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ROBBINS-Metro Surrey Poll On Dianne Watts
  May 26, 2008

Question #1
Which political party in the province do your currently support?
BC Liberal Party    39 %
BC Democratic Party    47 %
BC Green Party    14.5 %
I don’t know/Undecided    16 %
Question #2
How would you assess the work of Surrey Mayor and city council?
Good    46 %
Fair    34 %
Poor    11 %
I don’t Know/Undecided    09 %
Question #3
Do you intend to vote for current Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts in November 08-to provide her with a second term in office?
Yes    58 %
No    21 %
I don’t Know/Undecided    21 %
Question #4
Premier Gordon Campbell wants to ban 3rd party advertising during the next year. However he hasn’t banned huge corporate donations to his own political party, yet the BC Democrats have greatly reduced their financial dependence on union donations. In your opinion is Gordon Campbell’s push against 3rd party advertising a sign that he is afraid he is going to lose seats to the BC Democrats?
Yes    58 %
No    32 %
I don’t know/undecided    10 %
Question #5
How important are the Vancouver 2010 Olympics to you?
Very Important    11 %
Important    27 %
Unimportant    44 %
Very Unimportant    18 %
I don’t know/undecided    11 %
Question #6
International finance groups say the world economy is facing a downturn. Over 80% of Americans believe their country is in a recession—and Canada historically follows the United States economically. In your opinion in which direction is BC’s economy headed:
UP    11 %
DOWN    46 %
Will stay the same    43 %
Undecided    14 %
Question #7
Gordon Campbell wants to ban 3rd party advertising in his own words ‘to model federal laws’ yet federal finance regulations allow up to only $1,000 in donations from any person-individual or corporation---and the BC Liberals are still receiving many thousands of dollars-sometimes tens of thousand of dollars from individuals and corporations. Are Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals being fair and democratic about election financing?
Yes    29 %
No    68 %
Don’t Know/Can’t Answer    13 %
Question #8
Do you support the Liberals carbon tax as the best way to promote protecting the environment and reducing climate change?
Yes    27 %
No    58 %
Undecided/I don’t know/can’t answer    15 %
Commentary
Observations/Commentary:
Based on ‘decided’ respondents from question #1-BC Liberals are down approximately (10%) from 2005 provincial voting totals in Surrey, while the BC Democrats are down (4%). The Green Party appears to have increased totals by (in some cases) by more than double. As between the two main parties (@100%)—the BC Democrats have a 10 point lead over the BC Liberals in the city of Surrey proper.
It should be noted that this is a poll of Surrey city voters-where ‘a few’ ballots were spoiled-in part due to the ‘imprecise nature’ of random telephone calling/ {which remains the superior method of collecting data for polls}---from recently published telephone books. Nevertheless it is our position the correlation depicted herein is fair to the extent the methodology depicts its accuracy.
Mayor Dianne Watts is more of a conservative/independent ‘political prototype’-however she has strong ties to business-and good political relationships with local elected officials and others who are supporters or members of the BC Democrats. The number of BC Democrats who support her in this ROBBINS is very high. Her ‘get out and get the job done’ approach particularly where that concerns crime and other facets of peace, order and good government- that some folks are inclined to ignore----- has won her many fans—and a few enemies, however both Surrey city council’s and Mayor Dianne Watts personal job performance scores are very positive.
Like my wife Ita, Dianne Watts has a Croatian background—and these folks have a great sense of work ethic, common sense, fiscal prudence—and a desire to protect their family, and their communities.
Surrey mayor and city council (“Good”) marks are approximately double Coquitlam’s and ten times Port Coquitlam’s. This is explained in part by Coquitlam city councils’ apparent lack of leadership and confusion on policy, and Port Coquitlam’s city council efforts to either commit crime(s) or fail to take leadership steps in light of this-----while Mayor Dianne Watts has exhibited ‘big city’ leadership on many difficult and complex issues which is uniting her city-contrary to Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan’s perceived efforts to divide his city-his opponents allege for pure Machiavellian advantage.
Although the (“Poor”) response for Surrey mayor and council is more than double that of Port Coquitlam and about the same as Coquitlam’s----Surrey mayor and city council’s “Good” was 4 times higher than its “Poor’ rating while undecideds were low, while Coquitlam’s was slightly better than one half of that.
Dianne Watts---- as Kenny Bania would say on Seinfeld is “Gold---Jerry---Gold” in political terms. Her re-election numbers equal what she achieved in the 2005 Surrey municipal election---which affirmed a ROBBINS poll of that year//- which indicated she would challenge and possibly beat BC Liberal Surrey Mayor Doug ‘Who’ McCallum//. This after McCallum and his BC Liberal confederates Gordon Campbell— and current Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon tried to push Ms. Watts out of the SET ‘all church’ team in the year prior to the 2005 municipal election. Lucky for the city of Surrey//-- Dianne Watts had the tenacity to fight back and squished the BC Liberal mayor McCallum like a bully bug.
Dianne Watts-based on her performance in Surrey is the type of leader British Columbia is looking for--- and what Surrey has found. Leading isn’t easy…and too many people get into politics who think they are leaders when they are in fact followers.
Many BC Liberal supporters who are already seeing the possibility/likelihood of Gordon Campbell losing the next general election in 2009 are already eyeing Dianne Watts as the go to person. The problem is Dianne Watts is a conservative-independent, not a liberal-but with good liberal support//-and the liberal part of the BC Liberals is beginning to fracture from the Gordon Campbell BC Liberals—a message clearly evident at the Vision Vancouver mayoralty debate recently sponsored by 24 hours newspaper and the Tyee On-line news. (Vision Vancouver is on a roll---three great candidates for mayor and an Obama-like aura (D. Beers said it first publicly//I said the same thing to sponsor Jim Van Rassel after leaving the debate///more about this on the Tyee On/Line Newspaper—‘V Squared’ is the ultimate BC Democrat/BC Liberal/BC Green political hybrid).
A 30 minute interview by Glen P. Robbins can tell you the difference between a political personality that ‘has it’ and one ‘who doesn’t have it’ OR where the holes are.
ROBBINS is the Simon Cowell of politics.
Premier Campbell got slammed by Surrey respondents in this ROBBINS poll-who indicated they would not vote for his BC Liberal Party AND by some who would vote for his BC Liberal Party (question #1)--- regarding proposed 3rd party advertising bans and BC Liberal Party corporate donations.
The question of 3rd party donations limits of $150,000 featured a reference to “huge corporate donations” the BC Liberals are already benefiting from--the other side of electoral finance reform issue--and Surrey residents are not impressed. Nearly two-thirds of total decided respondents are of the opinion that the Campbell Liberals are pursuing the advertising ban because they are “afraid of losing seats to the BC Democrats”. When we subsequently asked respondents if the 3rd party advertising is fair and democratic-----slightly more than two thirds say it is not. Approximately 6% more respondents who FIRST indicated that the BC Liberals wanted to ban 3rd party advertising because they indicated that it was a consequence of ‘fear’ of losing seats to the BC Democrats-agree that it isn’t fair and democratic. These two twins---fairness and (demand for) democracy is what will eventually----systemically--- (publicly) --- break the Campbell Liberals.
The mainstream media has been caught with their pants down on this idea of 3rd party advertising. They failed to criticize the Campbell Liberals for wanton corporate donations-and the big bank accounts secured by the party---and also failed to properly commend the BC Democrats for cleaning up their own political house particularly as this relates to union donations. The real argument is not the to and fro hypocrisy of what Gordon Campbell once said in Hansard-- about BC Democrat attempts to ban 3rd party advertising-- while they were government-----BUT
…. why Gordon Campbell has not been challenged on the hypocrisy of loading up his own parties treasury with huge corporate and individual donations from rich people---and than shutting down 3rd party advertising. The truth is the press was ready to forgive this indiscretion because they would receive a lot of this corporate largesse in BC Liberal coffers---only now the press is pissed because they want the BC Democrats alleged surrogates dough as well. Heidi Fleiss all round wouldn’t you say?
Campbell thinks he can grab disaffected Reform voters….he is so far from reality on this account—it’s almost scary,, accept for the fact that it speaks significantly to our hypothesis that the Campbell government is in trouble NOW---and not just looking at trouble down the road. In boxing parlance, or street-fight language “I would move in for the kill now.” Will Campbell have the political capital with the media after trying to pull this ridiculous stunt? With Robbins having his 1990’s publishing business destroyed by a crazed AG under Dosanjh (there’s a clue)—a Canadian journalist going to the BC Human Rights---for annoying a Muslim group---and now Wally Oppal (there’s another clue) ---the Attorney General foolishly speaking to the legal aspect of 3rd part advertising----is there something going on here between Dosanjh/Oppal and Freedom of speech? I lost millions personally so I’m pissed off---but is the AG’s office beginning to look a little like something out of The Addams Family (when its comic-tragic) and Hostel—when its just plain brutal. {Yea—who wants me with free speech?).
A by-product of this is reflected in Attorney General Wally Oppal’s position that somehow the 3rd party advertising issue is different because of fixed election dates. CKNW’s John McComb has apparently already asked what side of the bong Walter is working from---but this begs the larger question about having Judges who are moving into politics. Judges are like Jehovah Witnesses---no matter how much they can annoy most people---at least we know they are trying to stick to the same script---and oddly there is comfort in continuity. When a Judge moves over to politics and begins to rationalize decisions—often not very well—than---when the courts make unpopular decisions-- which is going to happen from time to time anyhow---it is easier for the public to construe the courts, a serious functional aspect of democracy (at least on paper)—as dysfunctional or at least as dysfunctional as the politics of the moment.
Currently it is our impression that the politics of the moment at least provincially is not doing well—and I am not certain if there is a silver lining in this. Three terms is always difficult----baggage accumulates. It’s the presses responsibility to report the political news, not manufacture consent or buy a political leader ‘time’ to get his affairs in order AND RAISE MORE CORPORATE DONATIONS FOR ADS!
The BC Liberals have a bigger problem than this---many of the people in our polls who choose this party as the one they support ask our callers the question “who else is there?” This is a bad indication for Campbell//you can’t call ‘who else’ support solid—particularly this far from the next provincial election--- one year from now. Some respondents are using more inflammatory language against the Premier and his party—but this is not pervasive—it is starting however—we think that recent advertising depicting people—mostly women with duct tape over their mouth is enough to start ‘shaking out’ some respondents who were already thinking about leaving the BC Liberals or alternatively—rejecting them wholly as a choice—OR is causing doubt on other pools of undecided voters.
Swing voters up north are still talking about Campbell’s initial idea to reduce the number of representatives in the legislature from those rural ridings. Now those citizens are hanging their ‘hatred hats’ on the carbon tax. If Stephen Harper backed a carbon tax—Clifford Olsen would have a better chance of winning re-election.
There are others who are “Undecided”, “Green” or “BC Liberal” who offer that “they don’t even know much about Carole James”. Carole James is a smart and decent person---this is who MOST OF the people are looking for---a change in the type of all business look the BC Liberals started with in 2001—which everyone has gotten sick of…..they are all business-and yet they are no business.
There are some voters who will never vote BC NDP---there are some who may vote BC Democrats (how long can you be new)—these types might be willing to vote for Democrats—but are concerned the old school NDP is still running the party. I speculate that between 3-5% of ALL male voters might fit into this ‘swing’ category. BC Democrats is better---two-thirds of British Columbians including most real Reform Conservatives and Conservative Democrats as well as Reform Liberals would vote for the Democratic Party in the United States. That’s a 66% multiplier affect on a subtle change to labeling. Will the New Democrats permit the more simplistic bigger tent renaissance?
The carbon tax is not selling well in Surrey. This is a federal Liberal and BC Liberal policy—difficult to sell in the suburbs of Metro Vancouver because of rising gas prices and the impact the carbon tax will have on those gas prices. This activity is not about to be interpreted by consumers as the impact of the market, from which consumers ought to be taking cues, but more as a rejection by drivers in Surrey who relate higher gas prices to a carbon tax, who have yet to receive their ‘revenue neutral’ evidence---and who have to file income taxes or other applications to ensure that the revenue is ‘returned’—too choppy and too busy to provide the policy with cause and affect when just the name –carbon TAX makes it a loser out of the gate.
Furthermore, there are approximately one quarter (an estimate) to one-third of Surrey residents who don’t buy into the global warming and as such are pretty quick to dismiss the carbon tax idea. Coupled with the many respondents who don’t think consumers should pay for the responsibilities of big business (polluter pay) ---that automobile manufacturers are partly responsible—and the carbon tax begins to many doubters to be “just another GST”.
Many BC Democrats simply see the carbon tax as retrogressive against the growing number of British Columbians who simply cannot afford to pay for ‘the sins’ of large corporations and polluters, especially when the policy comes from Gordon Campbell—a quasi liberal—who has been banished from the REAL Conservative club---and not from someone like Carole Taylor. To wit: Campbell can give Taylor the microphone on the carbon tax---or have Barry Penner cut lawns---and do handi-man save the environment stuff—but its still his government---and Campbell singing the carbon tax song simply pisses a lot of people off. Worse yet, Stephane Dion has taken the carbon tax issue from Campbell (or is in the process of taking it)---and may derive more benefit from it than Campbell is---simply based on the greater likelihood that Dion would actually support a carbon tax---whether you like it or not---it fits him well---but on Campbell looks like OJ’s glove.
If David Suzuki continues to be linked more to wealthy elite Liberals than grass root Greens in the environmental community---which appears more and more to be the case---I think he will become-in our opinion- like Bobby Lenarduzzi is to soccer in this town…over exposed, annoying, and unequivocally despised by his peers. The press must realize that you can’t keep going to the same ‘subject Santa Claus’ over and over-times change—it ultimately erodes credibility of the news and the ‘habitual hobo’s’ who are the object of the news.
(In Lenarduzzi’s case you have a first rate soccer name—the Whitecaps---in a second rate North American soccer league---wanting a first rate soccer stadium—when the fan base wants an NASL type team in the top North American league. The stadium problem is part of a basic problem of not having your PR ducks in a row---)
Not surprising-although there isn’t an absolute correlation, the same number of respondents in this ROBBINS Metro Surrey poll who perceive the 2010 Winter Olympics as “Very Important” or “Important” support the BC Liberal Party. The popularity of the 2010 Winter Olympics is now in part connected to the fortunes of the governing BC Liberal Party. There is without question a growing gulf of British Columbians—and in this case---Surrey residents—who see homelessness---a need for more resources in the community---who can actually “feel” the Olympics “sucking the money out of communities”---“a party for elites”---a new carbon tax for elites—etc.
In any event support for both is well under 50% and is sufficiently low to be fairly and legally classified as ‘minority support’. Surrey respondents see Gordon Campbell as ‘Vancouver centric’ sans empathy-- which is probably a fair perception given the fact that his main ‘political play’ is centered around the 2010 Olympic Games—and his desire to get Vancouver/Whistler ready—is (overall) negatively impacting on the likelihood that he can win a third term-no easy feat even with a populist (and popular) styled leader—which Gordon Campbell is not. Moreover, Gordon Campbell doesn’t have the reach in Surrey---he never really has---his “Mini-me Kevin Falcon (Jim-watch this guy—everything he does is Campbellian—every gesture every turn of the chin---same with Stewart---ahhh! Stepford husbands)—doesn’t control Surrey—and this poll reflects that if an election were held today---the BC Democrats would control all of the ‘Surrey’ provincial seats—with one being close/ and not Surrey White Rock. (With gerrymandering in Tri-Cities and Westwood Plateau moving to the new Burke Mountain riding---BC Liberal Iain Black caught between a rock and a hard place with a history of meanness on Children and Families and Poco’s Greg Moore’s wife worrying about losing the steady councillors paycheck for a pig in a poke run on Burke Mountain---the Tri-City area may also go all BC Democrat).
Are the BC Liberals actually heading for a walloping in 2009?
“Campbell and his developer friends get the Olympics-but they lose the province-that’s fair to me” says one Green supporter who sees the Olympics as ‘anti-Green’ AND who doesn’t support the carbon tax—which he says “once again favours the rich”. This anti-wealthy---sentiment—and the BC Liberals are linked to wealth—is growing among voters everywhere. If you own a home and it went up in value—the luster is beginning to wear off the ‘tax free’ benefits of equity increases---replaced by frustration that equity in the home is being to used to finance lifestyle—compounded further by higher oil prices, food prices etc. a new reality which is hurting everyone in the middle class and devastating people on the lower fringes of society—who are beginning to come to terms with the fact that BC Liberal government funding of social programs may be suffering in an effort to support the 2010 Olympics-and this is really making more people angrier.
This theme will be a common one in the next provincial election in British Columbia. The same sentiment is growing everywhere. It is growing in the United States, it is growing in Europe and it is growing right here in Canada. It isn’t a trend towards socialism or communism—terms significantly overused incorrectly in political discourse—what former U.S. President Bill Clinton referred to as “Communitarianism”-it is a trend in public opinion by the middle class particularly which says:
“I am not rich—I am not receiving these benefits the rich seem to get”---“I am not going to the Olympics-I cannot afford the tickets”---“why are we spending 2-300 hundred million dollars on a retractable roof for----what??—when it won’t even be ready for the Olympics.” “We’re no better than China---we can’t afford to feed our own people yet we’re spending all our money on a party for two weeks”. “The Olympics benefits everyone accept regular or poor people-I can’t imagine why anyone supports them.”
This sentiment is countered with BC Liberal supporters who say “I think the Olympics will be great for the province” or “everyone will do well because of the Olympics.” A majority of respondents in Surrey are NOW of the opinion the economy will move “DOWN”-while few are of the opinion that it is moving “UP”. However nearly as many respondents who think the economy is going down are of the opinion that it will stay the same. Respondents who predict the economy is moving “DOWN” oppose the carbon tax “as the best way to promote protecting the environment and reducing climate change”? Slightly less than one-third of total respondents support a carbon tax—either because they aren’t buying into the global warming arguments completely, don’t support anything that has the word “tax” in it----feel that alternatives are more appropriate---or are strongly opposed because it is retrogressive.
A ‘tougher economy’ has a direct impact-in ROBBINS opinion- on the number of people who DON’T believe in climate change arguments.
The carbon tax could have been better ‘pre-sold’ to independents—many of whom in the past---and in some current circles in the United States---still prefer a flat tax rate to reduce the complexities of tax regulation and to make tax “easier” or “fairer”. Poverty advocates are quick to mock the Liberal plan as “elitist” and “against the poor”.
Although some Green Party supporters from (question #1) support the carbon tax-this was offset by some BC Liberal Party supporters who either did not---or were “undecided”. The question provoked by this is---does the fact that some ‘Greens’ support the carbon tax necessarily mean there is a chance they will eventually vote for Gordon Campbell? Campbell’s move to the left was a nice try—but it is failing because too many British Columbians who might have believed his party---don’t believe him.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts doesn’t have to worry about any of this. She and Surrey city council have some very good approval numbers in this ROBBINS poll—and if politics is your business---this is a very good thing.
This is a random telephone sample of 725 respondents throughout the city of Surrey British Columbia between May 15, 2008 to May 22, 2008. This poll features a margin of error of 3.65% 19 times out of 20 with a 95% confidence rate. This poll was sponsored in Part by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398.
If you like our work at ROBBINS you can help. Please send any contributions to New Trend Optical/Glen P. Robbins 2550 B Shaughnessy Street Port Coquitlam B.C. V3C-3G2
*Jim Van Rassel is a member of MRIA Marketing Research and Intelligence Association/L'Association de la recherche et de l'intelligence marketing

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