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Kyoto important to 3 out of 4 in BC!!
  Apr 01, 2005

This is a random digit dialing telephone survey of 464 lower mainland residents ‘that normally votes in federal and provincial elections’. This survey was conducted between March 23rd and March 31st, 2005. Glen P. Robbins obtained 154 respondents personally, and 63 of the respondents in this survey were ‘call-backs’ to people who were not home when first called. This survey has a margin of error of 3.75%, 19 times out of 20 @98% competency.

Question #1
In your opinion how likely is it that a link exists between Canada’s trade problems with the U.S., and the federal Liberal government’s lack of cooperation on the U.S. missile defence initiative?
Very Likely    21% %
Likely    42 %
Unlikely    31 %
Very Unlikely    06 %
Question #2
In your opinion should the federal Liberal government re-consider and get on board with the United States missile defence program?
Yes    36 %
No    61 %
Question #3
In your opinion is the Canadian government properly fulfilling its defence obligations to help safeguard the continent of North America?
Yes    34 %
No    66 %
Question #4
If the recent federal Liberal budget is not implemented, and a federal election is called as a result, which of the following parties would you most blame for going to the polls?
Federal Liberal Party    46 %
Federal Conservative Party    37 %
Federal NDP Party    03 %
Green Party    01 %
Bloc Quebecois    07 %
Question #5
Relative to other issues, legislation, or government policies, how important is legislated implementation of the Kyoto protocol on the environment to you?
Extremely Important    08 %
Very Important    35 %
Important    28 %
Unimportant    24 %
Very Unimportant    05 %
Extremely Unimportant    00 %
Question #6
Which of the following parties are you most likely to support in the event of a spring federal election?
The Conservative Party    33 %
The Liberal Party    28 %
The New Democratic Party    28 %
The Green Party    09 %
Undecided    02 %
Commentary
The majority of British Columbians residing in the lower mainland are of the opinion that there is a link between trade disputes involving the U.S. and Canada and the lack of any agreement on missile defence. This coincides insofar as primarily Conservative and Liberal supporters are concerned, with the majority of respondents in Question #3 who are of the opinion that Canada has not met its obligations to help safeguard the continent of North America.
Although the majority of respondents are NOT of the opinion that the federal Liberal government should re-consider its missile defence policy and ‘get on board’ with the U.S., the number of respondents who are, is somewhat higher than other polls from eastern establishment polling firms (Canada-wide), which suggest only (27%) support missile defence co-operation with the United States.
Respondents from all parties in this poll (to varying degrees) are of the opinion that there is a link between economic problems with the U.S. and a lack of any agreement on missile defence and/or are deficiencies in defence commitments. Nearly zero NDP or Green respondents were of the opinion we “re-consider and get on board with the U.S.” Over one-third of federal Liberal supporters were of the opinion we should ‘get on board’, and some Conservative respondents were of the opinion that we should not, or abstained from answering this question.
NDP supporters are of the opinion that the Conservatives and Liberals would be equally to blame for a spring federal election. The Green Party supporters are more inclined to blame the Liberals while many blame the Conservatives. Liberal supporters in this poll are more inclined to blame the Conservatives and than the Bloc Quebecois, while Conservatives are happy to blame the governing party. Look which two parties receive little blame whatsoever!
A significant majority of respondents support Kyoto relative to other government policies. As the numbers would suggest these supporters are not all NDP and Green supporters, although ALL NDP and Green supporters in this poll view Kyoto as important, (although not ALL answered Extremely or Very Important). Many Liberal and a few Conservative supporters felt a higher degree of support for the importance of Kyoto. A number of Liberal and Conservative supporters did not find Kyoto legislation important.
This poll of lower mainland British Columbians suggests the federal Liberals are the most divided on issues relating to defence and Kyoto. There are Liberal supporters who are of the opinion we should re-consider and get on board with U.S. missile defence, who also see Kyoto as important. There are some Liberal supporters who do not think we should reconsider and get on board, who also do not support Kyoto. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, there are Conservative supporters who do not support re-considering missile defence who view Kyoto as very important, and a few who do not support re-considering missile defence who do not view Kyoto legislation as important.
On the other hand, while some of the Green and NDP supporters may agree that a link exists between Canada’s trade problems and missile defence, and some who are of the opinion that we have been remiss in our obligations to defend the continent they are almost all unequivocally against re-consideration of any missile defence policy and virtually all support Kyoto, including a number of NDP and Greens who commented that they felt full implementation of Kyoto might be the best retaliation to U.S. trade policy which has cost Canada tens of billions of dollars (and a hockey season according to one NDP supporter).
This poll reveals that in the lower mainland of British Columbia both NDP and Green policies resonate clearly with supporters. This poll also reveals that although Paul Martin has only a little support since the most recent general federal election (in this area of study), there may be a lack of unity or clear communication between his party’s position on issues like missile defence or Kyoto and the position of some of his supporters. The disparity is sufficiently acute that as a pollster I must consider whether to increase the undecided percentage and decrease support for the Liberals or simply hypothesize that a significant number of federal Liberal party supporters do not agree with the party’s position on these two issues but support the party anyways.
The Conservatives have a similar problem but it is more easily defined. Since their convention in Montreal recently and the obvious move toward the center they have obviously attracted many more progressive conservatives back to the fold (Kyoto). The gains the Conservative party makes from these moderates must be weighed against other conservative supporters in this poll who are of a entirely different view on progressive policy matters such as Kyoto, and who support more traditional conservative policy initiatives like defence.
Of the two seemingly contradictory set of circumstances involving both the federal Liberal and Conservative parties, I would be less comfortable with the federal Liberal position because the NDP policy position which is so solid and emphatically reflects supporters opinions, encroaches into a significant portion of federal Liberal voter support on both areas of policy initiative included in this poll.

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