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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics March 28, 2008
  Mar 28, 2008

A random telephone sample of 1,447 respondents throughout Canada but not the Territories. These interviews were conducted between March 17 and 26, 2008-in two sets of interviews beginning in BC-where 640 interviews were conducted (+ - 4.6%). It is fair to say that the plus and minus error rate is equal to or slightly greater than (2.4%), 19 times out of 20. This poll was funded by Jim Van Rassel, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
Which leader and party in federal Canadian politics would you vote for if an election were held today?
Stephen Harper and Conservatives    39.2 %
Stephane Dion and Liberals    28.1 %
Jack Layton and NDP    17 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc    8.5 %
Elizabeth May and Green    7.2 %
Undecided    07 %
Question #2
Generally speaking, how important are the Olympic Games to you personally?
Very Important    21 %
Important    28 %
Unimportant    35 %
Very Unimportant    16 %
Undecided    06 %
Question #3
Generally speaking, how important are the 2008 Chinese Summer Olympics to you personally?
Very Important    17 %
Important    18 %
Unimportant    48 %
Very Unimportant    17 %
Question #4
Who do you support more in the conflict between Tibet and China?
The Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhist monks    57 %
The government of China    08 %
Neither    34 %
Undecided/Canít Answer    16 %
Question #5
Based on reported human rights abuses against Tibetans and the current situation- should Canada boycott itís participation in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China?
Yes    49.66 %
No    48.04 %
Undecided    2.3 %
Commentary
Observations/Commentary/et al Question #1
Stephen Harper and Conservatives rising popularity since the last general federal election continue to threaten this minority government. Their public support hovers around (40%), as Ďundecidedísí decline. Highest levels of support for the Conservative Party come from the Prairie Provinces averaging over (50%) {mean and median}. BC and Ontario follow at (39%) and (40%) respectively.
Excluding the Bloc, the Conservatives have the support of (43%) of the country.
The Prime Minister has got to be shaking his head at his partyís performance in British Columbia which has not achieved the type of increased support he expects and requires. Conservatives in BC are very strong in rural/suburban regions north and east of Hope. Also, recent success in the Vancouver Quadra by-election has increased their popular support to (30%) in Vancouver proper- but support is softer or has not increased in areas like Surrey and New Westminster Coquitlam and Burnaby. Inroads into Vancouver City are a current success story for the Conservative Party, but some of the Vancouver Metro Polls (conducted by ROBBINS) advantages the Conservative Party enjoyed just weeks ago has decreased.
One explanation is that the Chuck Cadman matter hurt both the Conservatives and Liberals in those regions. Port Moody/Westwood/Port Coquitlam MP James Moore along with fellow MPís ought to have had their ear to the ground with Mrs. Cadman, but didnít. Nor did he and his BC MPís work successfully with Chuck Cadman when he was alive-costing the Conservatives a 2004 confidence vote-with Cadman supporting Paul Martinís Liberals-and losing the Conservatives momentum going into the subsequent general federal election which they lost.
In order to redeem himself James Moore was given the task of battling both Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and Deputy Leader the growling master of the political theatre Michael Ignatieff (I could watch this guy all day long), while the Prime Minister was away from the House of Commons. James is not the equal of either Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff, but he did pretty well in debate.
Either before or after the next election the Prime Minister has got to clean up his Metro Vancouver Ďchaptersí. There are further opportunities for Conservatives on Vancouver Island-but it could be the Conservative organizations and the MPís representing some of these ridings are simply tired of the Ottawa grind and this is showing in somewhat lackluster totals.
Imagine coming up short a few seats to a majority, and the opportunity to clean up a very sleepy public service, and initiate a new direction for the country, simply because your BC caucus took a snooze while their BC ally Gordon Campbell moved left.
Rant here-----If there is anything I cannot stand, if I have a more glaring personal shortcoming, is a lack of patience for reckless stupidity. You political science students would understand-- there is a time for a little political ambiguity and another time, (the greater amount), where there ought to be none. Political ambiguity-{are we conservative or are we liberal-BC Liberal} - ultimately the federal Conservative partyís loss-when it most certainly ought to be a major gain by now. Paul Martin said he wanted the west in-- but could not deliver. The Conservatives had a natural opportunity to bring BC in-but have to date- squandered the opportunity. Why? How?
Stephen Harper is from the west, but is now firmly entrenched in the life of Ottawa, the nationís capital. What is barring him from drawing a line in the sand with this BC crew? Stephane Dion is more competitive in Ontario than he is in BC. Whatís his point to British Columbians? Re-naming a sea? It would follow that, by now, the Conservatives would be thinking 25-30 seats in BC when they are around 20 and maybe less.
Stephen Harperís BC crew in ROBBINS opinion is arrogant-plain and simple. They have had their own way for some time-had many representatives for many years on Reform or Canadian Alliance-and now they just expect to reap rewards in government. A bunch of butlers serving other butlers. Where are the bona fides of the work? Not on the score sheet thatís for sure. BC is the Prime Ministerís underachiever for sure.
If I were Stephen Harper I would tell my BC MPís the following: Up to 40% and > than 2006 BC totals (37%)-2 Cabinet positions. For every 1% in public support over 40%óanother Cabinet position. Based on this ROBBINS poll the Conservative MPís would currently achieve only two Cabinet positions-and thatís fair.
This is the great big leagues-worldwide opinion-French president Sarkozy is without any question the coolest Conservative politician on the planet. The proverbial horse is out of the barn on China and these ROBBINS numbers tell me that Stephen Harper- a true Canadian conservative-with a relatively close relationship to the Dalai Lamai-may have to go to his gut in a different way-for the first time.
The Prime Minister needs to be bold on this account. To do so-he must be certain there are no Human Rights surprises that would embarrass Canada. Do we have anything like this hidden away that would make us look ridiculous-more oppressive and hypocritical than the Chinese appear right now? {Is there something out there like this Jim?}
Conservatives have modest increases in the City of Toronto (26%) but are increasing support in the suburbs in the outlying area (40%) which will assist in increasing their overall Ontario seat totals by 12-15 seats.
http://www.robbinssceresearch.com/polls/poll_210.html-
This poll reveals how the Conservatives were doing nationally just prior to the 2006 general federal election (32%) (All mainstream pollsters had Conservatives at (28%). Note the (34%) score in BC. The Conservative Party eventually scored (37%) in BC and just more than (36%) nationally. The Canadian Alliance scored (47%) and some 27 seats under Stockwell Day, now the senior {Public Safety} minister for the Conservatives in BC. Will underachieving in BC be the difference between a higher minority and majority government for PM Stephen Harper? Right now it looks this way.
Stephane Dion has benefited in the past week or so. He found his male voice-and it can be quite formidable when he is angry. In addition, his party won three of four seats-all of which they ought to have won- from by-elections held March 17, 2008, even if- in so doing- it discredited recently issued liberal polls which mistakenly placed the Liberals on equal footing with the governing Conservatives. The overall results of the recent four federal by-elections most favoured the Conservatives, than Liberal, Green and NDP.
As ROBBINS sponsor Jim Van Rassel asserts
ďif the federal Liberals are tied in public support with the Conservatives as the mainstream public opinion and media have recently suggested-why is their Quebec Ďarmí complaining?-there is really something wrong here.Ē
At ROBBINS- we know the trend in public support is going toward the Conservatives, as Liberals avoid confronting the governing Conservatives at vote time and in so doing abandon their constituents to live and survive another day. There is a political cost to this tactic. It is far less likely that voters will support a party that doesnít follow its own principals.
Approximate trends as to public support relating to gender- feature for Conservatives (46%) male, and (33%) female. Liberals public support is gained as to (24%) male and (35%) women in this ROBBINS poll.
(57%) of women in Canada according to this ROBBINS poll, support a boycott of Chinaís 2008 Olympic Games.
Question #4-
The squeeze is really coming on China. The 2008 Summer Olympics may be in jeopardy. The 2010 Vancouver Olympics could be in jeopardy as well, as the Summer Olympics is a higher profile event involving greater advertising revenues. If China falls will Vancouver fall as well? If these Olympics crumble-could the entire Olympic movement be lost? Will public support for the Olympics continue to dwindle and fade in any event? What would Vancouverís Olympics be worth in the event of boycott? More, less, or nothing? A billion dollar boondoggle? How will mainstream media with advertising rights to the Olympics handle the escalation of calls for a boycott-France is moving in that direction-can Britain be far behind? Will Prime Minister Harper reveal himself to be forward thinking or will he defer to the status quo which suggests hold the Olympics no matter the cost to citizens of Tibet. BCís Radio CKNW (unscientific) online poll revealed just less than 40% of CKNW followers support a boycott of Chinaís 2008 Olympics.
This CKNW unscientific poll had a similar outcome to a recent Ipsos Reid national poll on the subject conducted between March18-20, 2008. This ROBBINS poll reveals that over the week following the Ipsos poll, the number of Canadians willing to boycott Chinaís 2008 Summer Olympics has increased (10%) overall and (25%) over the Ipsos totals. These numbers are trending upward by day. Will the mainstream news try to ignore the China Tibet problem in order to salvage advertising revenues for Chinaís Olympic Games?
This ROBBINS random poll of British Columbians reveals a slight majority of Canadians now support a boycott of Chinaís 2008 Olympic Games.
The Olympic brand is not wearing as well these days.
With economic circumstances in the country (particularly in Ontario) less predictable-the idea of a ďtwo week partyĒ is reducing the relative importance of the Olympic Games (generally) in the eyes of Canadians, making it easier for them to agree to a boycott of Chinaís 2008 Summer Games, particularly as the Dalai Lama is Ďsupportedí by 7 times the number of Canadians who support China- as this relates to the tensions between Tibet and China.
Canadaís largest province- Ontario supports a boycott of Chinaís Olympic Games- the least- at (44%), while Newfoundland and Labrador support the boycott most (62%), with Nova Scotia not far behind their Atlantic neighbours at (63%). (51%) of British Columbia and (57%) of Quebec citizens support boycotting Chinaís 2008 Olympics.
Part of the explanation for a slim majority of Canadians favouring a boycott is based on the fact that slightly fewer than one half of Canadians in this ROBBINS poll are of the opinion that the Olympic Games are important- with slightly fewer respondents being of the opinion that the Chinese Olympics are important. Is the issue of a boycott of Chinaís Summer Olympic Games over problems with Tibet put downward pressure on support for the Olympics generally? This ROBBINS poll suggests that it may. Does this create a situation where Prime Minister Stephen Harper must seriously consider stepping up to boycott the Chinese Olympic Games? There is certainly demand forming for this action, and there is certainly evidence suggesting that the Olympic Games wonít be defended by a large group of Canadians.
Canadians have been split on the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in the recent past. While the Chinese government continues to humiliate itself with its policy in Tibet, the appetite for Olympics generally amongst Canadians is definitely waning.
There is too much scandal in American Sports with the issue of performance enhancing drugs. We have said it before, and it is worth repeating: Rich spoiled people seen in tabloids living excessive lives, when other people are struggling- has combined with drugs- to make selling celebrity- including sports celebrity a difficult thing to do, whether the athletes are amateur or not.
The athletes are right- the bad rap isnít entirely their fault. However, the difficulty with a boycott is that by the time the word is used to describe the situation you are in; you have already gone past the point of no return.
Many pro boycott respondents are already asking:
ďWhy donít the athletes do the right thing and boycott the summer Olympics in China?Ē
Once ROBBINS hears this--we can predict that more trouble for Chinaís 2008 Olympic Games is coming down the road.
This should really tell you something about how fast the world is changing- an emerging power like China and a well known International sports organization like the IOC-- fail to do just a little homework- to realize the possibility that unresolved troubles that result from an ugly relationship with your neighbour-and now the ďchickens are coming home to roost.Ē
Glen P. Robbins
(604) 942-3757
www.robbinssceresearch.com

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