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WHITHER THE BOOMERS: FROM WOODSTOCK TO OIL STOCKS – December 3, 2009

IN ASSOCIATION WITH CBC NEWS NETWORK’S POWER AND POLITICS, EKOS RESEARCH ASSOCIATES IS CONDUCTING SURVEYS USING QUESTIONS AND TOPICS SUBMITTED BY VIEWERS. EKOS PRESIDENT, FRANK GRAVES LOOKS AT THE RESULTS OF THIS WEEK’S SURVEY.

[Ottawa – December 3, 2009] – Despite announcements that the recession is over, we see an unusual pattern among the public where management of the economy continues to be the dominant election issue (named by 31%), followed by social issues (27%). While the environment and climate change continue to be important issues for Canadians (tied with fiscal issues at 18%), they have yet to reclaim the salience they achieved before the recession. However, with economic confidence rising and the environment taking centre stage at the Copenhagen conference in a few weeks time, it is very likely that these issues will once again move to the forefront of the public psyche within the coming year.

On the issue of how the Conservatives are handling the environment file, there is both good news and areas of concern for the government in this week’s poll.

Notwithstanding the general hand-wringing and Greek chorus about the corrosive impacts of Canada’s current environmental strategy on our international reputation, there is little evidence to suggest that this is a major concern to most Canadians. While there is a slight lean to seeing it as having a damaging impact (40%), it is pretty modest at this stage, and almost as many say it has no impact on our reputation abroad (37%).

It is noteworthy that there is very strong correlation between sense that our reputation has been damaged and concern with national direction. This may be the single area where the Conservatives are most offside with the public sense of national direction. Unsurprisingly, non-CPC voters are more likely to be embarrassed about Canada’s environmental record (at least 1 in 2 current LPC, NDP, and BQ supporters say this has had a “negative effect”).

What is surprising – and this is evident on other indicators as well – is that concern about Canada’s environmental record is heightened among older Canadians (who tend to be more fluent on these issues). This may become a problem for the Conservatives, as this is a key constituency for them – especially as Canadians tell us that the environment and climate change are going to be important ballot booth issues (39% “somewhat important” and 32% “very important”).

There is a glaring gap between the CPC supporters and all others on the question of how important the environment will be in their next visit to the ballot booth. Only 18% of CPC supporters think it will be “very important”. Amongst all other party supporters that number is around 40%. The importance placed on this issue is highest in British Columbia, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. It is also a much greater concern in urban Canada and amongst the most educated (the only sizable constituency where the LPC now leads).

The final question examining the impact of the Conservative government’s record on the environment on vote intention points to the crucial nature of this issue on CPC aspirations for a majority. While a modest plurality (44%) say that the Conservative’s record on the environment will not change their likelihood of voting for them in the next election, those that say it will have an impact lean towards saying they will be less (34%) rather than more (22%) inclined to vote Conservative.

While these results clearly suggest that the Conservatives are unlikely to win many voters with their record in this area, it also raises concerns about their potential to lose support among segments of the public who would otherwise potentially be disposed to vote for them (i.e., even amongst current CPC supporters, close to 1 in 5 says they would be less likely to vote CPC because of their record on the environment). This is a particularly important concern with the senior vote – currently a key to Tory success – where 38% are “less likely” to vote Conservative. Interestingly, the ubiquitous boomer segment seems to have eschewed the “whole earth” roots of their youth, and is least likely to see this as a ballot booth issue (48% say it would have “no effect” on their vote intentions).

Click here for the full report: full_report_december_3

1 comment to WHITHER THE BOOMERS: FROM WOODSTOCK TO OIL STOCKS – December 3, 2009

  • Donald Bruce Smith

    , I wonder how Canadians will react to the unravelling story of the uncontested reality of Global warming as it would appear that the creators of Global Warming have been cooking the books to ensure the base numbers support their contention that Global warming is real.

    What`s that, it is not Global warming anymore! What is it called now? You are telling me it is called, climate change now! , When did they change it? Oh, when they could not sell Global warming, makes sense.

    So I wonder how Canadians will start to react to climate change as the climate-gate story gains more and more traction in the media and whether or not they will continue to consider it as a “real” issue facing Canadians, particularly if the story proves to be true that various groups manufactured data to support their hypostasis.

    The other question is what the Liberals will do now as they had hooked their wagon to the “science” on Kyoto and Global Warming and Climate warming and through their media friends and sell interest groups having been attacking the Conservatives as “Climate Deniers” for their public policy.

    It would appear that “the deniers” had it right and the Liberal were “the liars” on this file and the Liberals now will be faced with being “the deniers” on what they said or will they try to cover that up.

    This should be interesting considering the amount of Liberals comments out there to deny! Of course one has to consider the fact that the suppliers or manufactures of the data have very conveniently lost it all, which should make the issue easier to deny.