Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Overwhelming Rejection Of Conservatives

A very one sided finding, with overwhelming "disapproval" of the government's position on climate change. Maybe more alarming, the poll was commissioned by Canwest, which has done its best over the past few weeks to run cover for the Conservatives. Dreadful numbers for the Conservatives, approval stuck in the TEENS:
The survey, conducted last week by the Innovative Research Group for Canwest News Service, found that a total of 60 per cent of respondents were familiar with Canada's position at the conference and that 49 per cent disapproved of the government's approach...

But only 19 per cent of respondents in the poll said they approved of the government's position.

49-19%, disapproval/approval amongst those that expressed an opinion. Extrapolated out with the same margins means 72% disapprove, only 28% approve. It's these type of numbers that explain why pollsters like Gregg see this issue as a real achilles heel for the government. The Conservatives can't even manage BASE support, which means their rivals could capitalize on the large remaining pool.

On the question of voter intention:
The new survey also found that 43 per cent of Canadians said they would be less likely to vote for the Conservatives because of the government's position, while 13 per cent said it would make them more likely to vote for the party.

Over 3 to 1 say our embarrassing performance on this file makes them less likely to vote Conservative. Where this could come into play, if another party, namely the Liberals, is able to successfully marry the future economy to the environment. Then, you address voters chief concern, while taking advantage of another issue which still ranks in the top three amongst voters.

It's somewhat positive to see Canadians aren't buying these nonsensical arguments from the Conservatives, it's just excuses, not conviction. Wear it well, it's entirely deserved and warranted.


The Mound of Sound said...

Great but how do you shake the Liberal leadership's affinity to the fossil fuel industry? You either believe that we're going to have to decarbonize our economy and society or you don't. Despite Kyoto, Rio, Bali and Copenhagen, the lines on this issue are being drawn ever more sharply.

FederalPapers said...

What these numbers dont say, is how the climate deniers, which make up a fairly singificant chunk of the conservative base, think that Harper/Prentice are buying too much into the green hype.

These whack jobs will continue to vote Conservative however. Until a credible alternative emerges on the right, Harper can take these people for granted.

Steve V said...

I think you focus on efficiency, greening our economy and alternative energy.

Mound, you're never shutting down the tarsands, that's a fact in my mind. All you can hope for, the pressure is so great, that you can make some real long term progress. Meanwhile, that doesn't preclude us from revolutionizing the rest of the economy, to try and offset. For all the American posturing, there is never a scenario where I foresee Alberta lying dormant, their appetite doesn't change over night. Over time, yes, that's the long view, but let's move elsewhere until circumstances change allows.

I think the tarsands are dirty, dangerous and completely irresponsible. If Ignatieff's plan is to generate a bit of credibility in the oilpatch, then push hard for substantive change, it's a sound and realistic strategy. I believe many, many Albertans want environmental sustainability, there is room to deal with SOME issues.

I thought Iggy actually offered a pretty targeted policy on energy, not something to fluff off, because the tarsands still exist. I know one thing from my time in Alberta, it doesn't matter one lick what you or I think, or any Liberal for that matter, the tap will stay on and a demand that isn't going away in my time won't change that. Gain some trust, then apply pressure and make it cost effective to lower emissions. What else are you going to do? I'm at a loss.

Steve V said...

"think that Harper/Prentice are buying too much into the green hype."

I wish I had the link to Anderson's recent appearance, it was so telling. When asked how you bring deniers into the fold, he said you make the economic argument, he said you appeal to efficiency as a way to improve competitiveness. Anderson basically articulated the talking points to keep the dinosaurs on board with the government. It's quiet agreement with the denial crowd, you abandon the environmental conviction, but turn it into a classic "lean and mean" conservative argument.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the best way to eventually close down the tar sands is to develop alternative energy sources. If Ignatieff were to provide policy details as to how this can be done, Canadians might feel they have an alternative. Surely he can outline some practical solutions for ordinary Canadians which would make the transformation of our economy less overwhelming and more appealing, e.g., I would like to install a solar panel on my roof but can't afford it, can the government offer me some kind of incentive?
I can't see the Cons stealing such ideas because they have no real interest in transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Steve V said...


Agree completely. Until you develop the alternatives, you're going after a source that's still a lifeblood. If we can get the average consumer away from fossil fuels, then you've already won a great portion of the battle. Pour money into making alternatives cheaper, a "made in Canada" manufacturing component, that's the realistic scenario at this moment. Nobody is turning off the tarsands anytime soon, our interests never operate in isolation.

Steve V said...

I also think, if we develop domestic manufacturing that is "clean", we can then entertain environmental tariffs, which ultimately will be the only way to get China and others online. That doesn't happen until we "lead".

Jingles said...

I presently live in Southern Alberta for the moment and there are those Albertans who recognize Climate Change is a problem that has to be dealt with. They also run scared as to what will happen to their economy if the Tar Sands were shut down which isn't going to happen any time soon. They remember the poor days and don't want to return to them. They have to be convinced that alternatives produce jobs. Then there are those smaller towns such as Medicine Hat who see the writing on the wall. For example, wind turbines have just been installed to produce electricity. There is enough gas in the ground in this area for the next hundred years but this small city has the balls to go green in a big way. Steve V. this is the only way people are going to be able to apply pressure on Governments...taking the bull by the horns. Someone mentioned installing solar panels on rooftops which is expensive. The Harper Government can find money to help the auto industry but it is remote that they would give an individual who wanted to install solar panels enough incentive so as to be economical. Incentives for High School Students to develop new approaches to controlling emmissons and alternatives is another. Incentives of 500.00 dollars is not going to cut it but rather something substancial such as 10,000 dollars or more for good creativity.

Frankly Canadian said...

I think the real issue here Steve is the officious behaviour that this government has shown the world, and judging by your poll numbers, I believe Canadians are beginning to realize this. Canada used to be a nation who played an intricate part in bringing the world together, from our involvement with the United Nations peace keeping efforts to the Montreal accord to curb ozone depletion and yes, the Kyoto agreement. Canada has lost far more than our mere input into the Copenhagen conference, we are quickly losing our creditability on the world stage, all because of the Steven Harper Conservative government, period. I believe Bono said it best after the United Nations Conference for African Aid, what happened here was not a what but a who, and that who was a man called Steven Harper, he obstructed the entire process.
The real issue here is same as what is going on with the Afghanistan detainees issue, Steven Harper will do what ever he wants with no regard for due process or even the rule of law. The Conservatives act as if they answer to nobody, the only thing they ever consider is how many votes they would gain, period! The Liberal party only needs to connect the dots for Canadians and show how manipulative Harper is and show how he has hurt the country with all of his antics.
As for all the talk about closing down the tars sands, everybody knows that will never happen, however giving the companies guidelines and incentives to clean it up considerably is definitely a viable option. Canada is and will continue to be an oil producing nation, but that doesn’t mean that is all we have going for us, however on the world stage that is what Harper has reduced us to, a nation of rig piggers.

Steve V said...

"They have to be convinced that alternatives produce jobs."

The problem is, you won't produce alternative jobs to augment any jobs lost in the oil patch, at least not in areas that exist because of it. Really, it's not different than a mining town in Northern Ontario, if the mine closes, the town basically dies. There isn't a magic solution most of the time.

That's great what you say about Medicine Hat, and by no means is anyone suggesting that Alberta isn't on the lead edge of alternatives. Okotoks another prime example.

The real problem, if you move entirely away from fossil fuels, then it's a net negative for Alberta as a whole. In Ontario, we can modernize our manufacturing base, but in Alberta it's never going to be a hug for production of "new technology", logistically it's not practical.

Appreciate the comments.


One thing to keep in mind, with all these polls that had shown the Cons up (coming back now), it's not cemented support, it's actually a default position. I remain convinced that Canadians have no affection for this government, nor their practices. It is our failure to articulate a credible alternative which sustains them, should we get our act together, watch the Con bravado evaporate. People don't like Harper and the Cons, but they don't like us either, or the other sideshows. It's a concoction that produces apathy, what is required is a spark to exploit.

Frankly Canadian said...

I believe that spark to be the overall contempt that Steven Harper has shown for the cosmopolitan diplomats working for our country and the other nations of the world. The overall contempt he shows for our parliamentary system by prorogueing parliament at will to either avoid confidence votes or to avoid parliamentary committees. For that matter the overall contempt he has for the whole parliamentary committees, when his party produced a booklet or handbook of how to obstruct and filibuster the committees to gain unfair advantages. The overall contempt he has for his opposition and adversaries when he continues to produce low blow and ridiculous attack ads or he tries to cut public funding for anyone who may oppose him. That spark to me is the contempt Steven Harper has shown for anyone who doesn’t support him or who may oppose him or his self-righteous right wing beliefs/ideals. Harper has squandered our reputation as being a productive world leader and has replaced it with, I don’t know what!

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm sure it has pained all of us to watch Harper hustle the opposition these past four years. We bring our best game but he just changes to another table of his liking. For all his faults it would be disingenuous to deny that he has out maneuvered the opposition at every turn. Has there ever been a more capable minority prime minister in Canadian history? The opposition don't agree with him, the Canadian voters don't agree with him --- and he's able to overcome those disadvantages while, at the same time, prevailing against us.

Frankly Canadian said...

Hogwash, He's a deceiteful and malicious man who prides himself by personally destructing all things Canadian, period.

The Mound of Sound said...

FC, you're venting. Now find someone who can take him on.

Steve V said...

Can't necessarily disagree Mound, with a few noteable exceptions.