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Does the democratic deficit encourage terrorists?
  May 24, 2006

This is a random sampling of respondents in areas described in the poll as part of a representation of provincial public opinion, which is reasonably satisfied in both areas of study. This public opinion poll was conducted between May 10th and May 22nd, 2006. This is a self-described ‘single blind’ study wherein 482 respondents were collected from SCE Research and Glen P. Robbins collected 100 personally. The margin of error reflected in this poll is consistent between both entities. This poll features a margin of error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20 @98% competency. This poll was sponsored in part by an individual residing in (the suburbs) of Vancouver who donated $100 to the Conservative Party of Canada.

Question #1
Which BC political party to do trust the most right now?
BC Liberals    41 %
BC NDP    37.5 %
BC Green    12 %
BC Conservative Party    8.5 %
Question #2
According to reports, the BC Liberal government has exceeded its promised budget of $600 million for the 2010 Winter Olympics by approximately $100 million. The BC Liberal government has indemnified the City of Vancouver against any cost overruns associated with the 2010 Winter Games beyond the $600 million. This means that British Columbians other than those living in the City of Vancouver will ‘foot the bill’ for the remaining $100 million or more. In your opinion is this a fair approach taken by the BC Liberal government regarding the 2010 Winter Olympic budget as it concerns all British Columbians?
Yes    36 %
No    64 %
Question #3
In your opinion how would you characterize Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal government with respect to health care?
I think Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals are doing a very good job on the health file    37.5 %
I don’t think Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals are doing a very good job on the health file    49.5 %
I am unsure/uncertain    12 %
Question #4
Former Social Credit Cabinet Minister and longtime Reform, Canadian Alliance and federal Conservative MP John Reynolds is having a retirement party in two weeks which will be attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other Members of Parliament from British Columbia. This retirement party surrounds speculation that John Reynolds make seek the leadership of the BC Conservative Party in an attempt to become Premier of British Columbia in 2009 representing the West Vancouver Whistler riding which is holding the 2010 Olympics. In your opinion do you think that John Reynolds former Chair of the elect Stephen Harper campaign during the last general federal election would make a good Premier for British Columbia?
Yes    20.5 %
No    50.5 %
Undecided    29 %
Question #5
Which political party in BC do you ‘most support’ at this moment in time?
BC Liberals    37 %
BC NDP    33 %
BC Conservatives    19.5 %
BC Green    10.5 %
Question #6
Of the following (3) political leaders in BC at this moment in time, who do you have more confidence in?
Gordon Campbell, Leader of the BC Liberal Party, and Premier of BC    35 %
Carole James, Leader of the BC NDP, and Leader of the Opposition    33 %
John Reynolds, proposed leader of the BC Conservative Party    19 %
None of these    13 %
Question #7
In your opinion which of the following concerns you the most?
Global Warming    32 %
Global Terrorism    37 %
Neither    31 %
Facts (and Inferences): In this survey of Olympic regions involving Vancouver, and West Vancouver/Squamish/Whistler (“Olympic region”) as well as a ‘significant cross-section’ of suburbs outside Vancouver including Tri-City, Surrey, Burnaby (“the suburbs”), we recognize that the BC Liberals have a slight advantage in public support on the “trust” issue from (Q#1) over the BC NDP. The BC Liberals average (41%), while the BC NDP averages (37%). The NDP average for Vancouver/West Vancouver/Squamish/Whistler pulls the BC NDP average down slightly; although the average for the BC NDP in Vancouver (higher population) remains approximately what is was after the most recent provincial general election.
There can be no doubt that both the BC Liberals and BC NDP are strong in the City of Vancouver (pop. 550,000) but both are weaker in (“the suburbs”) (total pop. from this poll approx. 750,000) with the BC Liberals clearly the weaker of the two. The region of West Vancouver City (41,000), Squamish (15,000), and Whistler (10,000) represents a diverse type of voter with a leaning toward right of center parties in West Vancouver, higher ‘relative’ NDP totals in Squamish, and a more progressive voter balance in Whistler. Residents of Vancouver B.C own approximately 40% of the properties in Whistler. These regions are not only important for their geographic considerations (demographic), they also ‘most fairly’ proximate general attitudes toward Question #2 on the 2010 Winter Olympic bid.
Vancouver is the host city, which is indemnified from Olympic cost overruns. West Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler are all key players in a region in which the Games are being held (or traveled through), and an area where John Reynolds has been elected, particularly most recently as an MP. He is now scheduled to retire at a huge gala in downtown Vancouver this week. Without John Reynolds would Canada have obtained a Conservative government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper?
These numbers can be measured against provincial demographic averages from areas including this poll and the rest of the province which suggests that all things being relatively equal the province supports BC Liberals (53.3%) while supporting BC NDP (46.7%) (Adjusted). This suggests that the BC Liberals ought to average (all other things being relatively equal) (6.6%) more in popular support than the BC NDP in the province. In this poll the BC Liberals fall short of that benchmark by (2.5%). This is a clear sign that BC Liberal supporters to pay attention to this poll and not necessarily dismiss it because it isn’t what they want to hear.
This is an important consideration when we factor in the 2010 Olympic question and further understand that in previous ROBBINS polls relating to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (particularly) we found that ‘real support’ for the Games diminished in relative terms the greater the distance one traveled from Vancouver or Whistler to other points in the province. Although it is true the province is booming and this is exciting. It is true that it isn’t all to the BC Liberals credit. However it is also true that most of the credit for this wonderful turnaround is to the credit of Premier Campbell and his BC Liberals. However, the BC Liberals took a lot of this credit in the 2005 election and may not be able to ‘ride that horse’ again in 2009.
This serves to advance an emerging political hypothesis as it relates to Question #2. What is an interesting corollary to Question #2 is the fact that in this ROBBINS poll those respondents who were less inclined to want the Banks and Credit Union to ‘pay a fine’ for overcharging customers were also FAR more inclined to believe the BC Liberals were being “fair” with respect to 2010 cost overruns. This isn’t to suggest these respondents are wrong in their thinking. It simply means that those who are going against the trend on these two questions are mostly BC Liberal supporters. They are supporters of the status quo as it were and understand that all things cannot be equal at all times they can only attempt to strive for mostly equal. It points out however that respondents when encountered one at a time will often express a deep-seated desire for fairness no matter what and may not necessarily go along with the status quo. Does this thinking change at voting time?
In (Q#2) the subject of 2010 cost overruns reflects a significant ‘dip’ in support for the BC Liberal side of the equation as (36%) of respondents believe the cost overruns to be “fair”. However (63%) do ‘NOT’ believe that it is “fair”. Not surprisingly, the difference in opinion in (the suburbs) is much different than the opinion in the (Olympic region) on the subject of 2010. This is an overriding economic issue, which as it stands may hurt the BC Liberals provincial popular support over the next three years.
On health care (Q#3) (43.0%) of ‘decided’ respondents believe the BC Liberals are doing “a very good job” while (57.0%) believe that they are ‘NOT’ doing “a very good job.” These numbers are actually pretty good for the BC Liberals, as they have taken considerable heat on Emergency Rooms, some of it driven by doctors looking for a raise, but much of it based on fact. Correcting the problem may adjust these numbers upward for Premier Campbell’s party unless the public has an entrenched bias against the BC Liberals on health questions.
Approximately (28%) of decided voters (Q#4) believe John Reynolds, one of the chief architects of the Stephen Harper federal election win, would “make a good Premier for British Columbia.” After introducing him into the question mix we ask respondents “which (sic) party they most support at this moment in time”, we find that the BC Liberals average is down to (37%), a drop of (04%) from the ‘trust’ question (#1). The BC NDP drops to (33%), a drop of (04%). The Green Party support drops from (12.5%) to (10.5%) however the latter average is based on a significant decrease in Green Party support in (the suburbs), with a corresponding increase in the (Olympic region), suggesting that the Green party support is in part a protest in the (the suburbs), and becoming more acceptable in wealthier areas like West Vancouver. Mr. Reynolds is a powerful political presence (and a heck of an intimidating personal presence). Where former Conservative (SC) Premier Bill Vander Zalm will knock anyone over (and I mean anyone) with his charisma (its like Oil in northern BC, it never stops), John Reynolds is absolute straight-ahead power.
In addition, the “I don’t trust any of them” from (Q#1) which averaged (23%) plummeted down by (35%) to (15%) after Mr. Reynolds is introduced into the polling culture. Lastly, the ‘undecided’ drops from approximately (15.5%) to (12%) between Q#1 and Q#5. To many Reform Conservatives, John Reynolds was the driving force in getting rid of the federal Liberals and installing Stephen Harper. These British Columbians are still crying tears of joy today.
In Q#1 the combined BC Liberal-BC Conservative support is (50%) of the total (not adjusted). In Q#5 the combined BC Liberal-BC Conservative support is (56.5%) (not adjusted), an increase in (13%) overall for ‘centre-right’ support. Conversely, the center-left support of (50%) (not adjusted) in Q#1 drops to (43.5%) or a drop of (13%). The overall benefit that “John Reynolds” provides to center right BC provincial parties is (26%) with a net benefit of (13%) (Both not adjusted). This is a fact that cannot be overlooked when you consider the polling culture herein, and other major factors that will come into play by 2009.
The BC Conservative Party benefits by (11%) once the possibility of John Reynolds becoming the party leader is introduced into the context of the polling questions. Mr. Reynolds brings the vast majority of this increase by himself by adding respondents to the provincial political stage, and moving many ‘undecided’ into play. By introducing Mr. Reynolds through the question mix as this specifically relates to “voter trust” (Q#1) and “most support” (Q#2), Mr. Reynolds decreases net BC Liberal “support” ‘directly’ by less than (02%) while ROBBINS believes that the 2010 Olympic Question (Q#2) decreases BC Liberal “support” by a SIMILAR amount. At the same time, the BC NDP who as provincial Opposition do not have the ‘same stake’ in the questions asked as the BC Liberal government, drop (03%) through the same framework of questions asked. Naturally, John Reynolds inclusion in the political culture is pushing the BC NDP away from the middle of the political spectrum. It is folly to believe that Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals will do this on their own.
(18%) of BC NDP support, also supports Federal Liberals. (44%) of Federal Liberals support BC Liberals. (45%) of BC Liberals support Federal Conservatives. (03%) of Federal Greens support BC NDP after former Conservative election Chair John Reynolds is introduced in Q#4. With John Reynolds as Conservative leader, there is oil and gas coming from offshore Prince Rupert! Without him, given the present political climate and other inferences from this poll, there likely isn’t.
Commentary-Charge cards associated with lending institutions have already lost one court battle relating to the fact that they are charging interest on purchases even before they have paid the vendor/business for those same purchases. This means that on day one when the purchase is made the charge cards are charging interest, yet they may only provide the payment on day 3, 4, 5 or possibly later. Charge cards used at pay at the pump gas outlets compel Charge Card companies to put a hold on a minimum amount, say $75.00 or $100.00 even if the gas purchase is only $20.00.
Concerns are being raised that even though the purchaser did not use the entire $100.00 credit amount deducted, they may still be paying interest (up to 24% effective interest annually) nonetheless until such time as the vendor (the gas pump) submits the receipt for purchase. In this ROBBINS question we discover that big banks are ripping off Canadians tens if not hundreds of millions of dollar in overcharges on pre-authorized payment. ROBBINS estimates that in all these interest gouges and other overcharges are ripping off consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. Industry Canada won’t do anything about this simply because over a decade they have become the proverbial ‘mustang ranch’ of Liberal political oversight. This is another area of federal jurisdiction, which could use some accountability. Is this your area David?
Remember ROBBINS first found 1.5-2.0 billion dollars in Canada Customs and Revenue ‘rip-offs’, Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser found 6 billion.
Around one-third of respondents are most concerned with global warming as compared to global terrorism. Slightly more than one third are concerned with global terrorism and nearly one third are not concerned with either. Here is what is interesting. Nearly 70% of respondents from (the suburbs) who chose, “I don’t trust any of them” in Q#1 also answered that they ‘were not concerned with either global warming or global terrorism.’ These respondents also often responded positively to the inclusion of John Reynolds. Conversely, those respondents in Vancouver, West Vancouver/Squamish/Whistler who also supported an existing provincial party ALSO are concerned with either global warming or global terrorism.
We also have enough information from other polls relating to the popularity of other voting formats, and in this poll on the relative limitations put on BC voters by the limited political choices offered, when other more compelling options are available to us. When arguably only one half of the (86%) of voters who vote for BC Liberal or BC NDP would very likely accept minority government, does this mean that only one out of four eligible voters are happy with their choice AND one out of eight (12.5%) truly happy with the choice?
The expectations of the people are fast outrunning the ability of political leaders to properly satisfy them. The trend toward smaller voter turnouts in provincial and municipal elections (particularly) given the quality of democratic leadership is ghastly. (No wonder the terrorists feel they have an opportunity eh)? In this ROBBINS poll it would seem that one out of 2 respondents (mostly Conservative and new democrat and liberal would agree-Question ‘D’). The problem we have with our democracy is that the current relationship between politicos and the media only calls for a reasonable ‘look’ to democracy. With the majority of respondents in this poll being concerned with global warming and global terrorism, and many of these respondents being both federal and provincial NDP and Liberal supporters doesn’t it make better sense to ‘open up’ the democratic stage and make a concerted effort to increase voter turnout, rather than ‘close it’ to ensure to election of one of two pre-determined political parties for the benefit of those who control them and who benefit from their election?
It would have been in BC’s (and the countries) best interest to hold the STV vote during the 2008 municipal elections. Never mind the logistical excuse which we simply don’t buy. Mr. Reynolds by augmenting voter interest, and as a consequence increasing the political spectrum, decreases the heretofore two main coefficients, namely the BC Liberal and BC NDP parties, by approximately (2-3%) each. Moreover, Mr. Reynolds increases overall support for ‘center right’ parties in the provincial political environment by nearly (25%-gross) simply because he is adding more credibility and more choice into the provincial equation by raising the profile of provincial politics, and specifically conservatism in BC. (It is similar to the difference between shopping retail in the U.S. and Canada-the selection below the border is far superior (not to mention the service).
The two mainstream parties and leaders, namely Premier Gordon Campbell and Opposition Leader Carole James simply do not capture enough of the public interest, AND Premier Gordon Campbell does not fully represent conservative interests. Gordon Campbell’s decision to move to the center will leave the success of this move open to interpretation in the coming weeks, months and years, despite the fact that ROBBINS agrees it was the move he HAD to make. In terms of absolute political efficacy (and considering the developing fiscal problems with the 2010 Winter Olympics), Carole James and the BC NDP are in a better political situation in our opinion than Gordon Campbell is. You can sell all the sizzle and public relations with media propaganda, rationales, explanation etc., but at the end of the day if you cannot properly satisfy the political equations that have accumulated by Election Day, none of that will matter. In a good economy, each and every time Gordon Campbell does not satisfy a demand from the social side of the equation, after eight years of being Premier, more British Columbians in the middle of the political spectrum are going to say “we are doing well, why not give the NDP a chance”.
If PM Stephen Harper maintains this torrid pace of clear, clean politics at the federal level he may ultimately get the taxpayer’s ‘majority nod of approval’, but in BC politics both the BC Liberals and BC NDP have to ‘dumb down’ democracy in order to achieve their mutual objectives of majority government (i.e. 40-45%). The BC Liberals want to ‘hand pick’ their own Auditor General and the BC NDP wants a nominee suggested by Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser (ROBBINS million dollar woman). If the BC Liberals win out they are likely doing so to fudge the numbers, bet on it. If they take Sheila Fraser’s suggestion, as they ought to, than maybe the number fudging isn’t so bad, or can be politically explained. Exploiting the emerging fiscal problems with 2010 will certainly push more fiscal conservatives off the political roof, and reduce BC Liberal credibility on the economic side of the equation. Certainly, with more centrist political decisions coming from the Premier Campbell and his caucus, the likelihood that a significant vacuum is emerging on his right flank is acute. The media attention to the new Conservative government in Ottawa, coupled with the greater likelihood of another Federal election prior to a scheduled provincial election in 2009 creates a climate of overall public relations, media consideration, and most importantly political science where ROBBINS predicts the likelihood that Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals will fall to (40%) or less by 2009 is significantly more than their chances of attaining up to (45%) if the political spectrum in the province remains as it is.
On the other hand, ROBBINS predicts that at the same time, the likelihood of the BC NDP vote matching or exceeding (40%) by 2009 to be a more likely outcome, particularly as the responses to the 2010 Olympic cost overruns (economic) are concerned, and the fact that the BC NDP almost always increases its vote at election time relative to polling numbers preceding it, AND the fact that the BC Green Party cannot make the case for a third time that they are truly a viable alternative.
ROBBINS cites the example of a Year 2000 poll conducted by ROBBINS-Sce Research and political scientist Christie Jung of Christie Jung Inc. These numbers were provided to the press and the press gallery. ROBBINS determined a month in advance of both longstanding mainstream pollsters Ipsos Reid and Mustel McIntyre that Reform BC under than leader (former BC Premier) Bill Vander Zalm had fallen from (24%) in public support to (5%) in public support soon after the Federal Reform party had changed its name to Canadian Alliance. The other mainstream pollsters followed in behind ROBBINS weeks later.
Politics is based strongly on name labels, and although there is no proof offered herein that Bill Vander Zalm himself would increase present BC Conservative support in the same manner as Mr. Reynolds has in this poll, ROBBINS believes that given the BC Conservative Party is seeking a new leader, it is most likely that with any ‘reasonably well known’ label (and both Mr. Vander Zalm and Mr. Reynolds are these), the BC Conservative Party is likely to increase in public support in a similar way that they decreased when provincial federal labels were not consistent.
If this is the case absolutely, and a high profile leader like John Reynolds became leader of the BC Conservative Party this would mean that an additional 10-12% of likely eligible voters would come back to vote in BC general provincial elections, or upwards of 70-74% of all eligible voters, a new Canadian standard. If the STV ballot question is ALSO supported than is it possible that this 70% + number could possibly move higher still? If in the new ROBBINS scenario described in this poll, Gordon Campbell wins a third term and minority government with BC Conservatives holding the balance, AND STV is brought in, than it is entirely possible that a BC Liberal-BC Conservative coalition in the ‘House’ could exist for another two terms beyond 2009.
Insight- For over eight years now, ROBBINS has accurately predicted political ‘futures’ including the beginning of the end for Premier Bill Vander Zalm in the South Delta by-election of 1999, which was published by the Province and Michael Smyth. Since that time like Nostradamus before us ROBBINS has made many very accurate public opinion predictions including predicting the BC Green Party vote from 2% to 10% before anyone else, predicting the fall of Reform BC under former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm, predicting the coming together of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties within weeks of the event, predicting the success of Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”, (when everyone expected a bust), predicting the U.S. Presidential election outcome (2004), predicting the amazing comeback of the BC NDP in 2005, and the STV vote outcome, predicting the Vancouver, Surrey and Coquitlam elections, and predicting precisely the Conservative win in January 2006 from beginning to end, including doing the unprecedented of predicting on a regional Canadian radio talk show in November 2005 that the Conservative Party of Canada would win a minority government. There are few who can match this history of accuracy (far) in advance of the event. Is anyone figuring this out yet?
Politics is a multi-billion dollar industry. In order to control it, you must have public support. Isn’t it about time, we understood what the public is actually thinking rather than subjecting ourselves to media spin and propaganda? No one knows what the public is actually thinking better than ROBBINS does. That’s just another fact.

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