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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics December 6, 2006
  Dec 06, 2006

This is a random sample of 1,214 respondents throughout Canada between December 2-6, 2006, and in particular as follows: Quebec (154)) (+-8.0%); Ontario (485) (+-5.25%); Atlantic Provinces (85) (+-12%); Sask/Manitoba (75) (+-12%); Alberta (85) (+-12%); B.C. (330) (+-6.5%), However taken as a whole, this ROBBINS ASK poll features a margin of error of 3. 05%, 19 times out of 20 @96% competency/confidence. The poll was sponsored by Glen P. Robbins and Associates and New Trend Optical, Jim Van Rassel proprietor (604) 942-9300.

Question #1
For which political party did you vote in the last federal election in 2006?
New Democratic party    16.74 %
Liberal party    29.94 %
Conservative party    35.88 %
Bloc party    10.32 %
Green party    4.85 %
Can’t remember    2.14 %
Question #2
How likely are you to vote for the same political party you voted for in Question #1 if an election is called in February 2007?
Very Likely    84.66 %
Likely    7.22 %
Unlikely    7.88 %
Very Unlikely    0.37 %
I probably won't vote    1.95 %
Don’t Know/Undecided    4.17 %
Question #3
For which leader and political party would you vote for if an election were held 10 days from today?
Stephane Dion and federal Liberal party    31.56 %
Stephen Harper and federal Conservative party    36.25 %
Jack Layton and federal New Democratic party    15.75 %
Elizabeth May and federal Green Party    7.21 %
Gilles Duceppe and federal Bloc Quebecois party    9.42 %
I probably won’t vote    1.35 %
Question #4
In your opinion is Prime Minister Stephen Harper likely to have a majority government after the next federal election in February 2007?
Yes    43 %
No    57 %
Question #5
With the election of Stephane Dion as the leader of the Liberal party of Canada, do you expect that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call an election for the spring of 2007?
Yes    53 %
No    47 %
Commentary
The federal Liberal party begins the ‘soft’ election campaign with a (5.41%) increase in public support following the recent election of Stephane Dion. (Based on 100 percentiles). The Conservative party begins (1.03%) ahead of its original totals. Jack Layton’s New Democrats have lost (4.20%), while the Bloc Quebecois are down (8.73%), and Elizabeth May and the Greens are up (32.74%).
The Liberals appear to be renewing themselves in the Province of Quebec (28%), and British Columbia (29%) but have dropped off conspicuously in Ontario (33%). Averages in the Atlantic Provinces are (42%), while the Prairie Provinces are (29%). The federal Liberal party has (intrinsically) 105-110 seats. The upside is ‘tops’ 120 unless the Bloc loses its influence in Quebec completely.
The Conservatives are holding steady across the country. (25%) in Quebec, and a very impressive (40%) in Ontario. (36%) in the Atlantic Provinces, (50%) in the Prairie Provinces, and (34%) in British Columbia round out the Conservative score. Seat count for the Conservatives is currently in the 130-132 region, their upside at this juncture is 140 ‘tops’.
The federal Liberal party has the lowest Very Likely score of (81.88%), while the New Democrats have the highest ‘probably won’t vote’ with (2.03)% of their voters ‘probably not voting’ in the next election. The Bloc has lost (4%) of their 2006 vote totals to Stephane Dion already.
British Columbia, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces appear to be keeping the Conservatives from a majority government, while it is unclear whether or not Elizabeth May’s Green party will continue to earn more taxpayer dollars from higher vote totals, and/or win a few seats in the next federal election.
Stephane Dion though originally thought to be an unlikely choice for Liberal leader is probably the best choice for the federal Liberals, and for federalism in this country, particularly as a supplement to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Insiders tell ROBBINS that Dion was selected as the best person to defend Liberal interests in Quebec and to advance seat totals. His ultimate role will likely be as Quebec Premier permitting him more direct access to his other mother country France, (after a stint on the federal scene). There should be no illusion that Mr. Dion can actually beat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and form government, but the belief is that he will thwart a Conservative majority, and given Dion’s intellect and integrity, he may break through elsewhere. Ontario is becoming accustomed to Stephen Harper and may have something to say about such an early forgiveness of Liberal recent sins.
There is no doubt from this ROBBINS ASK poll that the combined Conservative-Liberal seat totals are more likely to grow than to decrease in the next election, and I would offer 20 to one odds on this. For this to happen the New Democrat and/or Bloc seat totals must decrease. I would speculate from this poll that the final total for both Conservative and Liberal parties to be around 260 seats or > after the next election. Gilles Duceppe is a very good politician, and I would not bet one dollar that his party will fully succumb to the combined pressure of a very credible Conservative party, and a formidable candidate in Dion who has the incredible distinction of being a much better politician than he is given credit for. I would bet five dollars that Duceppe may lose significant public support if his independence arguments don’t play well the next time around. Dion will challenge in Quebec and should try to increase the (4%) he has already taken from the Bloc party to (15%), while targeting 3-5% from Harper and one-third of the Green vote in that province. If Dion and the Liberals can harvest some of the votes the Greens have cultivated in other federal parties than I can see an (at best) upside of (34-35%) for them, however the Liberals are still dusting off an image that they are a little better with words and promises than action, and action is not an easy thing to convey from the Opposition benches. Stephane Dion is a pragmatist, and he should concentrate on the reality that he may not win the next election and should shoot for clear attainable goals, bringing the party back with bite size gains. If he harnesses this type of clarity in his leadership approach, and a few breaks go his way he could well see (36-37%) (but I doubt it).
Stephen Harper is looking very good in Ontario and needs to clamp down on the 60 seats or so he should win in that province. Centralizing Canada’s business interests in that Province should help significantly, while continuing to explain to voters in Canada’s most populated province that he is the one who has renewed Canada’s faith in federal unity, with very deliberate attempts to bring Quebec into the equation of federal renewal and success both internationally and at home. For his efforts he should be at (40%) in le province d’ingrate but he is not. This message has been lost somewhat in British Columbia, where one would think it would be better received. BC’s share of undecided voters exceeds it’s relative population, and Mr. Harper needs to explain to Reformers there that things are changing for the better, the west is actually in now, and to explain to Progressive Conservatives in that province that he actually gives a damn about the environment, now that the federal Liberals have placed much of their own capital on that issue. Mr. Harper has an opportunity to place himself (somewhat) closer to Kyoto, and to give greater consideration to Canada’s new role as a world leader, and to that end a committed partner to the issues relating to the environment, (EVEN if he is not entirely sure he believes it himself). To win a majority, this measure is a must. The Liberal judges in BC including Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer’s legal partner Justice Dohm (how about that pretend disagreement between AG Oppal and the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court-guys you need some help with the spin-my numbers are below) have delayed the BC Rail criminal trial which may feature some prominent federal Liberal operatives to one extent or another, and Mr. Harper would be wise to consider this in the timing of any federal election announcement. The delays are looking suspicious; the people are not exactly enthralled with the courts, which are suffering from a lack of credibility, so it is unlikely that other docket changes can be further concocted. Liberal operative Marke Marissen who has apparently helped with Stephane Dion’s Liberal leadership victory had very strong ties to former PM Paul Martin, and to some fairly aggressive organizational tactics which have divided some elements of the party (see: Herb Dhaliwal) particularly in British Columbia. This, and an unconfirmed relevance to the upcoming BC Rail criminal trial, after some serious Marissen newspaper advertorials (if Harper wins another election the news people out here will get nothing from him-you heard it here first!), in the local news, will very likely cast the BC voter eye back to the Adscam days. The federal Liberals (who are run through Montreal Quebec) by now ought to know that if you want to maintain political control, and your past is less than perfect, continuing to use the same operatives over and over will not produce a new and better result.
Jack Layton has to stay on message about people, about poverty, and take up human rights matters while the Liberals cloak themselves in Green and their penchant for superfluous vernacular. (Stephane Dion’s less than perfect command of English is not so pronounced that he is unable to communicate well. His English remains a moderate liability as he is not quite the communicator Gilles Duceppe is). Jack Layton needs to show rural voters in Ontario and British Columbia that some of his policies are actually contemplated with them in mind, while making sure he does not lose any of the environmental votes hanging around his ‘house’. Kyoto is important to Canadians, but only to one half of them. The Japanese aren’t considered to be top environmentalists (except David Suzuki) and Jack Layton needs to know that some folks who are just beginning to accept the ‘911 with the environment’ don’t necessarily believe it begins and ends with Kyoto). (Pop icon Rod Stewart got a hit with Canadian Tom Waite’s song Downtown Train, but gritty rocker Bob Seger would have done a much better job with it, if you’re catching that obtuse drift). The New Democrat voter is more protectionist and slightly less interested in developing world bureaucracies with unelected persons. Mr. Layton should apply accountability arguments, (vis-à-vis social accounting practices) to the question of the environment (and other issues). This permits him to have his own Made in Canada solutions that actually have real ‘filling’, something often lacking in the ‘Karaoke meets Chrissy Hinds’ like proposals of the Liberals. Mr. Layton can also get out in front of Elizabeth May on the issue of proportional representation, because it already applies to the New Democrats (16% of 309=49 seats), while Elizabeth May cannot realistically speak to it now, because she has not yet seriously suffered from it. Jack Layton must seriously consider taking his 3% public support in Quebec and telling the French to shove it. He has no chance of winning government and it will increase his vote totals everywhere else, particularly Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and to a lesser extent Ontario (7 seats).
Federal Green leader Elizabeth May needs to win (10%) of public support across the country, come close but 2nd in at least 5 national constituencies and not actually win a seat, while the Bloc emerge under (10%) with 3-40 seats. This will fatten her war chest and set the stage for the next phase of the campaign for proportional representation arguments which will feel like Kryptonite to both federal Liberals and Conservatives, in subsequent elections. Would those proportional rep seats be included in Quebec?
ROBBINS sponsor and local Port Coquitlam businessman Jim Van Rassel arrived in Canada 30 years ago and remained a landed immigrant for much of that time. Finally, he became a Canadian citizen and renounced his Dutch citizenship. Mr. Van Rassel was so determined to give back to the country that had given him so much that he first convinced his mother-in-law to become a Canadian citizen. He became an active member of the political community including an avid sponsor and contributor to ROBBINS Sce Research. Jim Van Rassel put his money and his efforts where his mouth is. He is a truly dedicated Canadian who is a ‘giver’ and not a ‘taker’. Mr. Dion on the other hand remains a French citizen. This is wrong. He should renounce his French citizenship and become a ‘total and complete’ ‘Hip’ Canadian. How do we know he won’t head back for ‘France’ if the going gets tough in the corners with Conservative ‘brawler’ Stephen ‘hands ‘o’ stone Harper? While we’re at it, when will Marke Marrisen finally decide to do something for British Columbia (instead of continuing to knock it off the Rails) and stop doing the bidding as man-servant to Montreal’s political interests? The next thing we know when Mr. Dion heads back to France, Mr. Marrisen will likely follow him there where it is only a hop skip and jump to Holland where he can repatriate his former citizenship, and where his wife, former BC Liberal Deputy Premier Christy Clarke will feel even more comfortable in her Liberal red.

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