Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Budget Poll

Angus Reid, gives us a first glimpse review of the budget. The numbers are obviously superficial, first impressions, but I think they speak to the larger desire of just wanting Parliament to get on with it.

On budget approval, solid support:
50% approve of the budget presented by the Conservative government, 31% disapprove

On Parliament passing the budget, a clear want:
53% want Parliament to pass the budget, only 20% don't, with 28% not sure

Impact of budget:
Almost two-thirds of Canadians (63%) believe the budget will have a positive impact in Canada, and almost half (47%) believe the spending plan will have a positive impact in their provinces—including 62 per cent in Ontario and 56 per cent in Alberta. Respondents in Quebec were particularly skeptical, with just 23 per cent foreseeing positive developments for their province, while 42 per cent expect a negative impact.
Still, almost half of Canadians (46%) believe the budget will have no impact at all on their household. Albertans lead the way in expressing personal satisfaction with the spending plan (43% expect a positive impact in their household) while less than one-in-ten Quebecers concur.

The Liberals are clearly on the ride side of public opinion, when it comes to budget passage. Really no sense of a political price, despite the howls from predictable sources.

19 comments:

Greg said...

The Liberals are clearly on the ride side of public opinion, when it comes to budget passage. Really no sense of a political price, despite the howls from predictable sources.

Steve, I say this with the greatest respect. You are the perfect blogger for the Age of Iggy.

catherine said...

This poll is no surprise. Even before the budget, people wanted government to work and the budget has a lot of goodies.

I tend to agree with Paul Well's assessment:

Michael Ignatieff, for whom this corner has not historically carried a torch, has had a very good hour. First he put Stephen Harper on a leash. Then, all by himself, Jack Layton went out on a limb and energetically sawed the branch off behind himself.

Andrew P. said...

I wondered what the poll results would have been if they had bee asked if they'd support amendments that would have widened qualification for EI and made it easier for cities to get that infrastructure money.

My guess is that those of us who would have supported such amendments would still have been on the right side.

Anonymous said...

The public ALWAYS thinks budgets are good on the day they are unveiled. Then they get picked apart and then people notice that the economy isn't getting any better and suddenly they aren't so crazy about the budget anymore.

If Liberals think the Tory budget is so fantastic - why don't they just merge with the Conservative Party and start working on the Harper re-election campaign.

Steve V said...

"Steve, I say this with the greatest respect. You are the perfect blogger for the Age of Iggy."

Greg, listen closely. If you do, all you'll hear is a sigh of relief from the Canadian public, apart from all the rabid Cons, wondering what happened to their soul :)

Steve V said...

"If Liberals think the Tory budget is so fantastic - why don't they just merge with the Conservative Party and start working on the Harper re-election campaign."

Actually, it's not fantastic. The thing people need to consider, did Harper meet the demands of the Liberals, and if in a general sense he did, then what is the rationale for instability? Oh sure, all these simplistic notions are well and good, but this is a complicated calculation, it just is... And, if it didn't address the Liberal needs, in some respect, please, please, explain why many conservatives are downright apocalyptic? I understand disappointment, to be honest I'm not impressed with the EI non-amendment, but it's a decision in totality, and the government will fall on another occasion. Kinsella is floating June, right after the convention, and I'm on board with that logic.

Mike said...

I agree there will be no price paid outside Quebec, none whatsoever, maybe even a boost in Liberal fortunes.

But in Quebec I think the Bloc will gain at our expense. Quebecers didn't want us to vote for this thing before it was even presented and now with Charest slamming the budget contents the optics there for us are even worse.

While the media dismissed and made of fun Layton's response, no one has criticized Duceppe's response, in fact it's been said to have been pretty good. I suspect Duceppe's response will get good coverage in Quebec. Remember the Cons are no longer a factor in Quebec, so how do you think our response today helps us against the Bloc?

As I know you are someone who has placed a high value on a rebound in Quebec, I'm not sure why this wouldn't concern you.

I also think the proposed amendments dropped the ball when it didn't have to be that way at all (basically we have condemened all those on EI to the same rules and system for at least the next year ahead despite them badly needing better and Harper would have swalloed any amendments), but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason why Iggy didn't propose an amendment to help people on EI. He was obviously afraid that the Tories wouldn't agree to it and that the amendment might pass and cause the GG to invite Ignateiff to form a government - and we now know that Ignatieff does NOT want to be PM.

Steve V said...

"As I know you are someone who has placed a high value on a rebound in Quebec, I'm not sure why this wouldn't concern you."

You said yourself, the Cons are done in Quebec. That simple fact, and I really see NO prospects to think otherwise, their name cemented now, then it still leave a vacuum. Of course the Bloc could benefit, but then again, Ignatieff has some latitude on the nation front, which will make him the viable alternative. I see nothing "critical" in this decision, but clearly we have work to do. Maybe if we went the other way, it might of helped our cause in Quebec, but it would have cost us in the rest of the country, so it's not an easy tradeoff.

I was listening to a political science professor from Quebec City, and his view was Ignatieff is just broad strokes at the moment, his fate will be decided when Quebecers zero in, during the next election. That's seems a reasonable view, build the party from the inside for a few months, and then have at it, see if we can make some inroads. BTW, don't be so sure Duceppe runs in the next election, I'd say the chances are pretty good he won't, which completely changes the dynamics.

Steve V said...

"and we now know that Ignatieff does NOT want to be PM."

Good analysis. Next.

Joyce said...

The political price the Liberals will pay is that they are now responsible for a budget they have no authority over. They are on the outside looking in. The Liberals said they would would measure the budget against specific criteria. Where are the jobs of tomorrow? Okay this budget only minimally meets some of the criteria, but it lets the Liberals off the hook with the coalition. This was the plan, but it does carry a political price.

Steve V said...

Joyce

If we're sitting here, this time next year, I'd be more inclined to agree. However, this is an extraordinary circumstance, Ignatieff has the latitude afforded a new leader, there is a sense the Liberals are getting their act together and we face a damaged opponent. Let's see what happens in the coming months, before we entertain a price, because I don't get that sense in the least, that the Liberals have hurt themselves in the immediate.

gfm said...

What ever happened to the condition of being allowed to see the real books? Flaherty cannot be trusted, and I suspect when this is all said in done we will be much further in debt than we are being told.

I hope Ignatieff is right on this one, but I worry that as soon as Harper turns the corner - and knows the coalition is impossible - he is going to be pulling on the leash as hard as he can.

I don't see under what conditions in the next two years the Liberals will be prepared, financially or organizationally, to fight an election. I wonder what the smear campaign will bring this time? My money is on "Not a Canadian," or maybe they could just retread the "Not a Leader" campaign.

The worst thing I am feeling right now is the complete capitulation on the environment. We went from a party with a great idea on how to help both the planet and our economic situation to a party that is supporting a government that is willing to sell out future generations on so many fronts.

Sure, I'll vote Liberal, but I am far from enthused about volunteering any time, let alone giving any money beyond my membership fee.

I guess this is the time where those on the more right hand side of the tent get their chance. We on the left just had our chance - I know - and it didn't go so well.

All the best to those in leadership positions who think they can make this work.

Tom said...

Mike, the poll results and your analysis do suggest we might take a hit in Quebec, but if we're going to look at it from a strictly political/electoral perspective, it has to be compared against what would happen politically/electorally if we chose another option. And there's no guarantee that the Bloc, Charest and the average Quebec voter would be any happier with a Liberal or coalition budget. So perhaps we're no worse off in Quebec and better off elsewhere than we would be otherwise. That sounds like a good political outcome to me.

Steve V said...

"I don't see under what conditions in the next two years the Liberals will be prepared, financially or organizationally, to fight an election."

I think we need a few months, no more. Rae today, and I hear this everytime, spoke to a real uptick in fundraising, the party in much better shape. We'll get the quarter results in the next few days, but the real thing to look for, what we do in this quarter. I'm pretty upbeat on that front, and organizationally, we can be ready in soon, if we're focused.

wayupnorth said...

Hate to poop on the nay sayers parade but this is the most brilliant thing the Liberals could do.

First by not amending it with changes to the budget it is 100% Harpers and snce we all know it is the wrong budget for the wrong time in six months he will wear it ALONE.

Second the Liberals have built in several opportunities to take Harper down spread out so they can pick the optimum time. There is a critical date I will be watching which is early next year when the conservatives can gain a majority in the senate, need I say more.

Finally, Harper effectivly damaged the first coalition enough to make implementation more of a political hazard than the Liberals would be wise to try. Now that Layton has trashed it the Libs. are free again to pursue their own agenda and force an election at the right time. Make no mistake that coalitions will come up in the future but they can only work if two parties can join to form a stable government as hundreds of examples around the world of multi party colitions having a short life show.

catherine said...

The latest CROP numbers look good for the Liberals. We'll see how this budget strategy plays out in Quebec, but this kind of response doesn't hurt.

sjw said...

While not near as outraged as this caterwauling malcontent, I am somewhat disillusioned to see Mr Ignatieff so eagerly embracing a working relationship with a prime minister who deserves absolutely NO cooperation whatsoever. While I grudgingly concur with the strategy behind the move, for me it places the Liberal leader on a very short leash. A leash you could call "Probation".

Steve V said...

sjw

Fair enough, and if we allow this government to survive for a long period, I'll change my tune.