Monday, July 07, 2008

New Carbon Tax Poll

Another finding, showing support for a carbon tax, but with an interesting twist- Canadians don't want the money back, they would rather it be invested in green technologies. Embracing the economic apocalypse:
Carbon tax gaining support across Canada: poll

When told that the government of British Columbia had recently introduced "a carbon tax on fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," 72 per cent of those surveyed in the poll said that this was a positive step versus 23 per cent who thought that it was a negative step. The poll surveyed 1,009 Canadian adults across the country between April 29 and May 9, 2008 and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

"The support for B.C.'s carbon tax is fairly uniform across Canada," he said. "Six out of 10 people definitely support it when you look at the numbers."

The strongest support for a carbon tax appears to come from Quebec and the Atlantic provinces where 81 per cent and 77 per cent of respondents respectively said that the B.C. tax was a positive step.

Pretty remarkable, to get widespread support on any question that includes the word "tax", which makes the results intriguing. These results should provide more comfort for uneasy Liberals, although support for the income tax cut is surprising low:
However, when asked how revenues from a proposed federal carbon tax should be spent, most Canadians told the polling firm that they would prefer to see more green spending, rather than income tax cuts.

For example, 47 per cent said that the new potential revenues should be spent on "renewable energy like wind and solar power" and 16 per cent said they wanted to see more spending on "energy efficiency technologies." Only 11 per cent of respondents said carbon tax revenues should be used to cut income taxes, while eight per cent said it should be spent on public transit.

"I certainly think overall that (a carbon tax in a federal political platform) would bode well and at the very least Canadians are certainly receptive to the idea," said Doud. "What Canadians are going to want to see, is they're going to want to know that this tax is invested in the environment in some way."

The above supports part of the NDP argument, but it should be pointed out that the Liberals aren't exactly balking at the idea of new investment in green technologies, although the money isn't directly tied to their carbon scheme.
"A carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program both put a price on pollution - they're much more similar than Mr. Layton suggests," said Clare Demerse, a senior climate change policy analyst at the Pembina Institute. "Our poll does support Mr. Layton's call for investments in energy efficiency programs like home retrofits, but it also shows that Canadians want those investments to be in addition to carbon tax programs like BC's. Canadians understand the urgency of global warming and they see that we need both approaches."

Something for everyone to crow about, except Conservatives of course.


Anonymous said...

A pollster for the Pembina Institute - what do you expect the results to say?

Steve V said...

What about the other polls, that have shown similar findings? BTW, after I did the post, I thought- what would be the first Con response. Didn't take long. Predictable and boring, my 20 month year old is more mentally challenging.

ottlib said...

Yes, generally speaking the one who writes the cheques usually gets the results they are looking for.

However, these estimates are still pretty impressive. Polling methodology can be tweaked but there is a limit and the size of the majority that supports the Carbon Tax in this poll indicates that there was support for it before any tweaking that might have taken place.

Steve V said...

Just to add, on the client angle, this outfit has also been employed by Shell Oil Company and Suncor Energy.

Anonymous said...

This poll was taken in May...weeks before the Lib carbon tax proposal was even revealed, and even before the Conservative attack ads were released.

Old news.

Anonymous said...

Jeez people you are talking about a poll that was published on May 25th 2008 and it was done between April 29 and May 9, 2008 talk about being desperate here jeez;)

This is old news. Its before Mr.Dion even made it official.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of what teaching progressive idealism instead of economics will get you. The majority of Canadians are economic illiterates who can be easily lead by pollsters.

Anonymous said...

Well...well...wouldn't it be interesting to see the actual questions and the preceding questions that led to this conclusion...I guess if you have enough money, you can get whatever answers you want as this environment group did...lets face it Liberal like taxes...the more money the more gun registry boondoggles and adscams....go get em....lets tax everything.

Steve V said...

I smell fear :)

Anonymous said...

Well I smell desperation;)

Prairie Kid said...

This poll was taken across Canada. Canadians don't have to pay for this, British Columbians have to pay. Why don't you cite figures from polls taken in B.C. leading up to July 1? Totally different numbers.

But, I look forward to Liberals hanging everything on this tax as the platform for the next election. Maybe we'll finally see the end of the Liberal party as we know it.

Steve V said...

"Well I smell desperation;)"

That too.

Frankly Canadian said...

I'll bet the next, and more appropriate poll to Stephan Dion's "Green Shift" plan, will show more support than this poll directed at British Columbians. By the way I live here in "Beautiful British Columbia" and everyone I talk to (and I am going out of my way to talk to everyone I can about this subject) agrees that we need to do something now in order to become less fossil fuel reliant, and they are willing to pay in order to achieve this. It is time to exclude the big oil companies from our politics and stop their control of our society!

ottlib said...

Sorry Conservatives but The Green Shift has the potential to be a huge boost for the Liberals.

Of course, it also has the potential to be a huge drag.

Unfortunately, it made a good first impression on Canadians. The same Canadians who have consistently stated the country needs to do more to reduce ghg emissions for over a year.

The thing that should really scare you about that is Canadians are savvy enough to realize that the Conservatives and the NDP are going to reject The Green Shift out of hand because of plain partisanship.

So, their attacks will not be as effective as they would hope unless they can come up with kind of alternative.

ottlib said...

Oh yes, for those who are trying to take solace in the fact this poll was taken a couple of months ago you should not be too happy about that.

That would seem to indicate that Canadians were open to the idea of a carbon tax before any mention of off-setting income tax cuts. So, if Conservative and NDP strategy is to attack the Green Shift on economic grounds this poll indicates that argument may not fly. Instead, you may have to actually fight it on environmental grounds, which is a much weaker position for both parties. Ouch, that has to hurt.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess we can roll back the two percent income tax cut on lower income Canadians in Stephane Dion's tax shift.

Raphael Alexander said...

Steve, I'm going to tell you this, not as a Conservative or partisan, but as a blue collar worker who deals with working class people on a day to day basis. I have talked to literally a hundred people about this carbon tax, and only one, and I mean that in the most sincere and accurate way, one person has said it is good for the economy, the environment, and the future.

The vast majority think it is the most brain-addled utopian nonsense implemented in their lifetimes. The worst part is that they can see how utterly useless their government is to protect them from slipping standard of living in the most expensive city in Canada.

Anonymous said...


What if the vast majority you are talking to are merely concerned about immigration, crime, and high gas prices? Does this make you Canada's version of Bill O'Reilly?

There is nothing proponents of carbon tax can do to Joe Sixpack who is addicted to Fox News as much as cheap gasoline. Joe Sixpack is a victim of false consciousness, fueled by over twenty years of neoliberal economic policies that are designed to convert them into automatons, like our current Prime Minister.

Manuel said...

Poll the people of B.C now.....bad enough Im driving through there in a few hours to my cabin....I'll see first hand gas prices across the province yay!

Anonymous said...

"New Carbon Tax Poll" - Steve please, the new carbon tax poll, you know the one that came out yesterday, not months ago, and that is about Dion's plan, shows that Dion's plan won't get off the ground. Jonathan Kay at the Post is already writing Mr. Dion's obituray, comparing him to John Tory and his ill-fated religious school funding plan.

I think we have to be realistic here, this was a Hail Mary plan by Dion and it won't work. If there truly was momentum here you'd see Mr. Rae and Mr. Ignatieff out there on the hustings selling this thing. Instead they're on the sidelines waiting for the other shoe to drop.

RuralSandi said...

I think the Conservative supporters better get real as Dr. Phil would say.

I watched a lengthy interview this morning with T. Boone Pickens, a Texas billionaire who got wealthy off oil. This guy knows how to make money and he knows probabilities. He said that if the US tries to drill and search for more oil they won't find much. He also said that the US has a lot of natural gas and he wants to use natural gas for planes, trucks, etc in the short term and alternatives in the long wind power.

Think about it - this guy knows the oil days are ending and he knows how to get on the bandwagon for money making. He's not a billionaire by accident folks - he knows where the future money will come from and it's time we took the bull by the horn and got a head of him.

Necessity is the mother of invention - there are now electric motorcycles in the making, etc.

Wake up!

Joe Calgary said...

Funny, the ipsos poll has a bit of a different take...

Anonymous said...

Dion needs to hold a press conference a week with a leading scientist/economist to keep his plan front and center.

Steve V said...

"Funny, the ipsos poll has a bit of a different take..."

What a shocker.

"Jonathan Kay at the Post is already writing Mr. Dion's obituray, "

What a shocker.

What next a Lorrie Goldstein column, using an Ipsos poll for reference?


Joe Calgary said...

Well Steve... you'll lend credibility to the Pembina Institute, yet discount the Ipsos findings...

While it's hard to deny Ipsos slants, I'd hardly call the Pembina Institute a non-partisan organization.

Who's right, who's wrong... take it to the polls and lets get it over with.

Steve V said...


I thought this a good synopsis of the Ipso poll.

North of 49 said...

The Vancouver Sun had an article about the Ipsos poll as well, same figures, pretty much the same spin, except there was this:

"The online poll for Canwest News Service and Global Television was conducted from July 2-4 and included 1028 adults."

"Online poll"? Right away I have to regard any data that comes out of it as questionable at best, worthless at worst. Let's wait to see if subsequent polls bear it out.

Raphael Alexander said...

Mushroom, liberal elitism at its very finest.

I happen to be a Joe Sixpack, but don't worry about my opinion. I'm just another of the deluded masses, right?