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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics September 19, 2008
  Sep 19, 2008

A strategic sampling of 540 ‘voters’ across Canada-these have been acquired approximately in accordance with population distribution and adjusted for gender—where Undecided is considered a valuable response identification. For scientific purposes—one might be able to argue that there is a low margin of error for this designation of response contact and plus or minus may be (4.0%) But a jury of ‘voters’ who are willing to readily take polls may not always be part of a random scientific picture—it may be more impressive from which to score results from keen participants. On balance I would bet that these scores would match up—all things being relatively equal---to a scientific sampling of larger numbers of respondents of 1,150 respondents where the margin of error is approximately 2.75% to 3.0% where 2.5% is applied to questions 1 and 2—and 3.0% on the subsequent questions. I would bet that this would apply 21,850 times out of 23,000 times.

Question #1
Which party did you support in the last general federal election? (540 respondents who “vote”, and whose voting patterns we have reasonably patterned with all privacy laws respected)
Conservatives- (187)    34.5 %
Liberals- (165)    30.5 %
NDP- (102)    17.5 %
Green-(28)    05 %
Bloc- (78)    09 %
Question #2
If an election were held tomorrow for which leader and party would you vote? (Adjusted for question 1 results). (Leader and Party results based on 100%).
Stephen Harper and Conservatives-(148)    37 %
Stephane Dion and Liberals- (105)    26.5 %
Jack Layton and NDP- (81)    20.5 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc-(34)    8.5 %
Elizabeth May and Green-(32)    08 %
Undecided- (141)    35 %
Question #3
Which of these election issues is most important to you right now?
Economy    52 %
Health Care    23 %
Crime    16 %
Environment    15 %
Education    14 %
Average Undecided on ‘issues’ question    17 %
Question #4
Which leader and party are best suited to battle on behalf of Canadians over these issues? (1st place outcome based on 100% total)
Economy-Stephen Harper and Conservatives    46 %
Health Care-Jack Layton and New Democrat    33 %
Crime-Stephen Harper and Conservatives    48 %
Environment-Stephane Dion and Liberals    33 %
Education-Liberal- (29%), NDP-(28%)     %
Average Undecided on ‘best suited’ question    19 %
Commentary
The general federal election in Canada is currently about voter migration based on policy announcements and measured by the extent that Canadians have engaged themselves based on this modest but strategically sampled ROBBINS poll. The Liberals are having difficulty because they got out of the gate slowly—and haven’t hit stride although Dion performed better this week than last. Their alleged allies-/ the Greens are bleeding the Liberals with nearly one half of that parties total gains originating from the Liberals. How does Stephane Dion return these to his side of the ledger or are they gone for good? His party tops the charts with the environment but the New Democrats can see them in their sights-and the Greens have a presence-with the Bloc strong as well. Liberal supporters—these ones—are certainly for Stephane Dion’s Green Shift in a majority-no question. The Liberal gamble to bring in ‘my back pages’ including the man many Canadians are longing for--- Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff---//if Dion can rise continue to rise up as he has to date---and than hook into his Team—he could rage forward—but you can’t manufacture this buzz—it has to prove real—in depth.
Conservatives presently hold (79%) of ‘voters’ from previous election.
Voted by Canadians-- Canada’s Best all time love song—“In View” -Tragically Hip-age 16-52.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion needs to keep his eyes on (30%) national public support total-- as a realistic goal and a very good achievement for an election total. If efforts improve and at a faster pace—who knows. I’m not about to rule out anything with high Undecideds—these are Out of this World—in a more moderate, more intense-- jury of ROBBINS respondents. Dion’s gains are by half points-if any, at this time—however progress not perfection and day to day patient work and party discipline will help. If Dion runs a near perfect campaign as he did this week, all other things being equal (as they say) -- in this type of race if it remains constant— during this fairly significant warm up period-- he will achieve Paul Martins totals. With a lot of luck and circumstances coming out just right-- anything can happen. Canadians are quietly holding their noses—but sufficiently sensitive to these sobering times—to be taking a deep, deep breadth before they sink all their franchise investment into this humbling affair scheduled for October 14, 2008.
Liberals hold (64%) of ‘voters’ from previous election.
I think Canadians will take Harper right now/// push-- come to---- shove—no matter gaffes etc., even as a "one man band"—if that is the prevailing perception of this weeks play—it doesn’t matter folks—I expect when it is all said and done this Canadian election will heat up real slow in the next week—burn a little even---week after--- starts the sizzle—debates need to be compelling to the viewer-the most interested of us.
We must become one country for our own self preservation. We have a troubled friend to the south, the United States of America---sometimes we are shy of all that power—but at our core—particularly following the second world war—we have really been great friends. We need to tell our best ally—Britain too—that we won’t go short over our Arctic sovereignty---we need to get our law schools churning out brilliant International lawyers—who specialize in this area of law—for our Artic interests. We are going to tie every strategic decision—international decision-in global negotiations-to our Arctic interests—we will affirm with the world—how we are in Afghanistan—sensational people. Anyhow-.
The NDP are taking votes from Conservatives, Liberals, Bloc and even the Green. They are gaining—by little bites. Minority bleeding from Conservatives in suburban/rural demographic—and flecks of Green vote is coming to the Canadian New Democrats (CNDY) from that demographic as well. Greens are replacing those lost from suburban/rural with urban votes—but overall the two bottom English parties are gaining. Where the NDP is going to matter—and possibly--// Significantly is in-Quebec. Do not take your eyes off this province if you want to properly handicap this election. The voter demand for economic sense—typifies a Canadian response to crisis. Find out exactly where you are---but watch the pennies and dimes.
The flip side of this is however-you People We elected take a lot of our money—so don’t cut social programs we like—or get some of the oil and bank profits back into the treasury to help pay for them. No more enable the corporate stiffs on Bay Street—tell me the truth. If the Prime Minister gets tied up right and tight with big business maybe he might confront some challenge on the economy—but as it is—even with two weeks of apologies and gaffes by party members—Prime Minister Harper still has his lead. If I were he I would try to avoid another week just like this last one—or something’s going to break. (Tribute to Pearl Jam).
Canadian New Democrats ® hold (79.5%) of ‘voters’ from previous election.
Moreover, I don’t want to see the news going Randy White (2004 election). Tell us the news that occurs during the election cycle—not something you’ve kept under wraps from three weeks or three months ago—simply to knock a party off stride. Journalistic tradition dictates this is not news any more. It may be evidence in support of fresh news—but otherwise these White/Ritz things bring both the general media and those other individuals involved into serious disrepute. I didn’t like this deal with Ritz—//no-one looks good here—no-one. It was language unbecoming of an elected member if he uttered the words. Ritz is a class act-he should resign. Ultimately he will be loved for this by those who matter most to him—and that isn’t a small number of Canadians----Senator Ritz? I’ll back it.
The Conservatives have taken support from the last election from the Liberals and Bloc primarily.
The Liberals are getting squeezed by the NDP—and a little by the Green-but my numbers in Quebec for the Liberals (18%) are the same as the New Democrats in that province-the Bloc is (30%) as are the Conservatives. It is my professional opinion as the most accurate pollster in the world-- that both Conservatives and New Democrats are doing well in Quebec—at least the Conservatives have a decent hold for a good run—frankly, and I know this is a rant—but Harper did well for that province, he was a good steward of the nation in this regard and ought to be recognized for the same-and this base support hold true.
For some odd reason I don’t personally want to see Gilles Duceppe leave (I know cuz I’m a protestor)—though I am not a great study of his party---I certainly know his party—and I have watched him for years. I say Gilles Duceppe sells more seats. Politics make strange bedfellows—but this deal is potentially in the best interest of all concerned—with both Canada and Quebec benefiting from the deal that is. (Super Trouper-ABBA—Mama Mia gets the Oscar eh?)
Gilles Duceppe has (43.5%) of ‘voters’ from previous election.
The Green is proving the spoiler for the Liberals and indirectly the Conservatives and NDP, as they take predominantly from Liberals and some from Conservatives and NDP. The rise of the NDP and Green parties’ public support is keeping Harper et al from moving across the 40% standard of public support. Will Canadians eventually just give in and give him his majority? Not this week. Ritz has brought old school Reformer and Alliance from the mountains—and they will fight for him---Harper’s advantage. He apologized very well—everyone says he’s a good guy—what’s the real story. He’s competent in his portfolio—where are all the complaints? There is a breed of Canadian male—like Ritz who has a heart of gold---and was being ‘back home kidding around’-it sound asinine and it is—but that’s how it was in small towns growing up in Canada. We kids from smaller towns and such—know sometimes you are prone to foolishness—even as mature adults. In the context of the sadness of the circumstance—this is a place where we should accommodate some fairness, some consideration and see if we can reconcile it. Its better politics for Ritz to resign—and let the media and others who baked this up—take the heat. (Even ‘real men’ can martyr from time to time).
This period of coverage saw a week of promises coming from New Democrats, Liberals and Green party leaders. The warm sensation of social windfalls is a delicious elixir to weary Canadians who are a little worried—at least circumspect—witnessing an epic battle to avoid financial catastrophe in the United States-- and either ‘know’ or sense that this could befall us too.
For this reason Harper—who has already dished out his sweets—got to be Peter Prudent with his angst over the spending spree by the other parties. This is primarily what made his week above average rather than simply rotten—this and his well targeted and less grandiose promises.
With his cabinet minister Ritz stripped of his honest pride by a serpentine bureaucratic link over some very stupid and unprofessional comments---this element of the Conservatives’ week notwithstanding the appropriate actions and apologies by Ritz-- could have been a 3 point fall for Conservatives---considering Canadians aren’t absolutely so in love with them that the can easily afford these gaffes. However Harper got politically lucky and sounded careful, cautious but supremely confident—a very solid role as leader of a nation-- which is consistent with the way Canadians are feeling. Conservatives own the better ‘shrink’ this week—I presume that a treasury chalk full of booty may have something to do with that.
Canadians need reassurance about health care—they need reassurance about our financial markets---and about our banks. We need disclosure about the total participation and exposure Canadian financial institutions have with the mortgage crisis in the United States—and this has to come out completely and professionally—so Canadians can measure information from this discussion in order to assess how they want to move forward and which leader and party is best able to deliver on the priorities. Manipulation of time for pure politics, and greed at great cost to taxpayers, consumers and of course—citizens is proving costly//my sources tell me that the United States has deals in the works that involve international funds—naturally Canada’s already in—where-- we have to ensure United States solvency and renewed vigor within 6 months or the whole potato explodes. If this can be accomplished successfully with diplomacy, grace, good sense-smart politics I am certain the energy alone required to meet this challenge would not in and of itself fuel a new economic world engine. Let’s get everyone in the world in the game--! Be sensible but do we really need to help these people—I am a humanist—but I understand this war from a completely strategic and Machiavellian perspective—but for war for safety—I don’t know. I think these people don’t like strangers of other religions-not like their own on their land. The histories are so long. I sure hope we start working deals around here—so we can all move on—something for everybody though. (Idealism over Realism) (Respectfully to Senator John McCain—a person I greatly admire and respect).
Whatever paper China had to eat or is going to eat—if it is not large—in any event some of the trillion has got be forgiven---say (22%). China can take back another $220 billion in United States backed paper—. Russia takes 100 billion in paper and U.S./ Poland and former Soviet Republics like Ukraine along with EU ensure safety but give Russia some relief over missile sites ‘in their old territory’ your messing with their heads and the Russians are still serious players on the International stage. Russia has significant resources and is rocking and rolling. Did you know that Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world?
Naturally the EU needs to anti up and take some paper. If the United States funds another $400,000,000,000 on top the total proceeds for efforts to properly and effectively consolidate all financial markets—and than wrap them—but not so tight you throw the baby out with the bath water—but this time is all has to be addressed---the greatest country in the world—needs to learn from its mistakes—notwithstanding the rationale for the game. Ultimately—with the economies of scale—and pace the world requires to properly sustain itself---and deal with ravages of excess of mankind—we are going to be required to make sure, smart and symmetrical—financial deals with one another.
Stop short selling for a period of 3 months. With the understanding that after that 3 months—new regulations will then be in place which would compel all publicly trading companies to maintain liquidity in the market at values which can be justified by properly reported news releases and other statutory financials. Like the start of a race---after a caution. Specific firms-should not be able to sell short and long. Specific government short sell brokerage should be policy. This element of regulation would work well with the aforementioned regulations ---the tightening up of reporting particularly with financials. This gentle prodding of a world more united economic Giant would stoke the next generation of genius—as better trained minds will be in more demand—
but we will need a larger segment of society—by vast measure—at least a full 70% of the world with a suitable humane existence-a life style where fear is not an ingredient in any day of one’s life—-----within 15 years from now. This better trained minds (Robbins) theory has to be investigated-spend some money here—I really believe that education and other training—with Canada being the best—I mean dream big here. Let’s fund these Universities—let’s spawn a Canadian showcase series—really nice—on Canada’s Universities and Colleges—where a specific television station like CBC—can keep these on consistently even if it’s Saturday afternoon. Why not five election debates over the next three weeks at five different Universities in Canada, with one of these at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia? Do my wife Ita and I get a ticket?
Canadians, particularly those over 50 love the look of colleges—real colleges and college life. Stoke up from the ground, national accreditation oversight—not insanity---in consultation with provincial jurisdiction which is the main oversight---push for colleges to be great and Universities will properly rise to take their appropriate place in the hierarchy of excellent education. When you deepen the level of culture that is educated and has knowledge—the faster the culture moves toward a sense of nirvana—ironically addressed herein—with deference to its source--- for dreaming.
Respectfully, I sincerely believe the Americans will need another $850,000,000,000 (on top of Franny and Freddie and AIG) to wrap this part of the project up nice and tight. Let’s say this deal cost one trillion. I can honestly say no matter what some of the public may say about George W. Bush—through all of this—what I actually see is a guy who I would love to ‘watch’ play Texas hold’em.. Amazing.
One can readily see why the Europeans are so keen on Kyoto----/ they don’t possess oil. The EU cannot be seen through the lens of altruism-- given their predilection to permit India and China to remain out of global environmental deals. No matter, the environment is dropping as a priority in Canada and the United States. Any guesses? The other side of this is that the EU has evolved albeit slowly into a rather good functioning system—and this is important. Europe has its problems with war simply because of unbridled power growth. Many nations, changing kingdoms—a power evolution that exploded. Same pent up emotion coupled with difficulties with immigration make Europe a potential Powder keg, so this is why the furor over the new intellectual exercise that threatens the world. Europe wants to be seen as the scientific Capital of the World—Kyoto fits the model. Let’s see where we can work out difference after working through this financial difficulty.
I would like economic relations to prevail among (particularly) Canada, The United States, Russia and China. A 'Quadra' lateral organization promoting economic, social, and environmentally sound economic growth. Get the capitalists-- and other major financial players in the bureaucracy, not lobbyists—but integrate the science—and ensure the binding trust (particularly with technology and property on the business side, and environment, education, health and humanities on the other side), of all nations in this organization. Should Australia be in— How about South Korea—Japan? while I’ll leave that to you
So although Stephen Harper was cherry on his timing-(good to be lucky)—he JUST got through the last week ‘pretty much’ unscathed. Stephane Dion has been able to talk about what he wants to do—is getting warmed up—let’s see how this playz out over the following week.
Jack Layton is coming around nicely—he is more confident—and where he isn’t perfect all the time—he is intelligent, likeable—and certainly trustworthy. Just how good is his policy platform insofar as costs are concerned? The Canadian New Democratic Party) is the National Standard for Health Policy (N.S.H.P.) in Canada’s history—and deservedly so.
Good luck private health care in Canada.
The Green Party unveiled their program to a small group of supporters—. I don’t believe that bona fide support for the Greens is as high as other mainstream Canadian pollsters are (sometimes) representing—I don’t think they have double digits
Greater scrutiny of Green bona fides in terms of real candidates (are there any paper candidates?), finances etc. This is important particularly when we consider there are reports that the New Democrats are spending five times the amount of money on advertising and promotion in Quebec alone/that’s aggressive my brother—and the Liberals are short money. The Conservatives are ‘loaded’—and although money isn’t the end all be all in politics—it will certainly matter over the course of the campaign particularly when voters begin to sink their teeth into this.
Money may not necessarily win this election, but if it is a strong undercurrent in influencing the outcome—than I think the Conservatives are tickled pink.
The Green Party has (114%) of ‘voters’ from previous election totals.
(I really have to wonder if mainstream pollsters are actually calling British Columbia). I KNOW they are—the way Port Moody (high concentration of wealth)-parks//right on the ocean-- B.C. is screaming blue murder over a recent Harris Decima survey in their small-almost cosmopolitan town relating to a poll financed by BC Hydro for a proposed waste conversion plant in the city.
The amazing city councillors in that city ripped the poll to shreds///there is a well respected statistician from Simon Fraser (my alma mater) University///nice job-/ elected people. Port Moody isn’t Springfield—it’s awfully nice though. Federal Liberals have a ceiling of about 28% historically in this province—Dion isn’t as popular as he desires to be-- at this point in time and the provincial Liberals at the end of two terms are not popular with the voters. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives in BC get ‘hurt’ as a consequence as they are perceived to be the two major elements in that provincial party). And the NDP at 18% federally—while we have them at 33%. Make a note of this disparity---.
Canadians are not engaged in this election yet-- the Undecided rate is increasing-- not decreasing. Secondly, Canadians—many Canadians are looking with intensity at their own financial situation relative to events in the financial markets—or they are distracted by the almost hyperbolic events in the United States where a very intense and entertaining election is taking place, and Herculean bi-partisan efforts have been undertaken to stave off financial disaster-which could ultimately impact on Canadian markets—Canadians—voters. The intensity with which Canadians are paying attention to this election at this stage is really quite low. Don’t be alarmed—Canadians are going to engage—and best chunk of these respondents are paying pretty close attention already.
Stephane Dion and Jack Layton were on a shopping spree this week in the midst of near financial ruin on major U.S. markets—with Canada likely not far behind had the U.S. response not been so swift and bold—there was no other choice. This reveals a complete lack of understanding of economics and prudent fiscal management which at least Stephen Harper is currently portraying—and this is when this poll was conducted.
ROBBINS was ‘musing’ about these possibilities weeks ago in our polls. Who in the Liberal and New Democrat party was considering this when the platforms were being developed? You’re permitted to revise your platforms you know?
The trend from two ROBBINS polls is that the Conservatives are hovering but are below majority status—have stumbled a little but Harper is holding. The Liberals are better than their weak start but will not realize 5% and 7% points gains in provinces like Ontario where the economy is not as strong as it has been—a climate where voters are inclined to be far more circumspect-in their self interest—and this is fair—this is how it has worked in the past—it served its purpose//the west want in dude. “Where’s the Senate Reform”? “Where are my property rights you promised me Mr. Harper?” asks ROBBINS co-hort and all the talk for Coquitlam city council Jim Van Rassel—‘The Dutch Terminator’. Yes, you’ve kept some promises, but you’re a man of your word—why didn’t you keep all of your promises—you have had a minority for quite some time?”
Mr. Van Rassel is predicting his party will win a Super Minority on October 14, 2008.
Mr. Dion in our opinion has a long, long way to go for 30%--there are far more centre left voters considering Mr. Dion against Jack Layton than Mr. Dion against Stephen Harper. Although Mr. Dion has brought out his Team—as contrast to Mr. Harper’s---efforts—Mr. Dion’s Team is a virtual line-up of a supporting cast who- individually—may--- actually- be—a- better-- choice for leader than he.
Watch out for Layton-------$$$$$$$$$.
Glen P. Robbins

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