get 40-50 seats in May, 2005. (The NDP looks to win 12-14 seats in the ‘Northern 23’, 5-6 seats in Surrey, 8-9 seats in Tri-City, Northeast, New West and Burnaby,7- 8 seats in Vancouver, 1 or 2 on the North Shore and Whistler, and 10 or so on the Island, and maybe Powell River as well. If a centrist Liberal like “retired” Deputy Premier Christy Clark or a moderate former Social Credit leader like Graham Bruce takes his place, than the next provincial general election will become a horse race to the wire, with the BC Liberals the likely winners of a majority.
The community newspapers in BC who publish 200,000,000 (200 million) copies a year are a classic example of pollution which is not properly accounted for under the fairness principle of ‘polluter pay’. Of the 5,000,000,000 (5 billion) pages of newsprint and flyers dumped on BC doorsteps every year from community newspapers alone (even before considering daily newspapers) less than one quarter of that is recycled, with as much as twenty per cent being dumped in landfills because newspapers are still being put out in the garbage in many homes.
If one considers the 15,000,000,000 (15 billion) pages of newspaper daily’s published and distributed every year, that is nearly 20 billion pages of newsprint which (most often) homeowners or businesses are responsible for. How many businesses have recycling containers? British Columbia does not even have the facilities to deal with the huge amounts of sludge that are the by-product of recycling. This has to be shipped to Oregon. In fact, even the province of Alberta sends much of its newsprint to BC for recycling. BC’s newsprint recycling rates are below most U.S. States standards (i.e. BC-32 per cent vs. George W. Bush’s Texas @44%) and Alberta’s is not even close to ours.
BC homeowners pay out a whopping $160,000,000 (160 million) to City and Municipal coffers to have their newspapers and other recycling picked up by (usually) private recyclers hired by that City or Municipality. (Now Translink wants to raise this and a lot more to pay for Gordon Campbell’s Cadillac RAV (not ranch)). Newspapers easily represent more than one half of this recycling total. The city than collects the money from the recycler. The BC homeowner is getting royally screwed in this deal. Why aren’t the newspaper publishers being made responsible for recycling pick-up?
Where is the Green Party, or the New Democrats, or BC Liberals on this serious matter?
A specifically targeted ten per cent advertising tax over and above the standard provincial sales tax, would raise over one hundred million dollars which could be earmarked specifically for environmental reforms, policing, and conservation. Why should advertising and flyers from large grocery stores and middle technology giants be subsidized by consumers? The BC Liberals including Geoff Plant, Rich Coleman, and Premier Gordon Campbell have proven themselves to be polluters friends.
We can’t continue to keep thinking like this regarding the environment. Liberals everywhere would have us believe that the Ozone (Kyoto-spelled Suzuki) is our main environmental problem. These affectatious greens don’t dare talk about the mess that is right under our nose, like the newspaper pollution, for fear the print media and associates in broadcast news will ignore them and tarnish their rising star images. To protect the environment and encourage sustainability we must implement environmental reforms immediately.

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