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ZEUS poll- H.S.T. and more
British Columbia's first H.S.T. poll- We lead others follow  Aug 04, 2009

ZEUS poll-645 respondents (513 Q#8)-lower mainland of British Columbia including the Fraser Valley-between July 25, 2009-August 2, 2009. MOE 4.0%-Q#8 4.5%. Thanks to Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398 for 'In Kind' donation. H.S.T. question derived from July 24, 2009 Vaughn Palmer article Vancouver Sun newspaper.

Question #1
In the February 2005 Speech from the Throne, Premier Gordon Campbell and his second consecutive government spoke of achieving five Great Goals for a Golden Decade (an end date of 2015). Based on the following criteria for each of the five Great Goals in your opinion-have we achieved these goals NOW? “Yes” or “No” ----to make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent;
Yes    32 %
No    58 %
Question #2
-to strive to improve public health care and lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness
Yes    37 %
No    51 %
Question #3
-to build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk, and seniors;
Yes    21 %
No    68 %
Question #4
-to lead the world in sustainable environmental management, with the best air and water quality, and the best fisheries management – bar none;
Yes    24 %
No    65 %
Question #5
-to create more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada
Yes    38 %
No    46 %
Question #6
If a referendum were held on the federal G.S.T. would you vote to?
Keep the G.S.T.    34.50 %
Abolish the G.S.T.    42.50 %
Question #7
Do you support the new Harmonized Sales Tax in B.C., which includes both the G.S.T. (05%) and the P.S.T. (07%)? (total 12%), and will result in an increase in consumption taxes to British Columbians beginning next July 2010-- in exchange for a 1.6 billion dollar cash infusion from the federal government which the B.C. Liberal government can spend “any way that it sees fit.”
Yes    30.50 %
No    61.50 %
Question #8
Do you support the fact that the BC Liberal government has exempted motor fuel from the new H.S.T. tax policy?
Yes    40 %
No    42 %
Question #9
Which of the following limited choices BEST reflects your opinion of how to respond to difficult economic circumstances and potential deficit issues?
Smaller government    26.50 %
New taxes like the Harmonized Sales Tax    15.00 %
Reforms to health care and education    15.00 %
Invest in pro-active positive social programs in health and education    32.00 %
Undecided    12.50 %
Question #10
In Gordon Campbell’s first term as Premier from 2001-2005 he provided 2 billion dollars in tax cuts to British Columbia’s wealthiest people. Now with the upcoming Budget likely to be pinched on such files as health, education, and welfare, is it your opinion that B.C.’s wealthiest income earners should be taxed back the 2 billion in tax cuts they took in Gordon Campbell’s first term-- as a matter of fairness to other British Columbians when resources are scarce?
Yes    46.50 %
No    38.50 %
Commentary
We do not know for a fact if these respondents voted in the last election-(or ever)-although it is our belief that people who agree to answer the questions have at least some type of interest in the subject. In this poll, respondents were informed that the poll was about “taxation”. (38%) of potential respondents solicited to answer the questions—declined our offer.
(30.50%) of decided respondents are of the opinion that Gordon Campbell has achieved his objectives of 5 great goals at present. Over eight years and three provincial elections, Premier Gordon Campbell has obtained an average of (27%) of support of eligible voters. Our respondents are alleged to be (a) “B.C. citizens” and (b) “Old enough to vote in a provincial election”.
“Create more jobs per capita than anywhere else in Canada” (45% decided), and “Strive to improve private public health care and lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness” (42% decided) top public opinion. The former creates a more absolute goal and may be easier for respondents to quantify, while the latter permits more latitude “leading the way”. The overall anecdotal sentiment for us is that British Columbians are becoming more aware of potential health care deficiencies, particularly with the health care hurricane taking place in the United States—yet many other respondents chose to focus their attention on “healthy living and physical fitness.”
We hear this repeatedly from respondents who have moved to the province, “It’s the lifestyle.” “If you can’t be happy living here (B.C.) you will never be happy.” This sentiment from one respondent reinforces a positive point about the province, but long surgery delays, and other concerns British Columbians feel about Canada’s former great strength-- public health care-counter balance the positive with a more sober and circumspect opinion.
Certainly ZEUS numbers on health make those emitted from the government--- dubious at best. Can the same assumption be made for some corporations—did the economic trouble of the past year or so emerge in part as a consequence of false or misleading information from governments and corporations regarding consumer satisfaction?
We are willing to bet the answer is a resounding “Yes”. Our ability to define the political culture in B.C., Canada and the United States with unmatched accuracy—put’s us in a position to apply the same techniques—in the future to corporations and other organizations. Ironically, the most consistent inquiries made to our search site is for information about real estate in British Columbia----a lot of searches---
Buy a share and give us a call.
If the erosion in confidence in B.C.’s health care system and other social programs continues, then we believe the positive attributes that “healthy living” contributes to British Columbian's general sense of well being could be jeopardized.
The lowest respondent affirmation came on “Build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, special needs, children at risk, and seniors” (24% decided). These numbers may not change significantly under Gordon Campbell—as he has never had a reputation for being strong on ‘compassionate’ files. Second lowest great goal affirmation came from “To lead the world in sustainable environmental management, with the best air and water quality, and the best fisheries management – bar none” (27% decided). We expect the “bar none” language might have alienated a few respondents, but anecdotally those who selected “NO” either do not believe we will accomplish this by (Year 2015), don’t believe Gordon Campbell is a legitimate “environmentalist”, (or simply do not like the Premier and his government).
(36%) of decided respondents answered “Yes” to: “To make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent”. We suspect that some British Columbians operate on the assumption that their education system is “At least as good as anywhere else”, even though the standard in the question demands a goal of “Best educated most literate.” (55%) of decided respondents would abolish the G.S.T. Respondents answered this question swiftly and (we believe) honestly. The G.S.T. remains an unpopular tax. Some respondents who answered “No” did so because of their belief that even if the G.S.T. were abolished, it would be replaced with another type of tax—“Either way the government wants more of our money.”
One out of three decided respondents in question #7 supports the new Harmonized Sales Tax (based on two response possibilities not including Undecided). Only one in six decided respondents (17%) support the Harmonized Sales Tax among the four respondent choices offered in question #9, although one choice “Invest in pro-active positive social programs in health and education”, was in part ‘bait’. The number of respondents who select this response choice is double the number that supports the H.S.T. and Reform to health care and education.
Some respondents were discouraged by the terms of provision-- of the 1.6 billion payment to B.C. ---Liberals to spend “any way that it sees fit”.
Politically how will PM Stephen Harper reconcile his (29%) G.S.T reduction across Canada, with his government’s blatant part in B.C’s new, unpopular H.S.T? Will British Columbians come to accept this new tax over the next year, or will public disapproval grow with time? With two thirds of lower mainland respondents—against B.C.’s new H.S.T. and at least one in two ready to abolish the G.S.T.----will this impact negatively on the B.C. Liberal government—or spill onto Stephen Harper—with the former turning to the left as tax and spenders—and the latter --- possibly just a ‘taxer’ (did anyone other than big business get any help?)
With nearly (50%) of decided respondents supporting an H.S.T. exemption on motor fuel—the H.S.T. may not provide the political opportunity that those opposed it –first thought.
(55%) of decided respondents (question #8) are of the opinion that B.C.’s wealthiest should “Pay back” the 2 billion dollars in tax cuts Gordon Campbell provided them in his first term as government. A huge number-- when we consider there is a niche correlation in this poll among respondents who (a) would vote to abolish the G.S.T., (b) don’t support the new H.S.T. and (c) think B.C.’s wealthiest taxpayers should be taxed back 2 billion dollars.
Are wealthy people unloved by the masses? Could be jealousy---but this ZEUS poll suggests something deeper—a palpable anger---a hangover of deceit and apparent bad lies on stock exchanges—including some odious pay outs to executives-- who failed. Also, months and months of reporting in the news about corporate bail-outs—has British Columbians less than enamored with the jet set than ever before.
In B.C. politics it puts further downward pressure on the Campbell government. A solid majority are of the opinion that B.C.’s wealthiest benefited from a tax cut and now should pay that money back.
There is a collective of respondents who don’t support G.S.T. or H.S.T. who support “Invest in pro-active positive social programs in health and education” and who support our 2 billion claw-back from the wealthy “If that’s the benefit they received they should pay it back.”
The decided majority of respondents are saying “If Gordon Campbell wants to tax anyone it should be his rich friends.”
(36.50%) of decided respondents choose “Invest in pro-active positive social programs in health and education” (question #9) from four response choices (exclusive of undecided). This number reflects a (46%) increase over random of (25%--decided). (29.55%) of decided respondents select “smaller government” a response choice (18%--decided) over random.
In question #7 where only two response choices are offered and the random outcome is baseline (50%), the number of decided respondents who support the H.S.T. is (34%) below random.
Response choices “New taxes like the Harmonized Sales Tax” and “Reforms to health care and education” each garner (17%) of decided support---and (32%) under random. A discernable fraction of respondents who supported the H.S.T. and 1.6 billion -question #7 also support “Invest in pro-active positive social programs in health and education” question #9.
GPR-
It isn’t a surprise that respondents in this ZEUS poll do not support B.C.’s new Harmonized Sales Tax—(even though it has a more pleasant sounding name), however (49%) of decided respondents support the H.S.T. exemption on motor fuels.
British Columbians still loath the G.S.T.
British Columbians support a claw-back of 2 billion in tax cuts provided to the rich in Gordon Campbell’s first term (see robbinssceresearch.com).
Gordon Campbell performed reasonably well (relatively speaking) on his five great goals. To what extent will his new taxation additions—including the carbon tax and H.S.T. impact his legacy as a fiscal conservative—who traditionally oppose new taxes?
The Opposition B.C. NDP challenged the BC Liberals on the carbon tax then changed their mind. How will they respond to the H.S.T. and the federal 1.6 billion that comes with it—six months before the 2010 Olympics-with spending on social programs threatened? I believe the federal Conservative government looks good on the H.S.T. because it has previously cut the G.S.T. and are giving us 1.6 billion to spend how we like, which could mean many things to many people--pay down debt, ensure we don’t run a deficit, pump new dollars into health—poverty, the environment or the 2010 Olympics for example. There is only a small minority of respondents who say “Harper should be giving us the 1.6 billion dollars without the tax.”
What will federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff say about the H.S.T. if he sees any traction in protest of it---the other provinces are on board—that makes it a national interest(?) What will B.C. Opposition leader Carole James say? “Mr. Premier why have you exempted motor fuels from H.S.T.?”
Will another VIABLE political party other than B.C. Green rise to challenge the governing B.C. Liberals and B.C. NDP as a consequence of the new H.S.T. and other issues-- with so many British Columbians disengaging from the political process out of frustration?
Certainly 75 year old former premier Bill Vander Zalm can’t be expected to fill the vacuum on the centre right of the political spectrum (and elsewhere)—all of the time. Any new party has to have all of the goods—an organization of capable people—members, money—and a real leader---not just a program of rumpty dump hillbillies filling chairs and talking "nonsense"--,
Why the apparent interest in longtime Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer running to lead the B.C. Conservatives?

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