Monday, September 01, 2008

Green Shift Poll

First, remember the source, then read between the lines:
An Ipsos-Reid poll of 1,003 adults completed Aug. 26-28 found a majority of 51 per cent support for the Green Shift in July has flipped to a majority of 52 per cent opposed now. That is a seven-point decline in support and a nine-point rise in opposition. Four per cent are undecided.

A partial explanation for the rise, in a province that isn't in the cards electorally for the Liberals anyways:
Opposition to the plan soared 18 points to 64 per cent in Alberta

Opposition is also strong in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, the poll treats the two provinces as one- 29% support the Green Shift.

Some quick math, a good percentage of this fall in national support is directly attributable to greater disapproval in the prairie provinces, a fact which surprises no one, nor is it particularly relevant to Liberal chances.

The poll, did however, find that opposition is also rising in Ontario, but there's a catch:
But the pollsters found grounds for Liberal worry in Ontario, a key electoral battleground: the portion of respondents who may vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper specifically to block the Green Shift rose eight points to 43 per cent. Everywhere else in the country consideration of that voting tactic fell

The pollster also finds that support for the Green Shift is evenly split in Ontario 49-49. Ipsos argues that the rise in people who would consider Harper because of the Green Shift is a clear sign of trouble for the Liberals in Ontario. What Bricker fails to mention, this is from the exact same Ipsos sample that also found the Liberals opening up a large 12% lead in Ontario, pulling away, relative to older offerings. Apparently, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the Harper question and actual voter intentions- I think I'll give more weight to the latter.

but majority support of 52 per cent holding firm in Atlantic Canada and residents of Quebec and Ontario evenly divided with support at 49 per cent in both provinces. In British Columbia support is 43 per cent, a three-point drop that is within the margin of error.

Basically, the Liberals are essentially losing the argument, in parts of the country that frankly aren't part of any Liberal minority equation anyways, so I would factor that into the overall numbers. Elsewhere, more relevant to Liberal fortunes, no need for panic, as the pollster infers. That's not to say no concern, but it's important to see where the dip is coming from.

I made this argument with the Green Shift was released, and I'll repeat it here. The Liberals don't need the majority to support their policies, they only need 35-40%, so when you see 45% support nationally, better numbers in key regions, there is still plenty of scenarios that play well for the Liberals. You have the Conservatives and NDP both forcefully arguing against the plan, as well as the Bloc in Quebec, so when you drill down, you see much of it boils down to party affiliation. The Liberals scored 31% in the Ipsos poll, yet 45% support the Green Shift, hardly bad news, if one is looking to expand support.

I'm not particularly worried if the Liberals lose by 45% in Alberta ridings, as opposed to 35% pre-Green Shift, same goes for regions of Saskatchewan where the Liberals were lost to begin with (it's like the Democrats getting worried that Obama is polling lower in Utah). What matters, is the calculus in the areas of the country where they must do well, and if the only province in this category that shows a hint of negativity, Ontario, also comes with a corresponding big lead for the Liberals, then all is well. The Green Shift has considerable appeal, well above Liberal party preference, the key is too appeal to enough outside of the core to get the party over the hump.


Oxford County Liberals said...

I see Janke thinks your analysis is "brilliant".

He's being tongue-in-cheek of course, but if he actually WAS serious, it would have been the first sensible thing he's said at his blog in awhile.

Steve V said...

It appears he's bought into the transfer of wealth stuff, which is so out to lunch (stupid comments from an MP who had nothing to do with formulating the plan aside). Besides, if Stelmach and Wall are right, then this carbon sequestration thing will negate any carbon tax, so no worries, that's their phony line afterall.

If you want to curb GHG's, you have to curb GHG's. Period. Playing one region off another is a fantasy, created by people who ARE politically motivated.

Anonymous said...

No thoughts of making the redistribution inter-provincial?

Anonymous said...

lol, that's not what I mean. Why not make the redistribution within a province, so that wealth would at least not be redistributed across the country? We'll have 2 seperatist provinces otherwise.

Dr. Tux said...

I'm more interested in polls that have shown only 5-10% of Canadians have even heard of the Green Shift.

How can this poll be taken seriously when so few Canadians know any of the details of this policy?

Call an election and the conditions are set for the electorate to start paying attention.

Steve V said...


Only problem with that solution, sounds like you seperated already. One more thing, this is like when the oil companies get all sheepish about profits. Alberta's surplus just released, is so obscene, the government doesn't even know what to do with it. Can we dispense with the tumbleweeds down the streets of Calgary, should Dion's dasdardly blame to REDUCE GHG's come to pass. We've been moving money around this country for etnernity, it's what COUNTRIES do. Some of my freaking tax dollars were investing in the tarsands for cripes sake, if you want play the ME, ME, ME, my team crap. Let's all separate, little tribes, little minds, little perspective.

Steve V said...

"I'm more interested in polls that have shown only 5-10% of Canadians have even heard of the Green Shift. "

Tux, that poll is a dinosaur now.

Traciatim said...

I want to start by saying I've never voted. I'm pretty indifferent when it comes to politics, but am considering making the next election my first since I'm getting older and have a family . . . and am starting to actually care ;) Just for clarity, I came to the site through Janke's link.

Anyway, I was just wondering in the benefit calculator my family will have a pretty tidy bonus from the green shift plan. However in the cost area the details seem really glossed over being described as 'an increase in some energy costs'.

In this plan however lets say for instanc costs increase for transported goods and energy by 1% or so for each year for the next 4 years. If stats Canada releases the CPI numbers as 1% higher than what they would be, and inflation is above 3% won't the BoC be forced to increase interest rates in response in order to slow inflation by causing unemployment?

I thought this was the primary reason for the GST cut, to mask inflation so things didn't look so bad in order to dampen the housing mess and credit market troubles.

Are the credits from the green shift really going be enough to cover everything that will increase in price from the taxes, or simply the direct energy costs?

Anonymous said...

How is a surplus in Alberta 'obscene'?

Steve V said...

The size is obscene, and the fact nobody knows what to do with it, speaks to that.


To be honest, I wish the calculator did more on the cost side, rather than highlight the savings. They have the figures, based on normal usage, particular circumstance, so you should be able to get a sense. Not every single person will be UP, so it should be more reflective.

On the other hand, the Cons don't mention the taxcuts, plus the hypocrisy of saying prices will rise, when every economist who has looked acknowledges that the Con plan acts the same way, prices on everything will rise.

Dr. Tux said...

If it's a dinosaur poll, show me something that indicates 20-30% of the Canadian electorate having heard of the Green Shift.

Steve V said...


Well, isn't this a FREAKING post on green shift polling?? You can answer "don't know" you know?

And, I sure hope people know about it, otherwise Harper's wasted tons of cash bashing it everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's what I thought. Isn't that what the whole have/have-not thing is about? There's already a mechanism in place, but you can't keep your hands off. Never do mind that Alberta's economy is historically cyclical and needs to pack away now for later. Or that the hot western economy benefits the whole country as well.

Did the NEP help anybody? But some people were more screwed than others.

Steve V said...


I'm so bored with the NEP stuff, and the whole keep your hands off our money crap seems like small minded selfishness. Narrow tribalism, how 21st century. Depressing.

Anonymous said...

Come on Steve. You're the one sounding tribal here. A country is about "moving money around"? I appreciate the principle of the have/have-not scheme. Not much impressed by the apparent fact that a shift that would not transfer wealth is unacceptable to you. How is that anything but tribal? So what if Alberta doesn't like it, the provinces we need will? What a damn grand perspective.

You're so narrow and tribal you don't even realize it

Steve V said...


It's not about transferring wealth, it's about reducing GHG's. If you want to buy into the conspiracy theories, go for it, pointless for me to argue differently.

You don't need enemies to find identity.

"You're so narrow and tribal you don't even realize it"

Whatever. Go build your firewalls now, the boogeyman is coming.

Anonymous said...

NEP really stands for No Effect, Punk. Because that's what it had. The problem with Alberta, that most Albertans don't seem to recognize, is basing your economy on a single resource export is an inherently unstable way to build an economy.

NEP had nothing to do with the crash that hit Alberta. Blame OPEC and poor internal management that didn't work hard enough to get us diversified when we had cash.

Unfortunately, same damn thing happening again under Stelmach. On the bright side, there are enough people wanting oil now that a retarded monkey with a gambling addiction could make a successful budget in Alberta.

I'm expecting I'm going to see some significant savings under the Green Shift because I shifted my own lifestyle for personal reasons some time ago. It'll be nice for companies to have some incentive to go sustainable so that there starts to be some significant competition between companies producing the products I buy.

burlivespipe said...

It's all about marketing. So far, the Green Shift has been hijacked; it isn't really been given good shrift.
If I'm the leader of an opposition party heading into an election and I've got a Green Shift platform that I want people to know about, I'm making the message the tax cuts.
Put the part of joining together to make wise choices, saving money and helping heal the planet a united front, but give people the what they want. It's in there.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis shows that it plays well where Liberals hope to get elected. And you accuse Wolfe of 'narrow tribalism'.

Provincial tribalism bad - political tribalism good?

Steve V said...


I'm talking about electoral prospects, where the Liberals need votes. You guys are attaching all the regionalism crap. And, it's boring too.

Mr. Enns said...

If you let your support in a region or two utterly collapse, you can no longer claim to be a national party. Liberals used to care about such things.