Robbins SCE Research
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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics January 6, 2006
  Jan 06, 2006

Methodology- A representative and random sample by way of digit dialing of 92,581 or 7/10ths of 1% of the entire Canadian voting public, between January 1st and January 8th, 2006. This ROBBINS III Mega Poll features a margin of error of 0.756%, 97 times out of 100, @ a competency rate of 99%. Statistical averages were determined using conventional methods relating to per question ‘scores’ through polls of 100 respondents in a region, 50 respondents in an area, and 20 respondents in concentrated calling areas such as an area code. Values in averaging for past voting and current voting respondents were given weighted preference (in the abstract) as treated as one averaging calculation- from their relationship to issue preferences in other questions. ALL averages per question through historical voting preference, and again through relationships to issues were included providing two sets of averages which were averaged again based on two different statistical averaging techniques and applied to population (STATS CANADA) and voter tendencies from urban, suburban, and rural ridings throughout each of the ten provinces. 1456 respondents from Ontario, 1242 from British Columbia, 140 from Manitoba, 120 from the Atlantic Provinces, 175 from Quebec, 60 from Saskatchewan, and 90 from Alberta for a total of 3283 interviews. This poll reflects a higher representative sample of Canadians because of (a) sample size of individuals, and (b) the increase in numbers of calls made to identify previous voters, and previous voters who were willing to identify who they voted for. A gross-up was applied to voter totals by numerical amount from northern regions based on a historical analysis. This poll was paid for by a U.S. business interest and a Canadian business, and a Canadian ‘small business’ specifically NewTrend Optical of Port Coquitlam BC, owner Jim Van Rassell.

Question #1
For which leader and political party did you cast you vote in Canada’s last federal election in 2004?
Paul Martin and Federal Liberal Party    36.82 %
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    29.68 %
Jack Layton and New Democrats    15.52 %
Jim Harris and Green Party    3.74 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    12.55 %
Other    1.69 %
Question #2
In your opinion which of the following issues will have the greatest impact on the eventual election outcome on January 23, 2006? (Choose any two). Series (I)
Maintaining Canada’s economy    10.60 %
Improving Canada’s environmental record    8.60 %
Canadian Unity- future relations with Quebec    15.60 %
The sponsorship scandal, government corruption and integrity    55.80 %
Canada/U.S. economic and political relations    9.40 %
Question #3
Question #2(b)- (Choose any two). Series (II)
Maintaining Canada’s Health Care System    17.20 %
Tax Cuts to Canadians    15.30 %
Changing our system of government    14.30 %
Improving our Military/Protecting our sovereignty    10.30 %
Protecting our Charter Rights    10.40 %
Crime and Punishment    32.50 %
Question #4
Do you doubt or believe in the overall integrity, and honesty of Canada’s public service?
Doubt    71 %
Believe In    29 %
Question #5
For which leader and political party do you intend to caste your ballot on January 23, 2006?
Stephen Harper and Conservatives    34.13 %
Paul Martin and Liberal Party    29.82 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    13.43 %
Jack Layton and New Democratic Party    18.12 %
Jim Harris and Green Party    4.41 %
Question #6
(To respondents who did not reside in either Quebec or New Brunswick). Which of the following two leaders and their party do you think has the best chance at improving relations with the Province of Quebec?
Paul Martin and Liberal Party of Canada    33.50 %
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    43.50 %
Neither    23 %
TABLE “A” Seats-
Conservatives- BC (25); Alberta (28); Sask (12); Man (08); Ont (44); Quebec (01); Atlantic (13) North- (01) Total-132.
Liberals- BC (04); Alberta (0); Sask (00); Man (2) Ont. (51); Quebec (09); Atlantic (15) North- (01) Total-82
NDP- BC (7); Alberta (0); Sask (02); Man (04); Ontario (11); Quebec (0); Atlantic (04); North (01) Total-29
Bloc- Quebec- (65)
Undecided (06%)-(68% of ‘Undecided’ see sponsorship scandal, corruption and integrity as major issue).
Total-308 of 308
TABLE “C” Allocation of support translated into anticipated vote by political party
Liberal Party will achieve total vote of 4,068,741.
Conservative Party will achieve total vote of 4,680,850.
New Democratic Party will achieve total vote of 2,482,391.
Bloc Quebecois Party will achieve total vote of 1,822,355.
Green Party will achieve total vote of 616,907.
Margin of error on total vote =< .989%
The federal Liberal Party is down (20%) from their last standing in the 2004 federal election in this poll. The Conservatives, NDP, and Bloc, have all increased their support with Canadians over the same period by well over 10% from 2004 totals. Through ROBBINS three Mega Polls beginning just prior to the vote of non confidence the Liberals have lost slightly less than (3%) of their national total, the Conservatives have added (2.5%) to their totals, the Bloc have gained slightly less then (1.5%) to their totals and the New Democrats have gained nearly (3%) national support over the same period
ROBBINS has the Conservatives up (6.09%) from ROBBINS Mega Poll I and ROBBINS Mega Poll III. Over the same period Ipsos has the Conservatives up (29.6%), Ekos has them up (24%) and SES Research has the Conservatives up (34.6%) over the same two-month period.
Between mid-November 2005 and mid-December 2005 ROBBINS has the Liberals down (7.3%), Ipsos has the Liberals down (13.9%), Ekos has them down (8.8%) and SES has them down (6.9%).
ROBBINS range between Conservative gains and Liberal losses over the same two-month period involving ROBBINS Mega Poll I and Mega Poll II is (13.4%). The Ipsos range is (43.5%), Ekos is (32.8%) and SES is (41.5%). The average range of the MSM pollster is nearly (30%) higher than the ROBBINS range.
From ROBBINS Mega Poll II to ROBBINS Mega Poll III ROBBINS has the Conservative Party up (9.6%). During that same time period Ipsos has the Conservatives up (9.3%), and SES has the Conservatives up (12.9%).
From ROBBINS Mega Poll II to ROBBINS Mega Poll III, ROBBINS has the Liberals down (5.5%). Ipsos has the Liberals down (6.1%), and SES has the Liberals down (18%).
The ROBBINS range for the Liberal Party in terms of public support between ROBBINS Mega Poll I and ROBBINS Mega Poll III is (15.1%). Ipsos range over the same period is (15.4%), and SES’s range is (30.9%). The MSM pollster range is only (8.05%) higher than ROBBINS range over the same period, an improvement by mainstream pollsters of nearly (22%) over the Writ period based on ROBBINS baseline numbers.
The problem this massive disparity in polling results reveals is the reliability of MSM polling numbers in between Writ periods. Does this mean the governing party is able to control and manipulate the media and public relations to their benefit between elections, simply because the government has the power to pay these firms for polling and to advertise in MSM newspapers, on radio and television? At ROBBINS we believe unequivocally this is the case. Just as Auditor Sheila Fraser looked into government accounting, ROBBINS specializes in looking at goodwill and service in government and corporate sectors. After all efficiency is not only found in the money accounts, it must also be identified in service to the public.
ROBBINS advisors have indicated that this election isn’t over yet, and that historically there have been other ‘huge turn arounds’ during the Writ period. My personal response to this would be to say how do we know that these numbers in elections gone by were not simply manipulated for dramatic effect? If MSM pollsters and mainstream news only put out news they want the people to hear, the democracy suffers. Canada is paying for this now!
ROBBINS can assure all readers that unless something very unexpected happens (like Stephen Harper and Jack Layton committing a crime), there is little, if any, likelihood that the Conservatives will NOT win a minority government.
There is just a faint hint, (a hint mind you) that the Conservatives might win a majority.
Conservatives have increased seat totals by (30%), Bloc by (22%), and New Democrats by (60%). Liberals have decreased seat totals by nearly (40%).
In addition, the New Democrats, by taking the issue of proportional representation for themselves (within the midst of voter appetite for changing the political system which includes Conservative calls for an elected Senate) have negated some growth of the Green party totals from New Democrats primarily and pushed Green increases on Liberals and thus (nearly) cemented (at a minimum) the NDP totals achieved in this poll. The Liberals most recent promise to “clean up water” falls short of compensating for the overall 24% deficiency on overall environmental performance by the Liberal government. (Too little too late).
In the first ROBBINS Mega Poll I prior to the election Writ being dropped we were the only prognosticators to predict a Conservative minority government. This ROBBINS III Mega Poll proves us correct. In the second ROBBINS Mega Poll II we predicted the Liberal Party of Canada would receive less than 115 seats. This poll suggests that the Liberals are very likely to achieve less than 100 seats from the election outcome. ROBBINS believes the election itself will likely cost the Liberals 20-30 more seats than the 15-18 they had ‘intrinsically’ lost at the time the Writ was dropped.
ROBBINS asserts that the Conservative Party started the campaign statistically ‘about even’ with the Liberals, but has run an excellent campaign with a confident leader, increasing their total over the election by average (2.5%) nationally. Since the federal general election in 2004 the Conservatives have made gains in every part of the country to a national total of approximately (5%) nationally an increase of nearly (17%) to party totals.
The Liberal support on the other hand dwindled, almost as if the party understood ‘internally’ that they had lost the moral authority to govern, and/or Canadians more seriously began to consider the Conservatives over Christmas. We did not find the evidence that virtually all other MSM pollsters apparently found, that the Liberal Party was ever over (35%) in this campaign, and further believe that the broad fluctuation in numbers throughout the election by these MSM pollsters says more about the lack of skill and caution exercised in obtaining these numbers, than it does about a public reaction to real political events.
Conservative support is trending upward toward (35%), while Liberal support is ‘flat’. The energy required to induce a ‘flat’ campaign that has gone on for six weeks with only two weeks left if immense, and the Liberals simply do not seem to possess the tools to change fortunes THIS TIME this late in the game. If this were hockey, I would say the Conservatives were winning 4-1 with 12 minutes to play in the game, and the Liberals just received a penalty. (The Conservatives in this example would need 7 goals in total to win a majority).
“This rudimentary ‘survey vignette’ is underscored by ROBBINS prediction that 1950’s style folksy “I walk the line” style of rural conservatism will become more fashionable throughout Canada, and Canada’s ‘hug an immigrant’ from the war torn Middle East and South Asia will become (not mean spirited) but passé. ‘White trash’ and ‘the ordinary middle class is in’ and Arab and urban metrosexual and gay rights ‘fashion’ are ‘out’. You heard it hear first.”
Jack Layton of the NDP has run a very credible campaign and has insisted on being taken seriously despite having no chance of winning government.
ROBBINS believes the Conservatives began the election with 110-120 seats, lost ‘a few of these’ through the first part of the election prior to Christmas but should end with 120-135. For the Liberal Party to achieve 110 seats, all of the current seats in Parliament held by that party in the Province of Ontario would have to be won again, and no gains for Conservatives could be permitted in Atlantic Canada. This is a very doubtful outcome. (PM Paul Martin being vociferously booed at the Grey Cup Football Championship should not have been seen as an indicator that his party’s totals were going up in BC). Accordingly, this ROBBINS poll confirms the Conservative Party as the next Government of Canada, and Stephen Harper the next Prime Minister.
This ROBBINS poll confirms Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe’s comments in the first English debate in Vancouver BC that the “west wants in and Quebec wants out”. BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and to a large extent Manitoba are not permitting an increase in Liberal totals in western provinces. In fact some Liberal incumbents in the west may not be re-elected.
The Atlantic Provinces are also kicking out a few Liberals to accommodate places for Conservatives and New Democrats to ensure influence for the region with a new government. Former Premier Hamm of Nova Scotia is touring that Province over the month of February, while New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord, and Conservative Deputy Leader Peter McKay are also working hard to secure a better result for the Conservative Party in the Atlantic Provinces. These activities are reflected in responses from those regions, particularly Nova Scotia. It would appear the Conservative Party of Canada understands that they have the moral authority to govern, and this is translating into confidence rather than the ‘early bravado’ experienced during the 2004 general federal election.
{With this in mind I would say to the Conservative Party, after reviewing recent polls by MSM pollsters, even those that reflect the Conservatives ‘clearly ahead’ of the Liberals, the designation of the numbers suggests openings for another Liberal upswing, should the pollsters and MSM media be inclined to pull another stunt like in 2004. Although this ROBBINS poll reveals significant Conservative momentum and a bandwagon effect everywhere in the country, now is not the time to be complacent}.
Bloc supporters in this poll so clearly avoided selecting any choices in Question #2 (Series I and II) that inferred in any way agreement with belonging to Canada as to make ROBBINS convinced that the Quebec separation is a problem that may be unfixable or at a minimum will take a lot of time and patience.
{A complex problem between two cultures can never be properly remedied by choosing a hammer from the toolbox}.
This fact when coupled with the fact that so many respondents from all parties, connected the scandal and the corruption option with Canadian Unity and the Quebec issue in the (Series I) options strongly suggests that another Liberal government would make efforts to ameliorate the problem in Quebec at this time ALSO nearly impossible. There is a link between tax cuts, crime and punishment, sponsorship scandal and government corruption with the number of respondents who pick these two options AND who pick Conservatives over those who support the Liberal Party of Canada.
The New Democrats started the election with over 20 seats (intrinsic) and have made the case to the people for at least 30, possibly more, providing the New Democrats focus their remaining efforts and resources in Toronto plus (40%) Vancouver plus (30%), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (15%) and Halifax plus (15%), and do not get pushed around by the media and MSM pollsters into the silly and superfluous debate the latter group are prone to provoking.
{Enough respondents are sufficiently comfortable with Jack Layton to make old-fashioned hard work the key to NDP success in the last two weeks of the campaign. Mr. Layton more than any other candidate needs to ‘beat the hell out of Prime Minister Paul Martin in the English debates’, particularly after having his lovely wife Olivia insulted by Liberal ‘punks’. I would suggest viewing the movie ‘Gangs of New York’ my own political inspiration (?) “Cutter”. To New Democrats: focus on process not outcome).
The Bloc Quebecois Party went into the election with 54 ‘actual seats’ and 60 ‘intrinsic seats’ and may end up with as many as 66 as the final election outcome. Attempts by the media and MSM pollsters this week to reflect a shake-up of monumental proportions in Quebec is overblown.
{Undoubtedly it will strengthen Bloc supporters and volunteers to be resolute in implementing their ground game to ensure that the ‘media spin’ currently brewing there does not become at least in part, self-fulfilling}.
Most MSM pollsters are Liberal supporters trying to crack the ‘Bloc’ hold on Quebec through the rationale that Conservatives may be making a breakthrough there. Conservatives may increase their support in Quebec, but more of that support comes at the expense of the Liberals than it does the Bloc, and support in rural Quebec where the Bloc flourishes (and where Conservatives normally do well), is so significant (and so entrenched with ‘rural males’) that even the odd diehard federalist won’t add (many) seats to the Conservative total (this time).
{If the media wants to give the Conservatives free publicity in Quebec in order to hedge bets against the sovereignty debate to come, than the Conservatives can take it, but shouldn’t draw their own resources to this potential Trojan Horse. Politically it is the Liberals who have created the crisis, the better for the Tories to have a constant reminder of this while the Liberals try to rebuild. If Ontario is so concerned with Quebec better the Conservative argument for a majority government, which can only be achieved through Ontario}.
It is pretty clear that the three major political parties that brought the Liberal government down, were ready to go to the people after the first Gomery Report was released, it is also pretty clear that the federal Liberal Party was not ready or was simply too tired to put up a fight. The Liberal Party had no comprehensive campaign strategy except it seems to make a mistake per day. Really, “what purpose would there be for Paul Martin to simply ‘hang in there’ for another year?” Ultimately this “would force yet another election sooner than later” which, following the final Gomery Report, plus potential difficulties involving the Income Trust scandal, AND Quebec’s continued anger, might only bring the party to a type of absolute ruin as witnessed by “Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives (circa 1993) that required a decade to reconcile.”
Prime Minister Paul Martin attempted to jump start his campaign over this period, but the public wasn’t paying sufficient attention to him, it seems he has lost the ability to command the timing of announcements in this election, was interrupted by the Christmas break, and did not have an attentive Canadian audience when he decided to ‘get moving’. He spoke about the Liberals impact on the economy against the backdrop of record-breaking stock market totals. However many voters who were just waking up to the campaign either don’t care about rising stock market totals, or mistakenly linked the recent rise on the TSX to the Income Trust scandal with recent stock market activity. The Prime Minister seems to be speaking to Liberals who are high earners and who many ordinary Canadians believe “have more money than sense”.
On Friday the Prime Minister made promises relating to Employment Insurance and benefits which may resonate with some voters, but the Liberals spent the better part of a decade gouging both employers and employees on EI contributions, so the Conservative tax credit to employers on the same file may prove equally effective, and please many business owning baby boomers reluctant to say good-bye to Paul Martin. The Liberal announcement of Friday to give consideration to those Canadians who want to take leave was reasonably well received, but the general response was “it doesn’t matter, it won’t happen the Liberals are going to lose.”
{Bear in mind, (82%) of the public in western democracies are of average or below average intelligence based on conventional IQ standards. (82% are also average to above average intelligence source: WAIS), Also political issues are extremely complex and when so many other events are taking place in people’s lives and their confidence in politics is limited or non-existent, coupled with Canadians distaste for American style negative campaigning, it is unlikely that mixed messaging on a wide variety of issues will infiltrate voters defense mechanisms. This isn’t the case when it comes to a teenage girl being shot on a Toronto street on Boxing Day}.
{With Canadians this simply was the straw that broke the camel’s back}.
This ROBBINS Poll reflects the fact that voter choices will emphasize issues promoted by center right candidates. These issues are more visual, compelling and easily digested by Canadian voters, including the amount of time relating to the Gomery Inquiry, and the amount of focus given to images of shootings in Toronto, and Vancouver. In addition, these ‘visual issues’ promote further voter consideration of center right issues such as tax cuts.
The rumour spreading through cities and towns is that Canadian cities have more crime than U.SA. Cities. This is enough to cause panic amongst Canadians who want to be assured that if this is true that something is being done about it today. A frightened or upset voter is more inclined to vote for the party perceived to provide the most immediate relief to these concerns than one that makes gratuitous promises. Paul Martins’ government cannot properly speak to the issue of crime when it they appear to the public to be ‘criminal’ themselves, and behind the recent smiles of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, the public expects he is someone who will be sending bad people to jail (or elsewhere).
{The RCMP will tell you that about 4% of the ‘same people’ cause virtually all of the criminal problems in the country. Food for thought isn’t it?}
Governments know that voters are used to broken promises, but in an organized democracy fear of crime and violence can lead to panic (and theoretically anarchy). This latter consideration prompted particularly by the shooting of the young woman in Toronto has Liberal support sliding downward where the bottom in this election could be as low as (26-27%). If Mr. Harper’s address in downtown Toronto had been properly covered, the Liberal totals would be moving closer to (25%) than to (30%).
{Conservative support is trending upward but resistance will occur at (36%) with no chance of a majority government. The extra points from 34%+ would come in part from Quebec, the Tories want ‘national support’ to come from Ontario. If Conservatives can hit (40%) in Ontario than they might hit (140) seats. If the bottom falls out of support for Liberals in Quebec than the Conservatives could hit (145), with BC and Manitoba holding 3-4 more ‘to be had’ even the best scenario possible would make majority government virtually impossible for the Conservatives. However my own guess is that a gutsy performance by Jack Layton may provide his New Democrats with additional ‘spoils of war’}
Finance Minister Goodale should have been speaking to present economic conditions through this polling period but could not because he was ‘draped in’ scandal relating to the R.C.M.P. investigation of the Income Trust insider-trading potential. Liberals are denying there were any leaks relating to the Finance Minister’s November 23, 2006 announcement, however news reports have already revealed for certain that there were leaks, what hasn’t been proven (yet) is if the leaks were cause for specific financial benefit to those who received the information.
{The trading patterns certainly show circumstantial evidence of insider trading as the uptick in trading centered on only a cluster of brokerage firms and were not diffuse amongst the entire brokerage community, which would normally happen if the ‘invisible hand’ of the market were the predominant dictate}.
Any announcements relating to financial markets must be deemed to have been made to the general public at the same time, so that there is no advantage to anyone. The fact that we know information was leaked means that Opposition calls for Ralph Goodale to step aside, from an ethical perspective were correct.
If profits were made by anyone who acted on an insider tip, than the persons or person receiving the tip and profiting, and the person who provided the tip should be criminally prosecuted. Without question however Mr. Goodale was WRONG to NOT step aside. Canadians do not trust election officials nor do they trust the civil service, there is a reason our Parliamentary traditions call for Ministerial responsibility. By not stepping aside Mr. Goodale brings government into disrepute. With the public having little confidence in our judicial system, or in big corporations, this adds up to a siege on authority. As important as Canada’s police are, it is unlikely an attractive position for a country to be in, when the only element in the system the people trust are the police.
{The Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States is looking into the Income Trust scandal. Unlike Canadian market ‘watchdogs’ if the SEC comes looking-WATCH OUT!}
As a result of Mr. Goodale’s pre-occupations during this polling period, Paul Martin had to act as both Prime Minister and (former) Finance Minister to the chagrin of voters who want the government to properly make their case as to why they should not be fired. This means speaking to the ‘here and now’ on economic matters. Opposition calls for Ralph Goodale to step aside as Minister (even though he refuses to do so) make it impossible for him to speak with any credibility on the current countries financial affairs. Paul Martins’ confession that he was aware of the Income Trust ‘options’ prior to the announcement gives the continued impression that the PMO’s office may have been involved, and is re-igniting speculation amongst voters that perhaps Paul Martin knew more about the sponsorship scandal than he let on, notwithstanding Justice Gomery’s apparent leniency with him. On Thursday, news that a friend of Paul Martin’s was involved with another Quebec scandal put more pressure upward on respondent choices relating to sponsorship scandal, government corruption and integrity, and downward pressure on Liberal support. No matter, Paul Martin will have to fall on his sword for the good of his party, the good of the country, and apparently for the good of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s legacy if our image of the Canadian public’s ‘profile’ is correct.
{In becoming leader of the federal Liberal Party, Paul Martin aggressively pushed Jean Chretien out, which removed any chance for the former PM to reach a couple of important political milestones. Martin’s political hacks in BC and Ontario backstabbed longtime Liberal MP’s Herb Dhaliwal and Sheila Copps. Current Ministers like Stephane Dion are not doing Mr. Martin any favours this time around. ROBBINS callers want to know who Brian Mulroney is? This circumstantial evidence does not bode well for the Liberals. How likely is it that former Deputy Premier for the Provincial Liberal Party of BC Christy Clark and her husband, longtime Martin lieutenant Marke Marrisen are packing their bags for Cuba at this moment?}
Meanwhile the Conservative’s Stephen Harper was revealing yet another day in the life of Liberal corruption with a photo opportunity showing $132,000 Canadian dollars wasted on Liberal friendly polling with an empty file folder the final result.
{At ROBBINS we aren’t surprised about corruption in MSM polling. Our own economic auditors were well aware that corruption in Ottawa was so rampant that Canadians are beginning to ask, “Why do I bother to pay taxes.”}
To respondents who followed this in the news it was another stark reminder, particularly to those who could not follow the complexity of the Income Trust scandal, of government waste and corruption that they could hang their hat on. One respondent indicated that she “may have had her doubts about Stephen Harper but at least he’s trying to get a handle on the corruption.” A Conservative minority government will be hard pressed to obliterate the deep level of corruption in the public service and in government, and the entrenched dishonest relationship between polling firms, government lobbyists, Corporate sponsors and the ‘very thin’ vertical known as the mainstream media, but they need to, and to do so quickly simply to restore residual public confidence. Mr. Harper’s promises to do something about crime in Toronto on Thursday pushed Conservatives support upward in that province toward 40 per cent and would have likely gone higher save for news about Mr. Sharon in Israel, and the Canada Russia Gold medal game in junior hockey.
{Indeed many respondents asked why “so much of the news was focused on Sharon’s illness?” Had more attention from the news focused on the Canadian election rather than Mr. Sharon’s illness which apparently isn’t very relevant to most Canadians (even though it is very important from an International relations perspective) and instead on to Mr. Harper’s crime announcement in Toronto on Thursday during this polling period, we think Ontario would have split with the Liberals completely causing Liberal support there to plummet. As it is this may happen yet, but all parties other than the Liberals should be very wary of media bias in favour of the sinking Liberals in the next two weeks. Media ‘fairness’ occurs simply because the Conservatives have more money and the Liberals have little.}
With voters, the fact remains that even if the Canadian public accept Paul Martin’s ‘remember when’ renditions relating to the economy they reserve the right, amid the corruption and scandal to say, “So what have you done for me lately?” Because of the corruption and scandal any promises made by the Liberals now and into the future fall on deaf ears. Voters either don’t have any faith or confidence in the Liberal Party, or find their promises too complex and given the amount of energy they are putting into this election, it seems unlikely that they will permit Prime Minister Martin to have much of their attention.
{The Liberals are trapped. It seems the media and polling firms that have long supported them are also trapped. With significant pressure on the Liberals towards and possibly under 30%, and momentum with the Conservatives upwards, media participation may be more about squeezing more ad money from the latter party, now that Liberal funds are drying up}.
The Prime Minister says that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will not implement social programs, but respondents don’t buy this, based on Paul Martin’s inability to deal with NDP Leader Jack Layton who they believe tried to make Parliament work. There has been no evidence provided to the contrary. Furthermore, Paul Martin has not made the case that his Childcare program is viable, and the evidence shows that government programs of a grand scale do not work. This ROBBINS Mega Poll reveals a distinct lack of trust in the Canadian public service (or provincial or local public service) to implement policy fairly, functionally and rationally.
{The more government administrators the Conservatives can bypass the better off the nation will become}.
It is a mouthful to explain the nuts and bolts of such a program to Canadians, so whether or not the Conservatives plans for $25.00 per week is a good or bad one, it appears that most respondents with little ones are happy to take the $1,200 a year, plus the GST savings to the bank including those stay at home moms who say, “I’d like a little break now and than.” In addition, Conservative leader Stephen Harper has included additional tax credit for companies that make child care available, which completes his ‘package’ on this issue. This removes the policy from the grips of the perceived “crooked” public service, which respondents in this poll see as “a sink hole.” The Conservative ‘family package’ on childcare seems to have resonated extremely well with Canadians.
{This was one issue that the Liberals could not afford to lose, and they have}.
To say that a vote for Jack Layton is a vote for Stephen Harper infuriates some respondents who ask “How stupid do they think we are, the last time I looked I was only allowed to vote once.” For undecided voters this means that if they cannot accept the case the PM is making they have the choice of the NDP, Conservative, or Green Parties, unless they decide not to vote, which is a message coming through loud and clear in some quarters of Ontario. No matter how politicians view voter intelligence, it is clear from this ROBBINS poll that most are hanging their hats on less complex elements of the campaign, and will not likely be investigating the pros and cons of tax law in Canada, or whether or not their ‘stock portfolios’ have increased in value.
Paul Martin’s immigration announcement in Victoria is not translating in the lower mainland where crime and car accidents (all violent) remind voters of the problems they are facing with (particularly immigrant) crime, and with the terrible conditions of BC’s roads and highways. British Columbians see many non-Caucasians on the news involved in murder, street racing etc. and are fed up with that community which refuses to take sufficient responsibility for its involvement in the deterioration of our safe communities. Both major parties appear to want to apologize to the Chinese for a head tax of years ago, but this only underscores the deficiency in government thinking that one should never apologize for mistakes.
{To make your apology on your political deathbed is a very disturbing sign. Government like the people they allegedly govern need to take responsibility for their actions, and when they are wrong they should admit it. If compensation should follow, than pay it to the wronged party and quit ‘screwing around’ with false denials. If the government has wronged so many people that they cannot afford to properly compensate them, than this is another problem altogether. If elected people have to consult with an attorney every time a citizen is wronged, than we have elected the wrong people, and we have a dysfunctional government}.
{Respondents in Ontario are also concerned with roads and highways; particularly Highway ‘400’, which like many of BC’s highways, is a place of continued carnage}.
Quebec won’t deal with the Liberals, at least not in the short term, so a Liberal win outcome would not be satisfactory insofar as creating a clean slate and pursuing national unity are concerned. A Conservative minority government where Conservative-NDP seat totals, Conservative-Liberal seat totals, and Conservative-Bloc totals are = to or > than 155 (a majority of the seats in Parliament) would be the best outcome from this election for the good of the country according to respondents in this poll. This would permit the Liberal Party of Canada to seek out new leadership and to reinvigorate the party, which in turn would strengthen federalism generally and allow for more realistic negotiations with Quebec, with the hope that amendments could be make to the Constitution and the Charter which would facilitate a sensible relationship with a province “which is truly a distinct society.”
Some of the ‘has been’ broadcasters journalists and talk show hosts in this country that speak of the ‘mistake’ of negotiating with Quebec, and portray that Province as quasi-extortionists in Confederation are not speaking for the people anymore.
{They are only speaking from old tapes playing in their commensurately old heads.}
The Quebec sponsorship scandal brought to attention a completely deprived culture in Ottawa involving elected officials, their henchmen and government employees. The Province of Quebec was cheated and any reasonable person would understand this. If anyone of us were treated like this on an individual basis, we would not speak to any person or persons who had pulled such a fraud against us. The sponsorship scandal was an unspeakable act of treason against Quebec and if Quebec feels compelled to use this as a springboard for a discussion of separation than this is what the rest of us must deal with.
This sentiment is underscored in this comprehensive Poll of Canadians where outside of Quebec and New Brunswick (27%) more Canadians support the Conservative Party than the Liberals. The Liberals may currently have more support inside the Province of Quebec than do the Conservatives, but given the anti-Liberal sentiment in this province, this is a specious argument for Liberal re-election based on national unity.
Respondents in Quebec are very calm about their choices, it seems their decision was made some time ago. It would also seem that more and more Anglophones have been purged from their midst, permitting the right conditions for another vote on sovereignty. ROBBINS believes that the Bloc vote will remain consistent with the numbers herein, however there is a slight sentiment of changing loyalties but in our opinion this has more to do with English Canadians moving toward Stephen Harper than overtaking Bloc francophone votes in rural areas of the province.
The Conservatives have realized major gains in the Atlantic Provinces particularly Nova Scotia, as well as significant gains in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. Prince Edward Island, which has a history of Conservatism, may yet change but to date they still appear loyal to the federal Liberal Party. This has produced the seat gains required by the Conservatives to be a more significant minority government.
Mr. Harper’s more moderate approach to this general federal election has made a significant difference to the Conservative Party’s ability to form government. There is also no doubt amongst voters particularly in vote rich Ontario that Stephen Harper has all of the right stuff to be the leader of the country. The Conservatives have also run many candidates in Ontario with exceptional resumes. The Liberals on the other hand have lost a number of incumbents as the spectre of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and powerful Reform Liberals like Sheila Copps interrupt even the most residual chance for a Paul Martin re-election.
The Bloc Quebecois has taken significant public support from the Liberal totals in the Province of Quebec. The Liberals will lose this election as a direct consequence of voters in Canada’s two largest provinces punishing them. The New Democrats have taken support from Liberals across the country including Quebec. Even the Green Party has taken its share from the Liberal Party.
Conservative support lies with all elements of (Series I) options but primarily Canadian Unity-Quebec, sponsorship scandal and corruption, and Canada/U.S. relations. Conservatives dominate crime and punishment, as there is little doubt amongst respondents that Stephen Harper will get very tough with bad people. Conservatives also have diffuse support throughout all elements in (Series II), although the lesser support was for Charter Rights.
{Charter Rights under the Liberal government seem to only apply to the extent that politicos wish them to, and it is important that ALL Canadians have benefit of the Charter including (but not limited to) those persons who profess to believe the Holocaust never took place or that Jesus Christ or God, Peter Pan or Santa Claus do not or have never existed, no matter how offensive any of this might be to ‘ordinary and right-thinking Canadians’. Canadians would like to see some majority rights as much as minority rights. The Liberal government has overplayed this tune and fewer Canadians are listening to this message.}
NDP support was reasonably diffuse in the (Series I and II) questions but centered on environment, Canadian Unity and corruption in (Series I) options, and Health and Changing system of government. In (Series II) options New Democrats focus mainly on health care and changing the political system.
Bloc supporters focused on the environment and corruption, in (Series I) options and changing our System of government in (Series II) options.
Green support focused on Canadian unity, the sponsorship scandal and improving Canada’s environmental record in (Series I) options, and Health Care and Changing our System of government in (Series II) options. Canadians haven’t just lost confidence in elected officials; they have lost confidence in the entire civil service. When Canadians say government is corrupt they mean the entire government. Many respondents were unapologetic in voicing their belief that Canada’s civil service is corrupt and there was little sympathy even for rank and file workers in the federal bureaucracy.
(Premier Gordon Campbell of the Provincial Liberal Party of BC wants to offer his civil service billions in back pay and pay increases-this was either not well thought out or in the alternative is very expensive anti-Whistle blower protection for his government).
{The Gomery Inquiry put bureaucratic faces on the television set prompting Canadians to begin to question public service officials to a greater extent than they did previously. This is a consequence of the continued belief that people who work for the government “have got it easy” and punishes incentive and entrepreneurial attitudes amongst Canadians who seem to find most of their ambition in lottery tickets and such, and who become wealthy largely on the basis of being a beneficiary in another person’s Estate. Telephone any government Ministry at federal, provincial, or municipal levels the Friday before a Monday statutory holiday and just try to find someone at work. A country cannot have everyone working for the government or a large corporation even if it does makes tax collection somewhat more efficient. Stephen Harper needs to include greater opportunity for citizens to litigate against elected officials and high-ranking bureaucrats in order to ensure accountability. The rationale that people won’t stand for re-election is nonsense. Only corrupt people won’t stand for re-election in such circumstances}
Paul Martin’s Liberal government has given a ‘black eye’ to government workers everywhere and at all levels, a situation exacerbated by the fact that at lower levels of government many citizens don’t believe it is elected officials who wield the power but the unelected administrators. This being the case, ROBBINS has conspicuously invited itself to be the people’s voice in between elections particularly as voter turnout continues to drop.
{And we are doing a ‘bang-up’ job don’t you think?}
Elected officials and government workers take heed, you are on the people’s radar, and they want you to earn your money, not continue to abuse theirs. If you work in employment, which draws income from the public purse than, your neighbours are watching you very carefully.. so get back to work!

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