Robbins SCE Research
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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics January 4, 2008
  Jan 04, 2008

A random telephone sample of 1,028 residents of Metro Vancouver-including (for purposes of this poll), Vancouver City, West Vancouver, North Vancouver-District-City, Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Burnaby, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam. This V-MP Omnibus poll conducted by ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) between December 18, 2007 and January 1, 2008- features a margin of error of 3.73%, 19 times out of 20 with a confidence of 96%. Sponsorship-Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398.
Retail Value of V-MP poll (data collection only) $45,000-$50,000 (Canadian).

Question #1
Which federal leader and party do you currently support?
Stephen Harper and Conservative    36.55 %
Stephane Dion and Liberals    27.33 %
Jack Layton and NDP    27.97 %
Elizabeth May and Green    8.22 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    12.5 %
Question #2
Is the United States Canada’s best friend?
Yes    51.42 %
No    49.02 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    06 %
Question #3
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hinting that his Conservative government will take a conservative approach to the Budget scheduled for early in 2008. Do your AGREE or DISAGREE with this approach to Canada Budget 2008?
AGREE    44.22 %
DISAGREE    55.65 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    09 %
Question #4
Stephane Dion is leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. His first language is French, his second is English. Is Stephane Dion’s message getting through to you?
Yes    42.80 %
No    57.22 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    02 %
Question #5
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first language is English and second language is French. Is Stephen Harper’s message getting through to you?
Yes    62.44 %
No    37.55 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    00 %
Question #6
In most successful democracies, the courts are separated, or perceived to be separated from politics. In BC and Canada, the Attorney General is elected from the party in power. In British Columbia, this can be cause for tension between the Solicitor General who is in charge of public order and the police, and the Attorney General dealing with the courts. In your opinion, in the interests of public safety of British Columbians, should the BC Attorney General’s and Solicitor General’s Ministry be combined and made into two divisions in order to improve service and accountability to the public?
Yes    48.71 %
No    35.45 %
The Attorney General should not be an elected person    23.61 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    11 %
Question #7
In your opinion do lawyers operate in (a) their own best interests, or (b) the public’s best interest, or (c) lawyers act in both the public and their own interests?
Lawyers act in their own interest    54 %
Lawyers act in the public interest    07 %
Lawyers act in both the public and their own interests    39 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    02 %
Question #8
Over the past year have you gained or lost confidence in the police?
Gained    11 %
Lost    38 %
Neither gained nor lost confidence    51 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    04 %
Question #9
In your opinion, should tax payer funded police departments be used in any circumstance to assist businesses to collect and/or seize and secure company assets owned by a private company, located at a private residence, based on the company bailiffs’ claim that there may be imminent trouble during the seizure of property, or for any other reason?
Yes    04 %
No    96 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    22 %
Question #10
Would you be willing to accept BC Bud-marijuana ‘Vapour Lounges’ in the City of Vancouver FOR the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Winter Olympic Games and our guests that are coming to the event?
Yes    51 %
No    49 %
Undecided/Don’t Know)    11 %
Question #11
In your opinion, should taxpayer funded police departments attend with city or municipal employees investigating possible city by-law infractions at private property?
Yes    09 %
No    91 %
Question #12
How important is to you that private property rights become entrenched in our Canadian Constitution?
Very Important    34 %
Important    36 %
Unimportant    19 %
Very Unimportant    11 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    04 %
Question #13
In your opinion which of the following two limited choices will do the most to assist in making your community, your province, and your country a better place to live?
A collaborative effort to reduce Global Warming    55 %
A collaborative effort for a successful 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games    19.5 %
Both a collaborative effort to reduce Global Warming and a successful 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games    25 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    02 %
Question #14
In your opinion, should private FOR profit health and medical clinics be permitted to access ANY taxpayer funded public health care monies?
Yes    22 %
No    78 %
Undecided/Don’t Know    00 %
Question #15
Is Metro Vancouver’s transportation system operating successfully?
Yes    38 %
No    62 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    06 %
Question #16
Other than investments in Registered Retirement Savings Plans or other similar type employment related investments, do you, of your own accord, invest in stock market equities?
Yes    11 %
No    89 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    04 %
Question #17
In your opinion/estimation do you NOW read major Vancouver newspapers more or less than you have in the past?
I read them less    54 %
I read them more    07 %
I seldom if ever have read newspapers    39 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    00 %
Question #18
Do you regularly use the Internet “(regularly” defined as at least once per week)?
Yes    45 %
No    55 %
Question #19
If you were aware of a truly independent public opinion polling information Internet site with a history of accuracy unrelated to large media conglomerates, lobby groups, or special interests, would you readily go to that site on the Internet for independent public opinion information?
Yes    25 %
No    75 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    07 %
Question #20
Do you know what a Blog is, AND do you regularly read personal Blogs?
Yes    2.5 %
No    97.5 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    02 %
Question #21
Do you support a federally legislated $10 minimum wage for ALL Canadian workers?
Yes    63.23 %
No    36.01 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    03 %
Question #22
Currently, federal laws dictate a higher standard of worker protection for those employees whose companies fall under federal oversight, such as the transportation and cable industry. In your opinion should both federal and provincial worker legislation and or regulation and protection be of an equal standard no matter the political level of oversight?
Yes    62.34 %
No    37.47 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    14 %
Question #23
A federally legislated $10 minimum wage would transfer nearly 5 billion Canadian dollars per year from business to low wage earners. Is this a suitable and fair transfer of wealth?
Yes    59.56 %
No    41.44 %
(Undecided/Don’t Know)    08 %
Harpers’ Conservatives up (20%) in public support in Vancouver Metro-Poll (V-MP).
Respondents split on whether US is Canada’s “best friend”
A slight majority do not agree with a conservative federal approach to Canada Budget 2008
Just over (40%) of respondents say Stephane Dion’s message is getting through, while nearly two-thirds say Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s message is getting through
A distinguishable majority of respondents are of the opinion that the BC Attorney General should- either not be elected or should be part of the Solicitor Generals’ Office
Only a fractional minority of respondents are of the opinion that lawyer’s act in the public interest and not their own interest
About one in two V-MP residents have neither gained nor lost confidence in the police in the past year, however more than 3 times as many have lost confidence than gained confidence
An overwhelming number of respondents are of the opinion that private business should not use police in securing their assets from private residents
An overwhelming number of respondents are of the opinion that city or municipal officials should not use the police with respect to by-law enforcement
(70%) of respondents are of the opinion that private property rights under Canada’s Constitution are very important or important
Respondents overwhelmingly select Global Warming over the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in making their community, province, and country a better place to live
A conspicuous majority of V-MP respondents are of the opinion that private for profit health care clinics should NOT be permitted access to ANY taxpayer funded health care dollars
A significant majority of respondents are of the opinion that Vancouver’s Metro transit system is NOT operating successfully
Only a small minority of respondents in the lower mainland of BC invest in Equities markets of their own Accord
Respondents in this V-MP are reading newspapers less than they used to in the past
Nearly one out of two respondents regularly use the Internet
Only a tiny number of respondents actually know what a Blog is or read personal Blogs
Nearly two-thirds of respondents in this V-MP support a federally legislated $10 minimum wage, two-thirds support equal Employment Standards between federal and provincial jurisdictions, and a clear majority supports a major wealth shift from corporations to low wage earners
Observations and Commentary:
Stephen Harper has a comfortable lead in the lower mainland of BC in this Vancouver Metro-Poll.
If a general federal election is called soon, there is little doubt that the Conservatives will win the election. The likelihood based on this poll is that Stephen Harper will win a majority.
This hypothesis is based on the fact that there are seldom any large gaps between selections for Stephen Harper and his Conservative party- and other leader and party choices, not only in this poll of the lower mainland region of BC, but in most of the polls involving federal political parties conducted by independent polling in the past year throughout the country.
Respondents consistently choose Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, 3, 4, or sometimes 5 times out of 10 respondents (although this is more likely 2, 3 or sometimes 4 in Quebec), but seldom if ever, 2 times out of ten. The Liberals under Stephane Dion have from time to time NOT been selected at all in a group of ten respondents. The Prime Minister’s previous shortcoming was that he could not overcome shortfalls in public support in Metro regions of the country. This V-MP shows that his Conservative Party of Canada is doing well to overcome this. This history of public opinion suggests that he is consistently improving his Conservative Party’s numbers since the last general federal election in January 2006.
Since the general federal election in January of 2006, Pollster Glen P. Robbins and ROBBINS Sce Research has conducted polling questions which directly relate to the popularity of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party.
Conventional ratios for estimating popularity as between federal leader and party, (25% leader/70-75% party/5% local candidate), Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party average around (39-41%), in the neighbourhood of a majority. The federal Liberals with Stephane Dion as leader hover around (28-30%), the NDP around (17-19%), the Bloc (7-8.5%) and federal Greens (6-8%).
ROBBINS has predicted on two occasions since the surprise Conservative- January 2006 win- (which ROBBINS had predicted on national radio, through mass distribution, and on our polling site) - that the Conservative Party would easily win a (amended to read: "win government-not win a majority)GPR.
A majority of Canadians don’t trust the federal Liberals, (or if this is too strong), have lost some confidence in the party. They do trust the Prime Minister (and to a slightly lesser extent his party). As a result, the Conservatives (barring unforeseen circumstances) will win a majority in the next election simply because more and more moderates are convinced that Stephen Harper is the right leader at this time.
ROBBINS estimates that perhaps one in two hundred respondents will offer a disparaging comment about Prime Minister Stephen Harper now. Three years ago this number was likely- one in twenty- respondents.
In addition, despite what many pundits are saying, I see consistent support for the NDP ( my 12 year old daughter Veronica loves Jack Layton and the NDP “because they care about people”- which will not help the Liberals, because while Stephane Dion searches for the right message, the message is always about the people-they vote.
I see a conspicuous and consistent decrease of (15-20%) from previous election totals for the Bloc, and the Greens appear to be ‘robbing’ the Liberals more than any other party. Little wonder, their biggest advocate is Stephane Dion who appears more concerned with the environment, than he does with the fortunes of his own party. These are matters of fact in terms of political support confronting Stephane Dion. To be clear, Mr. Dion is perceived as an honest and sincere man. The Liberals must support Stephane Dion, as he is the one who will set them free from political stigma. His problem is that Mr. Harper is perceived as politically principled, and on this account he is high-grade with the people. In question 1 where leader and party are rotated (1st choice, 2nd choice etc.), at least 1 out of ten respondents will pick Stephen Harper and Conservatives as soon as a caller offers the choice-
Stephane Dion should prepare for an election sometime in 2008, and concentrate on trying to achieve (31-32%) in public support. If he does better great—but that should be his target.
Based on the pressure from other centre left parties, and the (unexpected) success of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, any other aspiration will prove unrealistic, or take away focus from Dion whose main concern right now ought to be- increasing the number of voters who digest his message. Mr. Dion must not do what the press has done-underestimate how much the public really likes the Prime Minister. (We might be witnessing one of the best of all time).
Stephane Dion is considering the politics of the upcoming by-election in Vancouver Quadra. If former BC Liberal Joyce Murray loses the long held Liberal riding in the March 2008 by-election, Dion needs (at whatever cost) to have Carole Taylor come in to run in that riding during the federal general election. If Dion wins the federal general election, Taylor is Finance Minister, if he loses and achieves < Paul Martin from January 2006, than he and Justin T. provide their support for Taylor for Prime Minister in the following general federal election (despite the fact that Michael Ignatieff has probably earned it for keeping quiet). Carole Taylor is HOT-but only remains that way with Hillary Clinton type public relations. -Forgive my arrogance but please re-read that. (Gordon Campbell for Mayor of Vancouver-think it over-I’m always outside the box-try it out-).
Although the numbers for Dion are down in this poll from results from the most recent federal general election, there is a bright light. If you subtract the Conservatives who say Dion’s message is getting through (question 4), and compare the remaining number of respondents who admit his message is getting through- against those who select him and his party-the percentage is very high. Accordingly, if his messaging improves and his ability to get the new and improved message out also improves prior to the February Budget, he will be in pretty decent political shape going into an election.
The optic(s) go like this. Stephane Dion comes to BC for a few days. He speaks at the Italian Cultural Centre, Christy Clark introduces him along with Tony Parsons of Global TV, Carole Taylor shows up (a little late), and the place erupts. Joe Trasolini, Mayor of Port Moody is there as well.
After an invigorating night Stephane Dion meets with Carole Taylor (not Gordon Campbell) behind close doors, and afterward announces more money for the CBC and a significant CBC headquarters in Vancouver if he is made Prime Minister. With the recent dismissal of many news researchers in BC, there is an opportunity for Dion to create his own Liberal brand in Metro Vancouver. There are enough readers on my Tequila to make a difference in your political life.
DION AND THE LIBERALS DO NOT WANT THE ELECTION TO BE HELD IN 2009. If that happens, and Canadians look at the October 19, 2009 ballot and realize that Stephen Harper kept his word, and ran a functional minority government, (nearly the longest in history), they will ask themselves “how good Mr. Harper might be with a majority”, or they will reckon that the Conservatives have worked hard and earned their majority. Whamo! 200 seats plus for the Conservatives. Watch out Stephane, this is all on the table now-Boom-!
Conservative popularity in this region has been steadily growing even before the Conservatives took power in early 2006. This is evidenced in part by this ROBBINS poll dated December 06, 2005, and following that a subsequent ‘lower mainland of BC poll’ in April of 2007. Stephen Harper is no longer taboo in Vancouver. He is as 'mainstream' as Liberals ever were. The mainstream news still speaks of the Conservatives in terms of sort of still being unwelcome in cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, but this is simply an urban legend. It isn’t true anymore.
In the first poll above (218), ROBBINS predicted (37%) support for the Conservatives in BC, prior to the federal general election (being held six weeks later in Jan. 06). This prediction was accurate. The percentage of popular vote also carried across the country.
The support for the Conservatives in this ‘strategic calling environment’ is near (37%), when support over the same area from the January 2006 vote was barely over (30%) reveals, all things being relatively equal, that the Conservatives are increasing popularity in areas where they previously had greater difficulty, and confirms that momentum is moving toward majority government.
Vancouver and Burnaby are better for Conservatives but are not sure bets to win.
Although there are certainly no scientific correlations between results in this V-MP strategic calling environment, and possible outcomes elsewhere in the country at this time, the trend line through all of our polls remains undeniable. The Conservative party’s fortunes are improving.
The pattern of respondent selection of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party is consistent, almost predictable. Increase in support from the last federal general election until today, in this strategic calling area is (18.78%), including an increase of (42%) support from relatively unimpressive 2006 totals in the city of Vancouver proper. The decrease in support for the federal Liberals under Stephane Dion over the same period within the overall strategic calling environment of this poll is currently (20.71%).
Stephane Dion is in the unenviable position of having to give something up later to get something he needs now. Recent Conservative Party criticism of the CBC, (which Carole Taylor used to Chair) puts the aforementioned Vancouver Quadra riding possibility in play. (Why is Vaughn Palmer talking about Joyce Murray’s son’s Rap biz-Am I missing this stuff when Hillary and Barack are in the biggest political struggle in 25 years-help me out-Vaughn is a local celebrity and I know he has a family but let’s move on).
The Liberals require a bold move. Joyce Murray takes one for the Team, and Carole Taylor runs for the Liberals in Vancouver Quadra.
To ensure the safety of Liberal Party fortunes in the province of British Columbia, Ms. Taylor will need to hurt BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell- an old Progressive Conservative turned Liberal with close ties to some federal progressive Conservatives like James Moore and others. I rip Campbell, always have and always will-because he has no passion---he isn’t of the people-really though he offers a lot-not as Premier-Senator?
Ms. Taylor was brought to BC politics as a favour to Premier Gordon Campbell who could not sort the ‘cat fight’ brewing at the time between former Vancouver city councillor Sandy McCormick and former challenger for Vancouver Mayor Jennifer Clarke. Here is the real deal-if you cannot re-invent yourself each and every week as a political actor, than get out of the business. I like Lorne Mayencourt, because he keeps his politics relevant to his constituents. I love Bruce Allen because he is a rock n roll capitalist, but remember this…he ran Bachman Turner Overdrive AFTER Randy Bachman spent $100,000.00 (1970) dollars on a European gamble that failed---Bachman Turner Overdrive did not fail.
Bruce Allen for Mayor of Vancouver. Let’s talk about this.- I’m all in.
The Conservatives have their difficulties in this region despite improving numbers, as James Moore (Port Moody-Westwood) is not strong enough to speak for the region, and would need to have his sagging profile bolstered with $400 million in transportation monies for the Evergreen Line in his region. With the provincial Liberals granting a big $50 million win for Port Moody Mayor (and federal Liberal) Joe Trasolini for his connector, it is extremely unlikely that additional monies will flow from either the BC Liberal government or Translink, (the newly revised transportation body in that province to the Evergreen Line), compelling Moore to go and get the money from the federal government.
Admittedly, ROBBINS has kicked Trasolini around for some time now, but it is important to say that Joe and I have known each other for years, and have at a personal level always gotten along well. Dion needs to convince the ‘Italian Stallion’ to run. Some of his political/business activities we have reported were rather unseemly, but the press in the area, the business organizations etc. did not find it unacceptable (which is not to be construed as a positive affirmation in any sense of that term). For purposes of a discussion of current voter/respondent values-he is making some hay. Trasolini has out grown the Mayor’s job, and hasn’t got a fit with Campbell. Could he tackle James Moore and win for the Liberals? Only time will tell.
The PM should not do this for a number of reasons. The first is that James Moore is not well liked by all Conservatives, gains much of his NDP rich support in Port Coquitlam based in some measure on name confusion with popular Port Coquitlam city councillor Greg Moore, and is tied to David Emerson who has some credibility problems of his own in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding he currently represents. He also has never been properly challenged in a general federal election as a Conservative for that riding. It is conceivable he could be challenged for the Conservative nomination by Port Coquitlam Greg Moore, or former Reformer and Unity Leader Chris Delaney.
The second is that many Liberals associated with James Moore provincially would ultimately take credit for receipt of the money, including the aforementioned Joe Trasolini, who after successfully fighting and winning the $50 million for his connector, can abandon his erstwhile pursuit (and money grab) of the Evergreen Line through Port Moody and instead NOW advocate for Light Rail down Lougheed Highway where many allege the soil beneath won’t support Sky Train. The Lougheed Highway splits the ridings of Port Moody Westwood (James Moore MP-Conservative) and (Port Moody) Coquitlam-New Westminster (Dawn Black MP-NDP). This would permit Trasolini to go from ‘political bum’ to ‘man about town’ on the transportation front.
Third, BC Liberal Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon is from Surrey- where moderate conservative Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is the bona fide power broker for the entire region, and who is far more popular than Falcon. Falcon was also part of the SET organization which along with former Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum (who was also former Chair of Translink), tried to push Dianne Watts out of politics when she was a city councillor. A defining ROBBINS poll published in the Surrey newspaper at that time revealed that Dianne Watts was as popular as or more popular to voters than McCallum was, ultimately saved Ms. Watts political career and marked the beginning of the end for Doug McCallum’s. Dianne Watts has nothing to gain from either Kevin Falcon or Gordon Campbell who have passed their ‘best before’ date in BC provincial politics.
Dianne Watts is naturally more concerned with monies for the Port Mann Bridge and can trade her massive popularity as Mayor, for her support of Conservative candidates during the next general federal election, so long as Mr. Moore and Mr. Falcon are not seen to be directly linked with her, denigrating her political luster.
Nearly one quarter of the Prime Minister’s supporters do not agree with a cautious approach to the Budget. Nearly (25%) of respondents who selected Elizabeth May and Green in question 1, say “Yes” to a cautious approach to the Budget in question 3.
Nearly one third of those respondents who support the Prime Minister and his Conservative Party are not of the opinion that the United States is Canada’s best friend.
Over (50%) of respondents who support Jack Layton’s New Democrats are of the opinion that the United States is Canada’s best friend. Given the past norms associated with New Democratic perceptions of U.S./Canada relations, this number may either suggest that U.S./Canada relations are particularly strained right now or possibly that New Democrats are hopeful of political change in the United States, and believe that the momentum of the Democratic Party including candidate John Edwards and others support for workers will translate into positive attention for their policies in that regard
Stephane Dion's numbers are not strong in this poll. When respondents in this V-MP say his message isn’t getting through in question 4, they aren’t being mean, they just aren’t getting his message and as far as we can tell, they are still willing to hear it. Major political parties need to understand that you just can’t arrive in the province, give a speech and leave, expecting your numbers up. The arrival of the leader to a particular designation needs to be followed up by elected persons and other supporters to ensure that the visit ‘takes hold’. This theory is based on the assumption that the message is relatively clear in the first place.
Nearly one out of five respondents who say that Stephane Dion’s message IS getting through is a Conservative supporter. The good news for Stephane Dion is that the number of people who support him relative to the number who understand his message is (71%). His problem is that his message is not diffuse enough, and a strong minority of respondents who also ‘get his message’ are apparently Green supporters, some of whom also support Stephen Harper’s Budget approach.
On the other hand, we believe that the whole of Stephen Harper’s message is getting through even to those voter/respondents who are not focusing their attention on federal politics. Some of the respondents, who say the Prime Minister’s message is NOT getting through, simply aren’t listening to his message. Only (16%) of Green supporters say the PM’s message is not getting through. ROBBINS estimates that about one in three ‘voters’ is not focusing their attention, and two-thirds of these ‘voter/respondents’ is ‘undecided’ at this point.
Elizabeth May has a different set of problems. Although ROBBINS polls don’t show her party as high as mainstream polls do (we think the pollsters are parking some respondents there), her party shows consistently. There really is an odd relationship with the conservatives going on here which is new not simply because conservatives believe in conservation. I believe many people with conservative ideals understand from their own experience as hunters and fisherman the sensitive relationship between man and nature. Some Green supporters who want a cautious Conservative budget are looking after the interests of environmental issues which require government resources, a good sign for the Conservative government.
Others who love the beauty of “beauty of the landscape” sometimes have the financial comfort to see the world more idealistically. The world never looks so beautiful if you are destitute or making minimum wage.
Respondents in this V-MP poll had a difficult time with question 2, whether “the United States is Canada’s best friend”. We believe that Canadians in this poll believe the war in Iraq is costing the U.S. too much money, which is ultimately hurting its economy which may impact ours. There is an underlying resentment by Canadians that the Americans need to consider our mutual relationship at least a little when constructing foreign policy, BECAUSE WE ARE FRIENDS.
The United States is using economics to get out of the war in Iraq.
The vast majority of New Democrats and Liberals do not want a cautious approach to the environment, but many Greens do. Environmental and Global Warming advocates are desirous of a Canada in sufficiently good economic shape to properly exercise their responsibilities and duties relating to the future Copenhagen/Quebec City Environmental Accords. Surely, one can see the logic of meetings in Quebec City for both the benefit of Canada and the rest of the World. Future discussions regarding Global Warming post Bali must include a Canadians city to give a perspective of balance from North America, and a country that although is not doing well per capita, contributes only (2%) of the world’s pollution. Quebec City is a good suggestion.
Stephane Dion’s communicative skills in English are improving, but he must present better sound bytes in that language. When French speaking politicians connect with English speaking Canadians they have tremendous success. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, current Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, (and my favourite francophone Chantal Hebert (“Toronto Star”-“At Issue” with Peter Mansbridge CBC-the best interviewer in North America) have a way of communicating ideas and concepts in English that goes over exceptionally well in that demographic. When Mr. Dion ‘manifests his resolve’ of this particular shortcoming his numbers will go up. Also, Mr. Dion’s obsession with the environment while he is going through the communications challenge is helping the Green Party stay well afloat, which in turn appears to be enhancing the Conservative government’s relationship to ‘Green’ supporters, or ‘fence-sitting’ voters. Don’t forget, the Conservatives have the cheque-book.
The $10 minimum wage issue is going to be very important and many in federal and provincial politics are not paying attention to it. Market liberals and some conservatives attempt to explain the minimum wage and poverty discussion by saying the people are young, or they live at home, or they are old and don’t need a lot, but not only is the demographic of low wages shifting, the aforementioned explanations don’t carry the weight they once did.
Students who should be concentrating on school need to work to get by. Major retailers target people of teenage age as their primary consumers. People of seniors’ age should not have to work if they do not want to. Pressure on old age pensions because of inequities between corporate profits and real wage increases are forcing seniors into a type of slave wage. Mothers in families want to be closer to home and their children, so the 2nd wage earner is now earning a lower wage, while those who want more disposable income are willing to drive their vehicle through congested traffic to achieve this.
Who better to receive a larger chunk of the wealth, a much broader section of consumers who may purchase incrementally more, or a small group of businesses (and statistics often include franchise of major corporations as a small business skewing the numbers), who need more money to fund lavish lifestyles or to prop up on the backs of low income earners, equity in their companies? In the last twenty five years, business efficiency has decreased from (40%) above that of government on average to only (10%). Over the past five years profits before taxes have increased nearly (50%), while wage have increase by less than half over that same period.
With many experts (and people) now considering less rosy economic forecasts, where is the equity in the system? There is no more capitalism vs. socialism. The new world economic order must consider and accept that there is a relationship between both systems of economics. The idea that an invisible hand (the market) actually works is quite outdated. There simply aren’t enough people with access to capital or who are poor to make this theory viable. In the United States, (80%) of new millionaires arise as a result of entrepreneurial endeavour. In Canada (80%) of new millionaires received their status because someone died.
The monopolies or oligopolies in Canada do not want competition.
It isn’t too difficult to determine that there is a lack of incentive in the Canadian economic system. Equity shares just don’t make it. Not enough Canadians can afford it, and only those people with RRSP’s or wealthy owners can claim to be profiting.
(I saw the wife of a corporate exec outside their child’s dance studio on at least three occasions, with her Escalade running outside for almost 30 minutes. No tree-hugger myself, I said “isn’t that a waste of gas?”-“No problem, says she, the company pays for it”).
Inequities Indeed!
Glen P. Robbins
It is pretty obvious that scarce taxpayer resources for policing should not be mis-used to enable private business. If private business requires some type of security to enforce or perfect collection of their accounts receivables or other, they should hire and pay for it, not co-opt the police.
City halls throughout the lower mainland are now responding to the massive problem of grow-ops by attending to homes with inordinately high Hydro bills (which may signal a grow-up in use). Unfortunately, too often private residences with slightly higher uses of Hydro are being targeted, with city officials not finding grow-ops, often fining homeowners for a bathroom without a permit, a secondary suite etc. Watch out for heavy handed politics out of city hall. They are desperate for cash, cannot get what they need from provincial and federal levels of government, and will do what they have to, to raise the cash.
Who has better freedom of expression, Canada or Saudi Arabia? This is hard to tell. Currently, a Saudi blogger has been taken into custody for expressing his views. Other bloggers worldwide are looking to have this blogger released, and are encouraging other bloggers to use their real names NOT pseudo-nyms. ROBBINS and sponsor Jim Van Rassel have been saying this for nearly two years. An opinion without a real name is no opinion.
Why don't bloggers use real names? Cowardice, fear of reprisal, or because many bloggers work for or are government operatives, a kind of tick on the host of freedom of expression.
The good news is that most Internet users, don't take anonymous bloggers seriously. Most personal bloggers receive few 'hits' to their site (less than 10 per day). Others sponsored directly or indirectly may do better but are often preaching to the converted.
The general consensus is that anonymous bloggers provide no particular insight or value to public debate, while people who use their real names do.
Before the Internet becomes inundated with mainstream newspapers moving from dying markets to emerging ones, it is imperative that all blogging sites mandate proper identification of real people providing real personal opinions and send the chicken littles back to their hovels, and permit the real voices of Canadian citizens to be heard.
Canada talks big about Charter Rights. There are few people, particularly business owners and others who are willing to bet on this being true.
Canada has a long long way to go.
Ultimately who has more rights and freedoms, Saudi's or Canadians? A serious question which demands serious answers.

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