Dion's approval rating down across country: poll

Free Thinker



Over the past year, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's approval rating has plummeted across Canada, according to a new Strategic Counsel poll.

The survey, conducted between Jan. 10-13 for CTV and The Globe and Mail, shows that Dion is the only national party leader to show a significant drop in support.

When respondents were asked if they found the leaders favourable, less than half said they had a good impression of Dion (difference between a Jan. 11-14, 2007 poll in brackets):

  • Stephen Harper, Conservatives: 58 per cent (+4)
  • Elizabeth May, Green Party: 56 per cent (-2)
  • Jack Layton, NDP: 55 per cent (-4)
  • Stephane Dion, Liberals: 39 per cent (-20)
"He had a tough year and we saw that in the media coverage, and what we're seeing is that the public's gotten to that," the Strategic Counsel's Peter Donolo told CTV.ca Monday.

"It has to be an issue of concern for him that his negatives are as high as they are, particulary if you look at it more deeply. He's got a higher percentage of people saying he's 'very unfavourable' than Stephen Harper, which is surprising, given that he hasn't been in that government hot seat -- Mr. Harper has."
  • In fact, 25 per cent of people found Dion "very unfavourable" in the survey and 34 per cent "somewhat unfavourable," totalling 61 per cent.
  • For the 39 per cent who approved of Dion, 34 per cent found him "somewhat favourable" but only 5 per cent "very favourable."
By comparison, 19 per cent found Harper "very unfavourable" and 23 per cent "somewhat unfavourable," while 43 per cent answered "somewhat favourable" and 15 per cent "very favourable."

"If there's any encouraging silver lining in this for Mr. Dion, it's that today he's kind of in the position that Stephen Harper was in, back in October 2005 on the eve of that general election," said Donolo.

"He had 58 per cent 'unfavourable,' and 21 per cent of that was 'very unfavourable.' It took an election campaign for Mr. Harper to kind of shed that, so an election campaign does have the possibility of shaking things up in that regard."

Voters don't want an early election

But while Dion has said he could be pushing for a spring election, the poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians would rather avoid going to the polls until Oct. 2009.

Under legislation that passed last summer, general elections are only called every four years in October unless a non-confidence motion is passed.

According to the survey, roughly two in three Canadians want to wait until October (difference between Jan. 10-13, 2007 poll in brackets):
  • October 2009: 66 per cent (+5)
  • Second half of 2008: 15 per cent (same)
  • First half of 2008: 10 per cent (-1)
  • Immediately: 3 per cent (-4)
Meanwhile, Dion's likeability seems to be having little impact on which party Canadians would vote for. The Liberals and Conservatives are still showing similar numbers to what surveys have suggested since last spring (difference between a Dec. 6-9 poll in brackets):
  • Conservatives: 36 per cent (+4)
  • Liberals: 30 per cent (+1)
  • NDP: 14 per cent (-2)
  • Bloc Quebecois: 11 per cent (+1)
  • Greens: 10 per cent (-3)
Although the Conservatives are six points above the Liberals, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

"The Conservatives have a very difficult time breaking out of the mid-30s. A lot's going to depend on the election campaign," said Donolo.

Concern over the economy

If the opposition parties do pull the plug on the government and trigger an election soon, the economy could become a major campaign issue.

The poll suggests that 12 per cent of Canadians feel the economy is the most important issue facing the country, up 3 points from a July 12-15 survey. Health care also had 12 per cent, but that's a decrease of 4 points. The environment remains the top issue at 22 per cent.

In Ontario, 16 per cent of respondents felt that the economy was the most important issue, up from 5 per cent in July.

"That's a three-fold increase. That's what's driving the national numbers," said Donolo. "It's clear that the constant drumbeat of negative news about the economy is starting to sink in with Canadians."

When respondents were asked about their thoughts on the direction of the economy, a growing number believed it was getting worse (difference between a Nov. 8-11, 2007 poll in brackets):
  • Getting stronger: 18 per cent (-13)
  • Staying the same: 51 per cent (+
  • Getting worse: 28 per cent (+6)
Technical notes
  • The poll was conducted between Jan. 10-13 by The Strategic Counsel for CTV and The Globe and Mail.
  • The national sample size is 1,000 people and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
  • In Ontario, 379 people were sampled with a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
  • Results are based on tracking among a proportionate national sample of Canadians 18 years of age or older.

Well that confirms my conclusions on him... he's a cheese ball and I seriously wouldn't want him as Prime Minister of Canada. Does that mean I prefer Harper over Dion? Let's just say I feel Harper is more qualified for the position then Dion.

Dion hasn't shown any leadership skills, his party has no vision or plans for the future that catch attention, and the only thing he and his party has been doing so far, is just bitch for whatever reason they can find against anything the Conservatives plan.

Even if it's a good idea, he'll moan and complain about one or two trivial things in it, just to make it sound like they're doing something.

Quite honestly, Dion's a joke as a leader and I feel Ignatieff held more qualifications as a leader (As it goes for the LIberals anyways) ~ Ignatieff seemed to actually look like he had a purpose in his face and he knew what he was doing.

Dion seems like some computer software manager thrown into running a baseball team... he hasn't a clue what he's doing imo.
I'd vote for him except he's a Liberal, can't speak English no good, and the Liberal policies suck.
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

I'd vote for him except he's a Liberal, can't speak English no good, and the Liberal policies suck.


Given a choice between having a beer with Dion or Harper......well, I'd probably like Dion better.

But I don't want him running the country...........

Liberal policies on foreign affairs (Afghanistan, Israel, and relations with the USA), on gun control (put BILLIONS into harassing Canadian duck hunters, and now steal a little more property from handgun owners), on Kyoto (idiocy), on the military (what military?), etc are simply beyond the Pale.......

I DO want Harper running the country.

So I send him money.
Free Thinker
Honestly, although Harper has about as much personality as a wet sponge when it comes to politics, I notice he does so on purpose. He did pretty good when he was on Rick Mercer's show (Rick stayed the night with Harper and the kids) and he does no how to take a joke.

The fact that he's dropped the GST, although a little bit, that he's put money into our military and artic, that he has clashed with Bush on a few occasions (It's true... I remember) is by far a clear example that so far, they have done a lot more then what the Liberals have done, which has been the total opposite, minus Jean refusing to goto Iraq.... bravo for that.

You got to think about it this way I figure: For those who don't like Harper and think he's Bush's poodle, do you seriously think Dion would do better?

He hasn't even been able to show us he can forge a direction for his own party, what makes you think he could forge a direction for our country?

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