SPECIAL REPORT

THE TWO NATIONS POLL

WHERE NORTH AMERICANS STAND ON 32 QUESTIONS

June 25 1990
SPECIAL REPORT

THE TWO NATIONS POLL

WHERE NORTH AMERICANS STAND ON 32 QUESTIONS

June 25 1990

THE TWO NATIONS POLL

WHERE NORTH AMERICANS STAND ON 32 QUESTIONS

PORTRAIT OF TWO NATIONS

The Maclean’s/Decima Two Nations poll results are based on responses from scientific samples of 1,000 people 18 or older in each country in telephone surveys between May 1 and May 6. Results, presented here in rounded Percentages of those polled in each country, are considered statistically accurate for both populations within a range of 3.1 percentage points, above or below the figures cited, 19 times out of 20. The range of potential error is larger for

subgroups and regions. In Canada, survey samples were enlarged to permit regional comparisons. The question regarding statehood for Canadian provinces was asked only in Canada. The wording of all other questions, except for country names, was the same in Canada and the United States. Five of the questions, where indicated, were identical or similar to questions asked in the 1989 Two Nations poll. Percentages in all responses may not add to 100 after rounding or when don ’t-know replies or non-responses (DK/NA) are eliminated. Subtotals, derived from actual percentages, may vary marginally from the sum of the rounded figures shown. Responses in Quebec, compared to the rest of Canada, are shown separately when they differ significantly from national responses.

1. In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing the United States/Canada today, the one that concerns you the most?

Americans Canadians 1989 1990 1989 1990

environment 5 17 16 20

National unity/

bilingualism — — 5 19

Economy/jobs/

inflation 12 8 22 19

Govt./deficit/

debt 20 9 12 10

Drugs/alcohol

problems 18 21 — 1

Other social/

moral issues 25 24 17 6

(Canada GST) 4 3 4 15

World issues/

war/peace 8 5 2 1

Foreign trade/

investment 1 2 10 2

No problem/

DK/NA 3 10 11 6

Most important:

Pollution/environment Unity/ bilingualism Economy/jobs/inflation Taxes/GST

Quebec Rest of only Canada

2. Would you say that you are much more or a little more pessimistic about the future, neither more optimistic nor more pessimistic, much more or a little more optimistic about the future today, than you were a few years ago?

Americans Canadians

Much more pessimistic 15 16

A little more pessimistic 21 26

Total more pessimistic 36 42

Neither 13 17

Total more optimistic 50 40

A little more optimistic 36 29

Much more optimistic 14 11

Optimism/pessimism: Quebec Rest of

only Canada

More pessimistic 35 45

Neither 23 15

More optimistic 42 39

3. Who do you feel best serves your personal economic interests—business, government or unions?

Americans Canadians Business 48 56

Government 22 20

Unions 19 20

DK/NA 12 5

Best serves interests: Quebec Rest of only Canada

Business 67 52

Government 21 20

Unions 9 24

4. Would you describe the tap water in your home as not at all safe to drink, fairly safe or very safe?

Americans Canadians Not at all safe 11 11

Fairly safe 50 54

Very safe 38 34

5. Would you say the quality of air in the area you live in is very poor, poor, fair, good or very good?

Americans Canadians Very poor 4 4

Poor 9 8

Poor/Very poor 13 12

Fair 28 25

Good/Very good 59 63

Good 43 36

Very good 16 27

6. Do you believe you should have the right to drive an automobile anytime or anywhere you want as long as it is within existing laws, or do you feel driving an automobile should and can be restricted further to protect the environment and reduce congestion?

Americans Canadians

Drive anytime/

anywhere 62 49

Restrict further 34 50

7. Would you oppose or favor shutting down a major company that provided many jobs in your community if it was polluting the environment?

Americans Canadians 1989 1990 1989 1990 Oppose 33 34 37 36

Favor 64 58 60 60

DK/NA 3 9 3 4

8. Would you describe Canadians and Americans as essentially different, mainly different

but with some small similarities, mainly the same but with some small differences, or essentially the same?

Americans Canadians

1989 1990 1989 1990

Essentially

different 6 10 19 25

Mainly different 15 14 24 26

Total different 21 25 43 51

Total the same 77 69 57 49

Mainly the same 60 43 43 37

Essentially same 18 26 13 12

9. Would you strongly oppose, oppose, favor or strongly favor Canada and the United States becoming one country? (1989: Should Canada become the 51st U.S. state?)

Americans Canadians 1989 1990 1989 1 990

Strongly oppose 10 11 54 51

Oppose 22 32 31 30

Total oppose 31 43

85

81

Total favor

66 47

14

18

Favor 54 41 12 14

Strongly favor 12 6 2 4

DK/NA 3 10 1 2

Canada/U.S.A.

one country: Total oppose Total favor

Quebec Rest of only Canada 75 83

24 15

10. Would you strongly oppose, oppose, favor or strongly favor your province becoming a state of the United States with full congressional representation and rights of American citizenship? (Canadians only asked)

Strongly oppose Oppose

57

26

Total oppose

83

Total favor

16

Favor 12

Strongly favor 4

Your province join U.S.A.:

Total oppose Total favor

Quebec Rest of only Canada 78 85

20 14

11. As you probably know, for a number of years there has been talk about the province of Quebec separating from the rest of Canada. Do you think the French-speaking majority in Quebec would stand a better chance of keeping its language and culture as part of Canada or as part of the United States?

Americans Canadians

Better as part

of Canada 75

As part of

United States 13

DK/NA 12

90

7

4

Quebec better:

As part of Canada As part of U.S.A.

Quebec Rest of only Canada 82 92

12 5

12. If you were given the opportunity to become a citizen of Canada/the United States and

to live and work there, would you? (1989: asked only “would you like to live in ” Canada/ the United States?)

Americans to Canada Canadians to U.S.A.

1989 1990 1989 1990

Yes 42 30 27 30

No 56 66 73 69

Become U.S. citizen:

Yes

No

Quebec Rest of only Canada 35 28

61 72

13. Do you think we should encourage more immigration, keep immigration at existing levels or reduce the number of immigrants allowed into the United States/Canada?

Americans Canadians Encourage more 6 18

Existing levels 33 42

Reduce immigration 58 39

Immigration:

Encourage more Keep present levels Reduce number

Quebec Rest of only Canada

16 18

51 39

31 42

14. Would you say that race relations in the community you live in have worsened, stayed about the same or improved in recent years?

Americans Canadians Worsened 17 13

Stayed about same 56 62

Improved 25 23

15. When in private, do you never, rarely, sometimes or often tell ethnic or racial jokes?

Americans Canadians Never 46 38

Rarely/sometimes/often 53 61

Rarely 25 28

Sometimes 25 26

Often 4 7

16. Do you believe all races are created equal or that some are generally superior to others?

Created equal Some superior

Americans

86

12

Canadians

90

10

All races:

Created equal Some superior

Quebec Rest of only Canada 84 92

16 8

17. In the past year or so, have you found yourself more interested in international or national news stories or events?

International

National

Americans

46

45

Canadians

54

41

18. With the talk of East and West Germany joining after 45 years as separate states, do you think this increases the chances of peace, makes no difference to North America or increases the chances of war?

Americans Canadians

Increases chances of peace Makes no difference to N.A. Increases chances of war DK/NA

19. How about the breakdown of communism in Eastern Europe and the breakup of Soviet Bloc countries? Do you think this increases the chances of peace, makes no difference to North America or increases the chances of war?

Americans Canadians

Increases chances of peace Makes no difference to N.A. Increases chances of war DK/NA

20. With all the changes going on in Europe and the Eastern Bloc countries, do you think the

United States/Canada should be decreasing its defence spending, increasing it or keeping it the same?

Decreasing Keep the same Increasing

Americans

41

42 14

Canadians

34

52

12

21. And do you think the strengthening of a European common market will reduce, not affect or increase North America’s economic influence in the world?

Reduce Not affect Increase DK/NA

Americans

34

21

30

15

Canadians

34

32

28

6

22. As you may know, Canada and the United States entered into a Free Trade Agreement about 18 months ago. From what you can tell, has this agreement hurt, made no difference or helped jobs and economic conditions in the United States/Canada?

Americans Canadians Hurt (own country) 8 57

Made no difference 58 34

Helped (own country) 14 7

DK/NA 20 3

Free trade’s impact: Hurt

No difference Helped

Quebec Rest of only Canada

43 62

43 31

10 6

23. And do you feel that Canada has benefited more than the United States from the Free Trade Agreement, that it has had the same effect on both sides of the border or that the United States has benefited more than Canada?

Americans Canadians

Canada benefited more 20 4

Same effect both sides 42 24

United States more 10 66

DK/NA 28 5

24. As you might have also heard, there is now some talk of the United States entering into a similar free trade agreement with Mexico. Do you think that would be a very good, good, neither good nor bad, bad or a very bad idea?

Americans Canadians Very good idea 6 5

Good idea 29 30

Good/very good idea 35 35

Neither good/ bad 24 30

Bad/very bad idea 35 30

Bad idea 26 20

Very bad idea 9 10

25. Because Canada and the United States already have a Free Trade Agreement:

(a) Some people say that Canada should join in with the United States and Mexico in a full North American common market.

(b) Others say that Canada should not join in the U.S.-Mexico agreement but should have the right to have a say in the negotiations.

(c) Still others say that Canada should stay out of any further talks about new trade agreements between the United States and Mexico.

Thinking about these three points of view, which one best reflects your own?

Americans Canadians

Canada should:

Join full N.A. market 38 24

Not join, have a say 19 30

Stay out 28 43

DK/NA 15 3

26. And do you feel a free trade agreement between the United States and Mexico would weaken, not change or would improve North America’s economic influence in the world?

Americans Canadians Weaken 22 21

Not change 32 41

Improve 33 32

DK/NA 12 6

27. Now, suppose for a second that you came into a large sum of money that you had to invest

abroad. In which of the following regions would you be more likely to make your investment?

Americans Canadians

Canada (asked

Americans only)

United States

(Canadians only)

Europe

Japan

DK/NA

28. Many people have told us that they have had contact either through work or socially with Canadians/Americans. As a result of your own experience, would you rather deal with someone from Canada or the United States, or have you really not had enough contact to tell?

Americans Canadians Canada 8 39

United States 18 11

Not enough contact 69 44

29. If you had a choice between Brian Mulroney and George Bush as president of the United States/prime minister of Canada, which one would you choose?

Americans Canadians Brian Mulroney 8 35

George Bush 81 49

DK/NA 11 15

30. If you were marooned on a desert island, which would you rather have with you—a television set with all the channels and videos

FEMALE RESPONDENTS:

you would ever want to see; a library of all the books you would ever want to read; a stereo with all the best music you would ever want to hear; your best friend of the same sex; your current partner or spouse; an attractive member of the opposite sex whom you hardly know?

Americans Canadians Television 7 4

Library 16 14

Stereo music 3 3

Friend same sex 7 5

Partner/spouse 50 61

Opposite sex 13 11

31. Which one of the following would you most like to meet and talk to?

32. And which one do you think would be the best lover?

George Bush Brian Mulroney Arsenio Hall Tom Cruise Sean Connery Michael J. Fox DK/NA

Americans

4.0

0.8

5.2

31.4

17.4 6.6 34.6

Canadians

3.8

3.4

3.6

34.8

18.6

8.4

27.4

Americans

43.4

4.2 10.8

16.2 11.0 8.2 6.2

Canadians

17.2

21.2 9.4 18.6 12.8 15.2 5.6

George Bush Brian Mulroney Arsenio Hall á Tom Cruise ^ Sean Connery 5 Michael J. Fox DK/NA

MALE RESPONDENTS:

31. Which one of the following would you most like to meet and talk to?

Americans Canadians Madonna 9.0 16.4

Jane Fonda 14.4 14.4

Barbara Walters 26.4 19.4

Oprah Winfrey 11.0 8.4

Anne Murray 7.8 16.8

Michelle Pfeiffer 18.0 14.8

DK/NA 13.4 9.8

32. And which one do you think would be the best lover?

Americans Canadians Madonna 20.0 28.2

Jane Fonda 15.0 18.6

Barbara Walters 4.8 2.2

Oprah Winfrey 2.0 3.2

Anne Murray 7.2 8.8

Michelle Pfeiffer 25.8 19.6

DK/NA 25.2 19.4