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British Columbians desperate for Accountability from government
  Jan 19, 2006

Sce Research-Methodology- A random digit dialing 642 British Columbians throughout the Province between January 15-19, 2006. This ROBBINS Poll features a margin of error of 2.75%, 19 times out of 20 @ 98% competency. This Poll and specifically questions 1-5 were paid for entirely by NewTrend Optical of Port Coquitlam, British Columbian. Owner: Jim Van Rassell (604) 942-9300.

Question #1
In your opinion would you be pleased or displeased to see the actions of both elected officials and employees working in governments at all levels: federal, provincial and municipal, become more accountable and transparent to the general public?
Pleased    91 %
Displeased    09 %
Question #2
Stephen Harper promises that if elected if he will bring in Accountability legislation at the federal level of government. In your opinion should Stephen Harper’s Conservatives proposed Federal Accountability legislation, if passed, impact and be of force and effect on provincial and municipal jurisdictions of government?
Yes    59 %
No    41 %
Question #3
In your opinion would you as a voter and citizen demand to see proposed Conservative Federal Accountability legislation relating to elected officials and paid civil servants at all levels of government enshrined in Canada’s Constitution or similar type document of equal or superior legal strength?
Yes    62 %
No    38 %
Question #4
Currently, the federal government provides monies to federal political parties based on a threshold of voter support in the most recent election. In your opinion should any federal political party be able to declare bankruptcy and yet still receive this federal funding?
Yes    02 %
No    98 %
Question #5
The CBC receives government funding for broadcasting shows, which are supposed to represent a cross-section of Canadian values and tastes. In your opinion does the CBC represent your values and tastes?
Yes    37 %
No    63 %
Question #6
Except for Hockey Night in Canada, do you regularly watch CBC television?
Yes    11 %
No    92 %
Question #7
In your opinion generally speaking is the BC provincial government accountable to its citizens?
Yes    29 %
No    71 %
Question #8
Vancouver nightclubs and bars are introducing a new Barwatch campaign owing to unwanted activity, which licensed premises sometimes attract. This security system scans a patron’s driver’s license or identification making it available to the local police, to ensure that the individual wanting to enter the drinking establishment is not a risk to the establishment and to other patrons. Would you like to see this type of security employed at local drinking establishments in your neighbourhood?
Yes    52 %
No    48 %
Question #9
In your opinion should elected officials be compelled by law to publish in the local newspaper information relating to the purchase and sale of real property, which occurs in the legal jurisdiction for which they have been elected?
Yes    92 %
No    08 %
Commentary
Commentary- British Columbia respondents ‘overwhelmingly’ would be pleased to see the actions of government and civil servants become more accountable and transparent to the public they serve. A solid majority of respondents believe that Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada should make Accountability legislation ‘of force and effect’ on provincial and municipal governments as well as the federal government. A slightly higher number of respondents are of the opinion that any Accountability legislation should be enshrined in Canada’s constitution (likely Peace, Order and good government), or a similar type document of equal or superior legal strength. Certainly British Columbians are in support of Stephen Harper’s Accountability legislation.
There is not a direct statistical correlation between respondents who want Accountability legislation to be of force and effect on provinces and municipalities AND who also want this enshrined in the Constitution or a similar type document of equal or superior legal strength.
Women respondents are less inclined (41%) to accept the federal government intruding into provincial or civic scope of authority with Accountability legislation, while men are extremely receptive to this concept. One male respondents age “42” described Conservative Accountability legislation as “a dream come true”. Many other male respondents openly ‘doubted’ whether it would ever take place’. The rank cynicism amongst the respondents regarding government accountability in the Province of British Columbia was STARK. One male respondents ‘well into his 60’s’ indicated “the establishment wants Harper to get a majority in order to co-opt control of his agenda”.
(62%) of women are more receptive to having Accountability legislation enshrined in the Constitution, while some men found this approach to be a ‘cop-out’. An equal number of both men and women believe the BC Government is not accountable to its citizens. Not all respondents believe the ‘unaccountability’ of the BC Government is the exclusive responsibility of the Liberal Party of BC, currently in power.
With accountability a front and centre federal election issue, and British Columbians generally not of the opinion that their government is accountable to them, it is nonetheless the BC Liberal government, which will have to bear the weight of increased voter scrutiny immediately following the January 23, 2006 federal vote.
The BC Provincial Liberal Party now has the dreaded encumbrance of the Liberal brand, extremely popular in 1994 when Premier Gordon Campbell first arrived, but certainly a trade mark of some conspicuous political ill will to both he and his caucus more than one decade later. The continued relationship between this political party and a new federal Conservative government will no longer be sustainable, particularly with the retirement of Conservative (big) John Reynolds.
BC respondents have no tolerance anymore for two sets of rules, one for elites and another for regular Canadians. In Canada it is pretty well known that a person with very little discernable skill or talent can rise to the top of the government heap. Some senior Ministers at the government level have been revealed to be crooked, and a Senior Cabinet Minister Ralph Goodale ignored Parliamentary tradition by not stepping down over the Income Trust scandal. As a result, citizens should now be permitted to see who precisely is calling the shots within the government. It is fairly obvious the mainstream press will cover up everything until they absolutely have to publish it, so how can citizens be better informed? (Its starts right here with ROBBINS).
{Imagine someone of Ujjal Dosanjh’s ilk debating Conservative MP James Moore on Ministerial responsibility and ethics}
It is also possible that a person of less skill can be appointed a Supreme Court Judge in Canada. The criterion for selecting Judges in this country is still reflective of a quasi-corrupt ‘inside job’ {but a ‘job’ nonetheless} involving the Prime Minister’s Office and a few ‘Benchers’ with the Law Society. Until fundamental changes are made including greater public scrutiny of prospective Judges, this vulgar judicial patronage will continue. In sum total this makes for a very fractured authority and the disdain it produces in the public’s mind in British Columbia is reflected by the responses in this ROBBINS Poll.
The entire judicial system in BC is so corrupt that even when two lawyers at the BC Human Rights Tribunal were shown to have encouraged clients to commit perjury, (a breach of professional ethics, and a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada) instead of being punished or disbarred, they were made Judges at Tribunal BC.
{With legal Rainman and Attorney General Irwin Cotler in town from Quebec to help out federal Liberal candidate in Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam Jon Kingsbury it might be a good idea for our legal beagle to explain that Quebec has NOT in fact signed on to the Charter of Rights. Canada’s next Attorney General should NOT be a lawyer}.
In BC its citizens are supposed to be protected from their government by Agencies like the Ombudsman or their ability to extract information through Freedom of Information requests. Practically speaking both of these Agencies in BC are essentially useless, (their perpetual excuse is a lack of funding). In part this may be true, however it is likely more the fact that the two main parties in BC’s government both have a vested interest in weak accountability and thus appoint limp wristed people to head these agencies.
BC citizens would be better served by establishing separate and distinct federal Ombudsman and Freedom of Information departments in all Provinces for review of complaints to all levels of government outside the purview or control of the provincial government. Whistle blower legislation simply isn’t enough.
Gordon Campbell’s Liberals more than any other previous government has frustrated BC citizens right to accountability in government and considering this man’s ‘apparent psychological profile’ the scope of unaccountability anticipated by British Columbians in this ROBBINS Poll is unlikely to change anytime soon. Will this cause tension between Premier Campbell and Prime Minister Stephen Harper? It should and it better.
According to British Columbians the Liberal Party of Canada should not renege on its 33 million dollar debt and than collect its windfall share through Elections Canada. One respondent suggested, “If a political party can do it, than why can’t I?”
The CBC question/responses are interesting. Most respondents who answered “Yes” to whether or not the CBC represented their values and tastes had to wrestle with the answer. Little wonder, many of those who answered ‘Yes’ believe they watch CBC for hockey exclusively, although there is a ‘hard-core’ group of CBC followers of television and radio who are devoted to the station. It should be noted that many of the respondents who said “No” to the question of whether or not the CBC reflected their values and tastes made a point of saying that they wanted it to remain or not to be privatized. Many of these respondents want a public television and radio access to counter balance the other major networks. The Prime Minister may want to consider altering programming so that a wider section of Canadians (British Columbians) are represented. We’re happy to help.
British Columbians living in the lower mainland will accept significant intrusion in bars and nightclubs if public safety is enhanced. (60-65%) of respondents in this region of the province would like to see more sophisticated security systems in nightclubs, bars and neighbourhood pubs. This number is well below (50%) in the north and interior of the province. With discussions of greater scrutiny at Canada/U.S. border crossings, and issues of guns and violence erupting in Canadian towns and cities, respondents in this Poll particularly in the lower mainland are saying “I want my safety ensured when I go out with my friends for a drink.”
Respondents are well aware of the connection between Vancouver nightclubs and gang related violence, as these facilities become excellent ‘hang-outs’ for criminal gangsters big and small. The bar owners have heretofore been unnecessarily subsidized by taxpayers as time and again scarce police resources are used to prop up drinking establishment profits. As a Montrealer, Attorney General Cotler is familiar with similar difficulties he is experiencing with bars and other drinking establishments in the Province of Quebec.
(In sleepy Port Moody BC (federal riding of Conservative James Moore) ‘The Pointe’ neighbourhood pub was recently a scene of gun violence only months after opening its doors).
British Columbians in this poll are sick and tired of people going into politics for personal gain. Although elected officials constantly take the position that they want to serve the public, virtually everyone agrees this altruistic claim is nonsense. The public generally sees politicians as greedy and self-serving, and most British Columbians are of the opinion it is the ones at the very top who are likely the worst offenders.
{In James Moore’s riding of Port Moody/Westwood/Port Coquitlam one local elected official and well known federal Liberal is known to be gathering up building(s) in parts of the city where development- which would enhance the price of the purchased- buildings is about to take place. This property is allegedly being transferred from a well-known developer. A federal Liberal Cabinet Minister has been recently exposed for selling a property to a developer and well known federal Liberal supporter and reaping a windfall of over $250,000 in just three months}.
If British Columbians from this ROBBINS Poll reflect the values and principals of Canadians generally than it is abundantly clear that if Stephen Harper is successful on Election Day January 23, 2006 he has a mandate (and an obligation) to clean up government corruption. His first place to start Accountability for all citizens is in British Columbia and at all levels of government.

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