MACLEAN'S/CBS NEWS POLL

Sounding the nation’s mood

December 30 1996
MACLEAN'S/CBS NEWS POLL

Sounding the nation’s mood

December 30 1996

Sounding the nation’s mood

MACLEAN'S/CBS NEWS POLL

The 13th annual Maclean’s year-end poll, which takes the pulse of the nation, was conducted by Toronto-based The Strategic Counsel Inc. For the second straight year, CBC TV’s The National joined in the venture, to present programs based on these results on Dec. 23 and 24. The findings, expressed in percentages of respondents, emerged from telephone interviews that The Strategic Counsel conducted from Nov. 21 to 28 with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 or older, selected randomly across all 10 provinces. (There was no sampling in the Yukon or Northwest Territories because of the difficulty of obtaining statistically significant polling results for such sparsely populated areas.) To

reduce the margin of error at the provincial level, sampling took place disproportionately to ensure a minimum of 90 respondents, even in the smaller provinces.

National results for 1,072 respondents, weighted to take into account the selective oversampling, are considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Accuracy ranges are wider for results from individual provinces and subgroups. Highlighted figures throughout the report focus on statistically significant results. Numbers in tables and charts are rounded off and, in most cases, “don’t know” and no-answer responses are eliminated. For those reasons, the total percentages frequently do not add up to 100.

GENERAL ATTITUDES 1. What is the most important problem facing Canada? Unemployment................31 ; Deficit/government spending ... 15 i National unity..................9 ; Economy-general..............6 ; Health care....................5 : Other social services............4 ; Taxes.........................3 ; Crime/violence/justice..........2 j Education......................2 ; Environment...................1 ; Government-general............1 j Morality/moral breakdown in society....................1 j Native/aboriginal issues.........1 ; Agricultural issues..............lí Immigration/multiculturalism____1 j Women’s ; Free trade.....................j Peace/defence.................; International issues.............j Other........................11 ; Don’t know....................5 ; 2. Are you more or less optimistic about the future than you were a decade ago? Much more optimistic..........10 : A little more optimistic.........17 ; A little more pessimistic........29 ; Much more pessimistic.........20 ; Not changed over the past 10 years................22 : 3. In the past 10 years, would you say your personal financial situation has ... ? Gotten much worse............12 Gotten somewhat worse........24 Stayed about the same..........33 Gotten somewhat better........21 Gotten much better.............9

4. The United Nations and other international organizations have consistently evaluated Canada as one of the best countries in which to live. In the next decade or so do you think it likely that Canada will continue to be rated so highly? Very likely....................33 Somewhat likely...............39 Somewhat unlikely.............19 Very unlikely...................8

5. Have Ottawa’s efforts to reduce the deficit gone ... ? Too far.......................16 About the right distance........26 Not far enough................51 6. Have any provincial governments gone too far in their efforts to reduce the deficit? None.........................51

Ontario.......................25 Alberta.......................11 Quebec.......................11 British Columbia...............4 Saskatchewan..................3 Nova Scotia....................3 Manitoba......................2 New Brunswick............. 3 Newfoundland..................2 Prince Edward Island............2 7. Looking ahead over the next few years, do you think government deficits will be ... ? Significantly higher............12 Somewhat higher..............25 The same.....................23 Somewhat lower...............27 Significantly lower..............9 POLITICS 38. Does any federal political party have concrete solutions to some of the major challenges we are facing as a nation? No, none.....................76 liberals......................10 Reform party...................4 Conservatives..................3 NDP..........................2 Bloc Québécois.................1 Don’t know/Other..............8

MILLENNIAL EXPECTATIONS For each of the following, how likely do you think it is that it will occur between now and the year 2005? Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Likely Likely Unlikely Unlikely 8. There will be two types of health-care systems, one for people who want and can afford private care, and medicare for those who can’t or do not want to pay. 46 35 10 7 9. There will be private universities for those who are prepared to pay the full tuition fee. 46 34 12 6 10. Most people will not be able to afford to retire when they are 65 years old. 49 30 13 8 11. There will be little or no government assistance for those who lose their jobs or who have no means of support. 31 33 25 10 12. Many people will never find full-time work throughout their lives. 48 32 12 8 13. Technology will make life a lot easier for Canadians. 32 35 18 12 14. Scientific discoveries will increase our health to the point where almost everyone will live well past 100 years. 10 23 32 34

! 15. There will be as many nonwhites as whites j in Canada’s urban centres. 50 33 10 4 16. Canada or part of Canada will join the United States. 10 19 24 46 17. Quebec wifi be a separate country. 17 25 30 25 18. Governments will ask charitable organizations to provide many of the social services that they provide now. 40 39 13 7 19. The risk of people being exposed to violence and physical harm will be much greater than today. 48 33 14 4 20. There will be a revival of spiritual values and a rejection of materialism. 17 30 28 21 21. People will be working longer hours for fewer rewards than they do now. 48 30 13 8 22. There will be no more government pensions, and in order to have a pension you will have to provide for one by making personal contributions on your own. 49 31 10 8 23. Private enterprise will play a much bigger role in our society than it has in the past. 53 34 7 4

39. With the federal government likely to call an election during 1997, many commentators expect that the Liberals will win a very large majority of the seats. Some people say that would be a problem because there would be little opposition and little debate in Parliament on the government’s policies. Others say that it would not be a problem, since a small opposition group would allow the Liberals to more easily implement their policies. Which of those two points of view best reflects your own? A problem....................60 Not be a problem..............31 Don’t know/refused.............9 QUEBEC 40. In the year since the Quebec referendum, do you think the chances of Quebec leaving and Canada breaking up have ... ? Increased significantly...........6 Increased somewhat...........17 Remained about the same.......37 Decreased somewhat..........30 Decreased significantly..........8 41. Do you think the federal government taking a tougher stand with Quebec would ... ? Make Quebec more willing to negotiate................ 28 Make Quebec less willing to negotiate................ 28

Have no effect on Quebec’s position on negotiating.......39 42. If a majority of Quebecers wish to separate, the rest of Canada should ... ? Do everything it can to convince them to stay........48 Just let them go................50 43. Considering the Canadian economy outside Quebec, do you think the threat of separation has had ... ? A significant effect.............30 Some effect...................41 Not too much of an effect.......13 No effect at all.................13 44. Considering the economy of Quebec, has the threat of separation had ... ? A significant effect.............45 Some effect...................35 Not too much of an effect........8 No effect at all..................5 IMMIGRATION 45. Do you think that new immigrants to Canada ... ? Help create jobs and reduce unemployment.......15 Take jobs from more established Canadians and i increase unemployment......46 i Have no real impact on the : level of unemployment.......35

46. Do you think that new immigrants to Canada... ? Contribute significantly to the amount of crime..........22 Contribute somewhat to the amount of crime..........47 Do not contribute too much to the amount of crime.......22 Do not contribute at all to the amount of crime........7 CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY 47. Some people say that corporate leaders deserve the large salaries they make because they have increased the value of companies for shareholders and helped companies make significant profits in recent years. Others say that even if company share value and profitability have increased, corporate leaders need to show responsibility and keep their salaries in line with other employees. Which of those two points of view best reflects your own? Corporate leaders deserve the large salaries............22 Keep their salaries in line with other employees........75 48. Some people say it is unacceptable for corporations making a reasonable profit to lay off employees in an effort to become more efficient, and that government should introduce legisla-

tion banning this practice. Others say it is acceptable for corporations making a reasonable profit to lay off employees in order to be more efficient, since in a highly competitive world only the most efficient businesses are likely to survive and prosper. Which of those two points of view best reflects your own? Layoffs at profitable corporations unacceptable----58 Layoffs at profitable corporations acceptable......39 49. How acceptable to you is the practice of outsourcing, that is of companies closing down some of their own departments and buying from other companies the services, parts or equipment they had previously produced themselves? Very acceptable...............13 Somewhat acceptable..........41 Not too acceptable.............24 Not at all acceptable............19 LIFESTYLES 50. Thinking about society’s attitudes towards things like premarital sex, people living together instead of marrying and other alternative lifestyles and sexuality, is Canadian society today... ? Too permissive................34 About right...................53 Not permissive enough.........11 51. Turning to the issue of homosexual couples adopting children, do you believe that is... ? : Very acceptable................8 i Somewhat acceptable..........25 : Not too acceptable.............19 ! Not at all acceptable............46 ; 52. Would you describe yourself as ... ? ! Very sexually active............12 : Somewhat sexually active.......53 ! Not very sexually active........12 : Not sexually active at all........12 i Refused......................11 : 53. Do you have a partner or spouse? : Yes..........................79 ! No...........................20 i 54. Canada, through the UN, has led : efforts to save refugees displaced by : violence in Rwanda and other parts of : central Africa. Some people say we i have been at the forefront of too many : relief and peacekeeping efforts, and i we should not be so heavily involved. : Others say Canada should be heavily : involved because we have a lot of ex: perience and it is one way we can show ; global leadership. Which of those ; points of view best reflects your own? Canada should not be so heavily involved.........37 Canada should be heavily involved...........61

THE ACCEPTABILITY FACTOR Of the following list of things that might happen by the year 2005, how acceptable do you find eaeh one? Totally Somewhat Somewhat Totally acceptable acceptable unacceptable unacceptable 24. There will be two types of health-care systems, one for people who want to and can afford to pay for private care, and the medicare system for those who can’t or do not want to pay. 17 M 30 I 25. There will be private universities for those who are prepared to pay the full tuition fee. 21 26. Most people will not be able to afford to retire when they are 65 years old. 10 20 25 44 27. There will be little or no government assistance for those who have lost their jobs or have no means of support. 7 16 27 50 28. Many people will never find full-time work throughout their lives. 10 20 20 49

29. Scientific discoveries will increase our health to the point where almost everyone will live well past 100 years. 27 35 19 18 30. There will be as many nonwhites as whites in Canada’s urban centres. 34 41 15 7 31. Quebec will be a separate country. 16 20 19 41 32. Canada or part of Canada will join the United States. 7 19 20 53 33. Governments will ask charitable organizations to provide many of the social services that they provide now. 13 40 24 21 34. There will be a revival of spiritual values and a rejection of materialism. 33 41 14 9 35. People will be working longer hours for fewer rewards than they do now. 11 26 26 36 36. There will be no more government pensions, and in order to have a pension you will have to provide for one by making personal contributions on your own. 13 26 24 37 37. Private enterprise will play a much bigger role in our society than it has in the past. 36 47 10 6