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ATTITUDES TO COALITIONS & ALLIANCES

Canadians Say “No” to Party Alliances

[OTTAWA – October 2, 2008] – Although most Canadians expect a minority government, they are not inclined to see formal alliances or coalitions emerge after the election. In many democracies where majorities are uncommon, in Europe for example, smaller parties forge coalitions of several parties to secure a majority.

But that’s not how Canadians like it.

Fewer than one in five Canadians say they favour this kind of formal arrangement, which has not been seen in Canada on the national level for more than half a century, though it has happened in some provinces.

Seventy-three percent of Canadians prefer less formal arrangements, where different collections of parties get together on particular pieces of legislation – the “system” that has prevailed during the Martin and Harper minorities.

When forced to choose a particular alliance they would prefer, the most popular was a Liberal-NDP alliance, though support even for that was tepid: 33%. No other combination of partiers won support from even a fifth of Canadians.

Detailed Tables:

Attitudes Towards Alliances

Q. In the eventuality of a minority government, there will be a need for coalitions and alliances to retain power in Ottawa. Which of the following two options would you prefer? 1) A more flexible approach where different parties ally in different ways across issues OR 2) Formal party alliances such as the NDP-LPC or the CPC-BQ?

CANADA

BASE: Canadians

Election
2004

Current

BC

AB

MB/SK

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1237

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.8

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

Formal party alliances

30

18

18

6

19

20

20

21

More flexible approach

64

73

77

82

74

73

70

65

Do not know/No response

6

9

6

13

7

7

9

14

Preferred Formal Alliances

Q. In your view, which alliance do you think would be best?

CANADA

BASE: Canadians

Election
2004

Current

BC

AB

MB/SK

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1237

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.7

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

LPC-NDP

26

33

41

17

34

40

25

37

CPC-NDP

20

18

16

22

16

17

18

27

LPC-CPC

18

11

11

16

12

12

6

11

CPC-BQ

14

7

4

5

9

4

14

3

LPC-BQ

7

5

2

2

2

2

14

1

None of the above

8

17

14

31

17

15

17

11

Don’t know/No response

8

9

12

7

9

9

8

10

Methodology:

Today’s poll was conducted using EKOS’ unique hybrid internet-telephone research panel, Probit©. This panel is randomly recruited from the general population, meaning that, the only way to be included in Probit© is through random selection. Unlike opt-in internet-only research panels, Probit© supports confidence intervals and error testing.

The field dates for this survey are September 29 to October 1, 2008. In total, a random sample of 1496 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. A sample of this size provides a margin of error of /- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as regions).

All the data were statistically weighted to ensure the samples composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Click here to download PDF: election-08-alliances-oct2

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