British Columbians Would Ban Unions, Corporations from Political Fundraising

British Columbians Would Ban Unions, Corporations from Political Fundraising

A sizeable proportion of British Columbians endorse the notion of ending political donations from unions and corporations, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with CTV and the Globe and Mail has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample of 807 British Columbian adults, seven-in-ten respondents (70%) support the idea of banning political donations by unions.

More than two thirds of British Columbians (69%) would ban political donations by corporations, and three-in-five (62%) would ban third party political advertising.

Confidence in Leaders

Respondents to this survey were asked about their level of confidence in the two main party leaders to do four things.

Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark had her highest score on handling the economy of the province (37% express “complete confidence” and “some confidence” in her).

However, less than a third of British Columbians trust Clark to tell the truth and be honest (29%), put the interests of people first, and not those of lobbyists, businesses or unions (28%), and keep promises made during an electoral campaign (25%).

Official opposition and New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Adrian Dix received roughly the same marks on handling the province’s finances (36%), but was clearly ahead of the incumbent head of government on the questions related to truth and honesty (35%), keeping election promises (37%) and putting the interests of people first (40%).

Clark gets her best numbers on the four tasks with respondents aged 55 and over, but still ties Dix on economic management and trails the NDP leader on the other three questions with this important demographic.

While at least three-in-five respondents who voted for the NDP in 2009 endorse Dix’s abilities to deliver on the four tasks tested, only 45 per cent of BC Liberal voters in the last provincial election trust Clark to keep campaign promises.

Past Decisions

Respondents to this survey were asked if four ethics and accountability issues, which have been discussed during the electoral campaign, are still important to them.

Two thirds of respondents say that the previous BC Liberal government’s decision to pay $6 million in legal fees for two men who pleaded guilty to providing insider information to interested parties in the sale of BC Rail (67%) matters to them, and a similarly high proportion (66%) feel the same way about the way the previous BC Liberal government implemented the harmonized sales tax (HST).

More than half of respondents (51%) say Dix backdating a memorandum when he was Chief of Staff to Premier Glen Clark in the 1990s is an issue that matters to them, while fewer British Columbians (44%) are concerned about Dix riding public transit without a valid ticket.

The proportion of respondents who say the BC Rail legal fee payout matters to them reaches 83 per cent among NDP voters in 2009, 75 per cent among respondents over the age of 55, and 59 per cent among BC Liberal voters in 2009.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From April 26 to April 27, 2013, Angus Reid Canadian Polling conducted an online survey among 807 randomly selected British Columbia adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of British Columbia. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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