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ROBBINS letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez Re: Softwood Lumber file
  Feb 27, 2006

The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, District of Columbia 20500
Attention: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez Re: Softwood Lumber file
Dear Sir For the record, I am the only conservative public opinion pollster in Canada. My public opinion polls can be viewed at www.robbinssceresearch.com.
I have from time to time provided my public opinion polls to the communications department at the White House as well as the Associated Press and other organizations in the United States. Readers all over the globe view my polls, however more visitors come to my site from the United States and Canada than anywhere else in the world.
I am writing you as this concerns the above captioned. I understand that this is unexpected correspondence given conventional protocols, but I feel it is nonetheless urgent to advance this message to your good office.
As you can see from our website we have an uncanny ability for accuracy from our predictions relating most significantly to the 2004 Presidential election and to our more recent prediction and “Audit” of the Canadian general election.
Canada is a political environment, which has been dominated by Liberal parties for much of our history. Indeed, most Conservative governments in this country have been minorities particularly in the 20th century. Prime Minister Mulroney in the mid and late 1980’s was the exception, however he was able to control Quebec (75 of 308 seats) something that will be far more difficult if not impossible to accomplish in the future.
As you are likely aware Canada just recently voted in a new Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, a very intelligent and capable leader in my opinion. Prime Minister Harper’s Conservative Party controls 125 of 308 seats in the Canadian Parliament. Obviously this is far short of a 155-seat majority.
In order to achieve a greater total of seats in Parliament, the Conservative government will need to increase its popularity and subsequent seat totals in a number of provinces. One in particular is my home province of British Columbia, which possesses 36 of the total 308 seats. Mr. Harper’s party has controlled as many as 27 seats in this province, but did more poorly than expected in B.C. in the most recent election winning only 17 seats.
The most likely reason the federal Conservative party underachieved in the most recent election in owing to the lack of a bona fide provincial Conservative Party. Having no Conservative party in the province would be like the Republican Party not having any Republican Party in the State of Ohio. Instead our province has only two main parties, the Democrats and the Liberals.
The federal Conservative Party has been hamstrung by a long-standing relationship between some federal Conservatives in our province, and the Liberal provincial party, which is currently in power. The leader of that party, the current Premier of the province Gordon Campbell portrays himself as a type of progressive Conservative, however he has always been far less popular than the Liberal party itself, which should speak volumes to the aforementioned political incongruence.
Recently, in a rather sloppy attempt to fill this political vacuum, a federal BC Liberal by the name of David Emerson ‘crossed the floor’ to become the 125th federal Conservative. This has not been well received particularly in Mr. Emerson’s constituency, where protestors have been arrested and it has been reported that as many as 20,000 protests signs have been produced for lawns in the area. A significant amount for this riding or any other in our country.
One of the main communications efforts to ameliorate Mr. Emerson’s difficulties has been to say that he will help to negotiate a softwood lumber settlement. British Columbia expects approximately 30% of the 5 billion dollars claimed by of negotiated settlement.
I believe that I can fairly speak to the reality of Canadian politics as well as anyone in the country. I have the distinct advantage of not being beholden to any group or organization other than my own. (Certainly not an easy feat in an ‘unequivocally organized’ country like Canada).
Mr. Harper will not in my opinion increase his seat totals in British Columbia without a true Conservative Party in this province. Without a majority government a number of bilateral considerations between our countries will remain non-starters owing the present government’s dependence on the remaining parties to sustain their survival. Each of the remaining parties is either Liberal or Social Democrat.
I would humbly ask that you do not consider any negotiations on the softwood lumber file until such time as a provincial Conservative ‘wing’ is established in British Columbia to support the existing Conservative minority government with a view to establishing a better overall Conservative political environment in my province.
As it stands, the proceeds of any settlement achieved at this time would likely end up in the pockets of the BC forestry companies which have long and entrenched political ties to the Liberal Party in this province and the federal Liberal party in Ottawa, and would ultimately benefit those parties and its supporters. Mr. Emerson’s primary role I feel in crossing over to the Conservatives is to ensure proper allocation of any negotiated proceeds of a softwood deal to his friends and associates in the industry where he was once a CEO. Somewhat ironically, Mr. Emerson was a government official before he went into private business.
We have another 3 years until another BC general provincial election. The federal Conservative minority government will likely survive for at least two years. As you can see it is imperative that a provincial Conservative Party be established on an urgent basis in British Columbia immediately.
Certainly, many complex issues and considerations constitute your decisions on this file beyond Canadian or BC politics alone, including U.S. elections to come next fall. However, often times it is one element of information which we are not absolutely familiar with which could impact on a number of very far reaching and important decisions down the road, particularly as this relates to our two countries relationship, and most specifically our ability to defend ourselves properly from those who intend to harm us.
A recent public opinion poll from a Liberal firm sponsored by a dominant Liberal television station (Strategic Counsel-CTV owned by Bell Global media) suggests only 27% of Canadians want a Canadian military presence in Afghanistan), reveals that more political work is required to bring about an understanding of realities of the current war on terrorism in this country. A fully organized Conservative Party in Canada’s third largest province would go a long way in assisting in this regard.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this letter.
Sincerely, Glen P. Robbins President/C.E.O. Robbins Sce Research (1998) (604) 942-3757
cc Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice

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