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The Citizens Assembly-A $10,000,000 distraction
  May 11, 2003

1,422 respondents in 79 ridings in British Columbia were contacted between April 26-May 7, 2003 regarding matters pertaining to political party support, on pressing issues for government, Citizens Assembly, views on Proportional Representation re political and electoral reform. This survey has an error rate of plus or minus 2.5% 19 times out of 20, at 98% competency rate.

Question #1
Which political party did you support in the last BC provincial election?
BC Liberals    55.3 %
NDP    20.63 %
Green Party    12.14 %
Question #2
If an election were held tomorrow in British Columbia, for which political party would you cast your vote?
BC Liberals    34.69 %
NDP    28.32 %
Green Party    10.25 %
Reform BC    9.83 %
Question #3
In your opinion, which of the following is the most pressing issue facing BC today?
Economy    39.12 %
Health    32.78 %
Education    15.42 %
Environment    6.64 %
Electoral Reform    4.35 %
Settlement of Land Claims    1.61 %
Question #4
In your opinion has Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals done a good job of managing the economy?
No    62.22 %
Yes    29.19 %
It's too early to tell    12.59 %
Question #5
In your opinion has Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals done a good job managing our health care system in British Columbia?
No    65.34 %
Yes    25.45 %
It's too early to tell    9.21 %
Question #6
The Citizens Assembly for electoral reform may cost anywhere from 3 million to ten million dollars. This is approximately the amount of money required to properly fund the Ombudsman Office, Freedom of Information (BC), Privacy Commissioner and Elections BC, all of which have been faced with significant budgetary cuts. In your opinion to which one of the following designations do you believe this money should be directed?
Former BC Liberal leadership candidate Gordon Gibson's 3 to 10 million-dollar Citizens Assembly for electoral reform    20.73 %
Ombudsman Office, Freedom of Information, Elections BC etc.    42.81 %
Feed the Poor, shelter the homeless    27.59 %
Question #7
If an election were held tomorrow in our province, for which of the following leaders and their parties would you cast your vote?
Gordon Campbell and BC Liberals    28.45 %
Joy McPhail and the NDP    27.28 %
Adrienne Carr and Green Party    12.45 %
Ron Gamble and Reform BC    9.41 %
Chris Delaney and Unity BC    6.51 %
Question #8
Which of the following statements best describes your opinion of British Columbia's major news, including newspaper, television, and radio?
I only believe half of what I read, see and hear    41.15 %
I generally accept the news in the media as accurate    27.15 %
I do not pay very much attention to the news    31.82 %
Question #9
Do you know in the political world what the term "first past the post" means?
No    86. %
Yes    14. %
Question #10
In your opinion, what is the minimum threshold of percentage vote during a provincial election that a political party should be required to achieve in order to be eligible for an appointment of seats by way of proportional representation in the legislature?
Zero to 5 per cent    2.34 %
6 to 10 per cent    11.28 %
11 to 15 per cent    21.76 %
16 to 20 per cent    55.14 %
Over 20 per cent    9.54 %
Question #11
In your opinion should a political party first have to succeed in winning at least one of BC's 79 political ridings, before it can be deemed eligible for an allocation of seats based on popular vote through proportional representation?
Yes    54.43 %
No    29.29 %
Commentary
The BC Liberals may see 30 per cent before they see 40 again, however it is early yet, and the BC Liberals still dominate 30 constituencies in BC and will contest another 25. The NDP vote is solid and most supporters have forgiven Leader Joy McPhail. Green vote is consistent and the more impressive results from May 2001 have settled down. No Green support in any riding exceeded 20 per cent. North and Interior Green around 7%. Reform is bubbling in North and Interior. The Chris Delaney party threatens to encroach on BC Liberal support in Lower Mainland where BC Liberals and NDP will go at each other in 16 ridings. If Reform can match Unity growth in Lower Mainland then May 2005 is anyone's guess.
BC Liberal leadership is unimpressive, but despite awkward performance, polling numbers reveal the situation is still salvageable, particularly if forestry deal arrives soon. Communications remains most obvious problem.
Cutting funding to democratic institutions like the Ombudsman Office and Freedom of Information(amongst others) while funding Gibson et al is inexcusable to respondents.
Public has no idea of the nuances surrounding present electoral system.
British Columbians believe that one conventional seat plus 15-20 per cent of popular vote equals expectation of proportional representation in the legislature. Only BC Liberals and NDP are certain to meet requirements. NDP can only grow from Green, and Green from NDP. Green can't win this battle without higher profile.

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