Friday, November 17, 2006

Pollsmoking the nation

I'm hesitant to wade into this whole nation resolution minefield, but I came across some interesting polling numbers on the whole thing yesterday that I thought I'd pass on.

Not sure if these have been discussed already or not. I found them on the Angus Reid Web site but the numbers are apparently from an SES phone survey conducted last week.
The numbers, unsurprisingly, show that while the LPC(Q)'s nation resolution finds some support in Quebec, it's kryptonite to the party in the rest of Canada.

Here's the numbers:

If the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a motion to symbolically recognize Quebec as a nation, would you be more likely to vote Liberal, less likely to vote Liberal or would this have no impact on your likelihood to vote Liberal?



More likely to vote Liberal



Less likely to vote Liberal



No impact on vote






So, in Quebec it is a potential winner, increasing our "more likely" vote by 40 per cent. I'd wager a chunk of them are BQers that will like it but will still vote BQ. But nationally (so to speak), any gains would be destroyed and then some, as 40 per cent of the entire country would be less likely to vote Liberal. I'd also mention that those national numbers include the Quebec numbers. Exclude them and the Liberal drop in the Rest of Canada would be even larger.

The numbers just serve to affirm that this nation resolution is a bad idea. I agree that Quebec has concerns that need to be addressed, but we can't look at Quebec's concerns in isolation from the rest of Canada. That's the mistake that I think was made here. Other provinces have concerns too, and we need to find solutions and compromises that will find the support of all Canadians, otherwise this is a fruitless exercise that will sow division and discord rather that heal it.

There are no easier answers here. That's why sage veterans of Canada's constitutional wars (like Stephane Dion, for example) approach this with trepidation and have tried to warn off those that have advocated this road.

In the long run, it will take deftness, creativity and compromise to thread this needle.

In the short-term, we need a way out of this national resolution mess and soon, as the convention is less than two weeks away. I've advocated the 2050 approach, James Curran has another idea. It may not be as easy as killing it now. Expectations have been raised in Quebec and a flat rejection now will have a price.

Whatever we do, we need to do something. As the poll numbers show, this thing is radioactive and a very bad idea.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Anonymous said...

Speaking of polls, after dinner last night my phone rang - call display showed a 1-800 number. It was the Innovative Research company - or something like that - I didn't quite catch the name. Anyway, the asked if I was over 18 and then said they had some questions to ask about the Canadian "attitude" on different things.

I don't know what made me do it, but I asked "are you working on behalf of the Conservative Party - there was complete silence. I asked again "are you conducting the poll on behalf of the Conservative Party?". More dead silence and then the slowly hung up.

We are being polled by the Conservatives - I wonder if they are worried?

Not only that, our local Conservative MP (formerly a member of the Alliance Party) is constantly sending question cards, BUT the card does not go to his constituent offices - it goes directly to Ottawa. I have to wonder how much the Conservative constant polling is costing the Canadian taxpayer?

Lloyd MacIlquham said...

Hi Jeff, I moved from Scarborough to Nanaimo, BC four years ago.

Here’s another poll:

Nation Status For Quebec Proves To Be Unpopular Idea Among Canadians
Forty-two Percent Indicate They Would Be Less Likely To Vote Liberal If Leader Wanted To Recognize Quebec As A Nation - 44% Among Current Liberal Supporters

Six In Ten Canadians (60%) Don't Feel Liberal Party Is Ready To Govern Canada Again

November 7, 2006

Contact Darrell Bricker at 416.324.2900

Category Politics & Elections (National)
Location Canada


To me anyway, and I am sure a lot of other people, the Quebec as a nation motion is a very divisive issue.

My proposal,
- the importance of this issue,
- the relatively few members of the Liberal Party that will be debating it at the Convention and they will not have been given instructions, nor bound to follow any such, from their respective Riding and other Associations
- the apparent geographical diversity in opinion
- my firm belief in what I refer to as my Basic Philosophy (and what I believe to be at the heart of Liberalism in Canada): “To build a great nation where everyone can attain their potential and join together to help those that need help and protect those that need protection”; and, (my) Fundamental Approach: “Informed, open and transparent discussion leading to a truly democratic solution for the good of all Canadians”

it is proposed that:
introduction of the resolution at the Convention be postponed so that the issue may be presented to all the members of the Liberal Party to be discussed in an informed, open, transparent fashion leading to a truly democratic principle upon which the Liberal Part may contribute to the building and strengthening of this great nation of ours and then to be voted on by the Membership on an individual basis by mail-in vote (or other such).

I am not sure whether this suggestion has already been made, but I am not aware of such. Either way, I hope this suggestion gets sufficient consideration and, given the start date of the convention, sooner rather than later. I appreciate your providing a platform for me to present the above.

Lloyd MacIlquham

Anonymous said...

The Quebec resolution should be withdrawn or voted down.

Trying to cobble together some half baked resolution amendment (as Ignatieff is trying to do) is dangerous and will cause all kinds of problems.

True leadership right now is to recognize that it is a bad idea, and stop it.

As Dion, Kennedy and Rae have said they will do - vote against it.

canuckistanian said...

good work. looking forward to seeing you smoke some more polls. ;-).

A BCer in Toronto said...

Anon, if it makes you feel better Harper has made it clear he doesn't govern by polls. So, while he may be spending lots of taxpayer dollars on polling, he obviously won't be paying any attention to the results. :)

Hi Lloyd, I think our paths may have crossed before. I was in Courtenay before moving out to Scarberia. Anyway, I agree with you and Cat, this thing has been rushed and this convention isn't the proper time to have this debate. Tabling it to another date, along with a redraft, would be in order.