EKOS Federal Voting Intent Poll, 4 March 2010

Notes from North of 49ºN

This EKOS poll was before Prime Minister Harper’s throne speech {the name of which brings out the eternal 10-tear old in me} and before the release of the federal budget.

Lower taxes? Controlling the deficit? Nope. Social investment, in areas like health, education, and jobs.

Over a month ago, I analyzed the Canadian federal voting landscape and came to the conclusion that a huge risk for Harper and the Conservative Party is poor performance in Ontario. What Ontarians want is pretty much on par with the nationwide numbers above and the Conservatives have closed the gap in the polling numbers in the province at 34.9%, compared to the Liberals at 38.0% and the New Democrats at 14.3%.

The Finance Minister Jim Flaherty noted last week that the Conservative’s budget is focusing on reducing corporate taxes to make Canada more attractive for business along with deficit reduction. He acknowledged the 8.3% unemployment rate, lower than the double digits in the US, and announced $178M CAN for job sharing agreements and youth employment.

Harper also ended a study to change the Canadian anthem, “Oh Canada” to a more gender neutral version reflecting the 1908 poem that it is based on. The current line, “True patriot love in all thy sons command,” while the poem has the line ,“True patriot love thou dost in us command.” According to an Ipsos Canwest poll, the Conservatives and Liberals were statistically tied in their support by women.

The Conservatives are in the drivers seat but on thin ice. The policy emphases in the budget are risky, in my opinion, particularly given Ontario’s higher than the national average unemployment rate of 9.2% last month.  The anger over proroguing has melted like so much Whistler slush. The Liberals have an unpopular leader in Ignatieff and the Dippers have a relatively popular leader of a relatively unpopular party.

Twitterversion:: What Canadians want: investment in social areas. Harper & Conservatives in driver’s seat but on thin ice. #ThickCulture @Prof_K

Song:: Five Iron Frenzy-“Oh Canada”