THE POLL TEXT

SEX, POLITICS AND DREAMS

January 7 1991
THE POLL TEXT

SEX, POLITICS AND DREAMS

January 7 1991

SEX, POLITICS AND DREAMS

THE POLL TEXT

HOW THE POLL WAS DONE

The seventh annualMaclean’s/Decima year-end poll is based on 1,500 interviews conducted with a representative national sample of Canadian residents 18years or older in all 10 provinces. Respondents were interviewed by telephone between Nov. 1 and Nov. 6. The results are presented in percentages of those polled, rounded off to the nearest whole number (for example, 12 represents the range from 11.5 to 12.4). Results are considered accurate within a range of 2.6 percentage points, above or below the figures given, 19 times out of 20. The margin for potential error is larger for the subgroups cited in some of the articles, such as responses broken down according to province, region, income or age-group. Figures following DK/NA represent the percentage of respondents who said that they did not know or chose not to answer a question. The figures inside boxes are responses to the same or similar questions published in previous Maclean’s/Decima year-end or midyear polls.

1. In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing Canada today—the one about which you, yourself, are most concerned?

GST/Taxes.........................................................23

Economy/Recession/Inflation/Interest rates.......21

Environment/Natural Resources..........................9

Unemployment...................................................9

National unity/Bilingualism..................................8

Government leadership/Prime Minister...............7

Deficit/Government spending..............................6

Social and moral issues/Crime/Drugs..................4

Persian Gulf/Threat to peace..............................4

Other issues (total).............................................6

DK/NA..................................................................4

2. How satisfied are you with your personal economic situation right now? Would you say that you are:

Very dissatisfied......7

Dissatisfied...........24

Satisfied................61

Very satisfied..........8

1989 1988 5 3

21 13

62 71

11 12

1987 1986 4 6

17 20

66 65

12 9

1985 1984 6 6

21 18 62 65

11 11

3. Thinking about the future and your personal economic prospects, would you say that you are:

Very pessimistic.....3

Pessimistic............23

Optimistic.............65

Very optimistic.......7

DK/NA......................2

1989 1988 3 2

16 11

70 76

10 10

1 1

1987 1986 2 2

13 14

75 75

10 9

0 0

1985 1984 2 2

17 18

71 71

8 8

2 1

4. Who do you look to most to look after your economic interests: government, business or unions?

Government.........................27

Business...............................45

Unions..................................16

DK/NA.................................... 12

1989 1986 1985 1984 25 42 42 49 50 31 33 32 15 13 14 10 10 14 11 9

5. And would you say (respondent’s choice in question 4) has been doing a very good, good, fair, poor or very poor job looking after your economic interests?

Very poor.........................7

Poor...............................11

Fair................................33

Good...............................33

Very good.........................7

DK/NA................................9

6. Compared with a few years ago, are you personally a lot more confident, a bit more confident, no more or less confident, a bit less confident or a lot less confident in your ability to look after your economic interests on your

own?

A lot less confident.............................6

A bit less confident...........................17

No more or less confident.................21

A bit more confident.........................37

A lot more confident.........................19

7. If you had a problem in your community that affected a large number of people in your area, whom do you think you would be most likely to turn to for assistance? Would it be:

An elected politician in your area......32

A local business leader........................7

A volunteer organization in your area 15

A group of neighbors........................25

Yourself............................................20

DK/NA.................................................. 1

8. In order to better deal with the new types of issues and concerns facing the country today, in your opinion, should we continue with government the way it is now, should we have government with more room for people like you to have a direct say in government decisions, or would you prefer to be given the opportunity to look after your own interests more often without any government at all?

Government same as now.................11

More direct say in government.........60

More opportunity to look after

own interests...................................27

DK/NA..................................................2

9. Right now, would you say that the economy is heading into a period of significant improvement, into a period of mild improvement, into a mild recession or into a severe recession, or is the economy going to stay the same?

Severe recession...........36

Mild recession..............54

Stay the same.................6

Mild improvement..........3

Significant improvement.. 1

1989

10

48

24

15

2

10. Would you say that you feel much more, somewhat more, no more or less, somewhat less or much less proud to be a Canadian today

than you did a few years ago?

Much less.......................10

Somewhat less................24

Neither more nor less.....48

Somewhat more..............10

Much more.......................8

11. (Asked of those who are less or more proud) And who do you think is primarily responsible for making you feel more/less

proud to be a Canadian? Is it:

The federal government...................53

Your provincial government................9

The business community.....................6

Unions................................................2

The behavior of other provincial

governments.......................................4

The behavior of people in your

province............................................14

The behavior of people in other

provinces............................................7

DK/NA..................................................5

12. As you probably know, some time ago the Prime Minister and the provincial premiers drafted a constitutional agreement called the Meech Lake accord. The accord was not passed and did not become law. Do you personally believe that the failure of the Meech Lake accord will be very good for Canada, good for

Canada, bad for Canada, very bad for Canada or make no difference at all in the long run?

Very bad...........................6

Bad.................................20

Make no difference.........41

Good...............................22

Very good.........................6

DK/NA................................5

13. As you may know, now that the Meech Lake accord has failed, the federal government has established a commission to hold hearings across the country to ask Canadians what kind of constitutional agreement they want. In your opinion, is this the right time to be returning to the constitutional question, or should governments leave the issue alone for a while?

Right time to return to issue.............28

Leave issue alone for a while............70

DK/NA..................................................2

14. If a new constitutional proposal to replace the Meech Lake accord were introduced after a process involving extensive consultation and public input—including public meetings in every province—would you personally be much more likely to support the proposal, somewhat more likely to support it, no more or less likely to support it, somewhat less likely to support it or much less likely to support it?

Much less likely..................................9

Somewhat less likely...........................9

Neither more nor less likely..............31

Somewhat more likely.......................34

Much more likely..............................12

DK/NA..................................................5

15. As you probably know, the government of Quebec has established its own broad-based committee to make recommendations about Quebec’s future. Suppose for a moment that the committee recommended that Quebec stay in Canada, but only if it was given a new deal and special powers that would allow it to make more decisions on its own.

If this happened and the people of Quebec supported the committee’s recommendations, would you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose the federal government’s opening up negotiations to give Quebec this new deal and special powers?

Strongly oppose..............25

Oppose...........................36

Support...........................31

Strongly support...............6

DK/NA................................2

16. What if exactly the same deal and powers were also offered to all provinces equally, including your own. Would you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose the

new deal?

Strongly oppose................9

Oppose...........................20

Support...........................53

Strongly support.............15

DK/NA................................3

17. Regardless of what this committee reports, how likely do you think it is that Quebec would choose to separate from Canada some

time in the 1990s—very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely?

Very unlikely....................................25

Somewhat unlikely............................29

Somewhat likely................................31

Very likely........................................14

DK/NA.................................................. 1

18. If a majority of Quebecers did, in fact, wish to separate, do you think the rest of Canada should do everything it can to convince them to stay, or just let them go?

Do everything to convince

Quebec to stay..............47

Just let them go............51

DK/NA..............................2

1989

53

46

1

19. There has been a lot of discussion recently about Canada’s future. Which one of the following options do you personally prefer?

Complete political and economic independence for all 10 provinces.......7

Political independence for all 10 provinces in a Canadian common market like the European Economic Community........17

Continuing with a federal system but giving Quebec special powers.........................8

Continuing with a federal system but giving all 10 provinces much more power ... 35

Continuing with a federal system but giving the federal government much more

power.................................................9

No change to the current system......21

DK/NA..................................................3

20. How accurate would you say the Canadian media’s coverage of events is? Would you say that it is very accurate, somewhat accurate, not very accurate or not accurate at all?

Not accurate at all..............................7

Not very accurate.............................24

Somewhat accurate...........................56

Very accurate...................................11

DK/NA..................................................2

21. In general, would you say that members of the media report on events from a right-wing bias, from an objective viewpoint or from a left-

wing bias?

Left-wing bias...................................19

Objective viewpoint...........................53

Right-wing bias.................................19

DK/NA..................................................9

22. Some people say that the information they receive from the media helps them to understand world events and things happening around them. Others say that this information just confuses them and does not do much to help them understand events. Which one of these two views best represents your own?

Media help you understand events.... 72

Media confuse you............................27

DK/NA.................................................. 1

23. Some people say that the Canadian media’s tendency to report only bad news is responsible for the Canadian public’s current mood of cynicism and their lack of faith in government. Other people say that the media are reporting events as they happen and merely reflect rather than shape the public attitude towards government that we see today. Which one of these views is closest to your own?

Media are responsible for cynicism ... 35

Media are just reporting events........63

DK/NA..................................................2

24. As you probably know, Canada entered into a Free Trade Agreement with the United States almost two years ago. As part of the agreement, either side can get out of the deal with six months’ notice. At this point, do you personally think Canada should use the sixmonth clause to get out of the deal?

No..................................40

Yes.................................55

DK/NA................................5

25. Now, the United States is negotiating a similar free trade agreement with Mexico. What do you think Canada should do?:

Get out of our existing agreement with the U.S. and not get involved with the U.S.-Mexico negotiations.....33

Keep our agreement with the U.S. but stay out of the U.S.-Mexico negotiations......................................17

Keep our agreement with the U.S. and enter into the U.S.-Mexico negotiations......................................15

Reopen our agreement with the U.S. and negotiate a new one that would include Canada, Mexico and the

United States....................................31

DK/NA..................................................4

26. Thinking of government generally, would you say that in the past five to 10 years, all levels of government in Canada have become much more effective, somewhat more effective, somewhat less effective or much less effective in responding to people’s needs, or has there been no real change in the effective-

ness of government?

Much less effective...........................28

Somewhat less effective....................33

No real change..................................28

Somewhat more effective..................10

Much more effective...........................1

27. Would you say that in the past five to 10 years, your impression of politicians has become significantly more favorable, somewhat

more favorable, remained unchanged, become somewhat more unfavorable or become signifi-

cantly more unfavorable?

Significantly more unfavorable..........30

Somewhat more unfavorable.............33

Remained unchanged........................24

Somewhat more favorable.................10

Significantly more favorable................2

DK/NA.................................................. 1

28. Supporters of the three main political parties say that their party can make a real difference to the type of government we re-

ceive. Others say that it does not matter which of the main political parties is in power because, in the end, they would all govern pretty much the same. Which one of these two views best represents your own?

Makes a real difference.....................30

All govern pretty much the same......69

DK/NA.................................................. 1

29. How do you personally feel about the amount of tax you pay? On a day-to-day basis, would you describe yourself as very upset, somewhat upset, not very upset or not upset at

Not upset at all.................8

Not very upset................17

Somewhat upset.............40

Very upset......................35

30. (To those who answered “somewhat upset” or “very upset”) Different people react in

different ways to their tax situation. Some people just grumble but, in the end, do not really do much about it. Others write letters and sign petitions to protest. Still others are prepared to take to the streets and even resort to violence to make their anger known. Which one of these three types of people do you think you are most likely to be, if the tax situation

Just grumble...................32

Write letters...................57

Take to the streets.........10

DK/NA................................ 1

31. Here are two statements. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with each one:

It is impossible for governments to ever spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely.

Strongly disagree..............9

Disagree.........................42

Agree.............................35

Strongly agree................12

DK/NA................................2

As it is now, no federal government elected is ever going to understand and respond to the

needs of my region.

Strongly disagree..............6

Disagree.........................46

Agree.............................37

Strongly agree................10

DK/NA................................ 1

32. In the current system, when we elect politicians they stay in power until the next election is called. In your opinion, is this the best way to have things, or would you rather see a system where a majority of voters could sign a petition and remove their elected mem-

ber any time they wanted?

Politicians in power until election......44

Politicians could be removed by

petition.............................................55

DK/NA..................................................1

33. In a parliamentary government, decisions are usually made by a cabinet after discussions among the ministers. In your opinion, is this the best way to make decisions, or would you like to see a system where governments are required to hold public consultations and meetings with the public before they are allowed to

make major decisions?

Decisions made in cabinet.................21

Decisions made after public

consultation......................................77

DK/NA..................................................2

34. Normally, elected politicians vote the party line, that is, the same way the rest of the members of their party are going to vote. In your opinion, is this the best way to have things, or do you think elected politicians should be voting according to their own conscience, regardless of what their party’s position is on a particular issue? Or would you like to see a system where, if a majority of voters signed a petition, they could force their member to vote the way the voters wanted on a

particular issue?

Politicians vote party line..................10

Politicians vote according to

their own conscience.........................49

Politicians heed petition....................40

DK/NA.................................................. 1

35. As you probably know, Canadians pay their taxes in a lump sum and then governments decide how this money should be spent. In your opinion, is this the best way to have things, or would you prefer a system where taxpayers indicated right on their tax form how they

wanted their taxes to be spent? Government decides.........................47

Taxpayers indicate how they want their taxes to be spent......................52

DK/NA.................................................. 1

36. Government can also decide if it is necessary to spend more money in a given year than it has raised through taxes. Do you think that this is the best way to have things, or do you think governments should be required to spend only as much money as is raised through taxes?

Government can decide to spend more than taxes................................21

Government required to spend only as much as taxes...............................77

DK/NA..................................................2

37. Different people have told us that they look for different things in a leader to represent them. What is more important for you, for a leader:

a. to look after your region’s interests even if it is not necessarily good for the rest of Canada, or to look after the national interest even if it is not necessarily good for your region?

Look after your region’s interests.....24

Look after national interest...............74

DK/NA..................................................2

b. to be someone experienced in politics, or someone new to politics?

Experienced in politics.... 68

New to politics................28

DK/NA................................4

c. to hold modern values, or to hold traditional values?

Modern values................57

Traditional values...........39

DK/NA................................4

d. to understand and be sensitive to Quebec’s interests, or to be able to put Quebec in its place?

Understand/sensitive to Quebec’s

interests...........................................49

Put Quebec in its place.....................48

DK/NA..................................................3

e. to understand and be sensitive to English Canada’s interests, or to be able to put English Canada in its place?

Understand/sensitive to English Canada’s

interests...........................................63

Put English Canada in its place.........32

DK/NA..................................................5

f. to be someone with no strong vision who tries to reach agreement among people with different views, or someone who is prepared to stick to and fight for their own vision?

Tries to reach agreement.................48

Stick to/fight for own views..............51

DK/NA.................................................. 1

g. to be tough, or to be compassionate?

Tough.......................... 44

Compassionate................50

DK/NA................................6

38. Do you keep your doors locked at all times, even when you are at home?

No..................................47

Yes.................................53

39. Has your home ever been broken into?

No..................................82

Yes.................................18

40. (For those who answered No) Do you know of anyone in your neighborhood who has had their home broken into?

No..................................48

Yes.................................51

DK/NA................................1

41. Are you personally taking more, the same or fewer precautions to protect your personal and household safety today than you did a few years ago?

Fewer...............................2

Same..............................36

More..............................62

42. Do you own a handgun?

No................................93

Yes.................................6

DK/NA..............................1

July, 1989 97 3 0

43. (For those who answered No) If there were no gun laws in Canada, would you get a gun?

No..................................86

Yes.................................14

44. Generally speaking, are you afraid to walk the streets of your community at night alone?

No................................74

Yes...............................26

45. Have you ever been mugged or physically assaulted?

No..................................90

Yes.................................10

46. In your opinion, has the behavior of young people in the community you live in become much better or somewhat better, not changed, or become somewhat worse or much worse over the past five years?

Much worse......................................14

Somewhat worse...............................33

Somewhat better..............................10

Much better........................................4

Has not changed...............................38

DK/NA.................................................. 1

47. If you were walking down the street in your community and you saw a group of eight or 10 young people in your way, would you be very concerned, somewhat concerned, not very concerned or not concerned at all?

Not concerned at all..........................29

Not very concerned..........................23

Somewhat concerned........................36

Very concerned.................................11

DK/NA.................................................. 1

July, 1989 76 24

48. As far as you know, should there be security systems and security guards on duty in the public schools in your community during the school day?

No..................................60

Yes.................................38

DK/NA................................2

49. As far as you are concerned, is sex necessary for a happy marriage?

No..................................19

Yes.................................78

DK/NA................................3

52. Everyone, at one time or another, has sexual fantasies. I would like to read you a list of some of these and have you tell me for each one whether it is something that you have thought about often, sometimes, rarely or never.

How about:

Having sex with someone of a different race?

Having sex with a close friend?

Having sex with a complete stranger?

Having sex with a co-worker?

Having sex with more than one partner at the same time?

Having sex in a public place?

Videotaping yourself having sex?

Having a homosexual/lesbian affair?

50. As far as you are concerned, is love necessary for a happy marriage?

No....................................2

Yes.................................96

DK/NA................................2

51. Some people say that extramarital affairs keep a marriage fresh and interesting. Other people say that affairs are a sign that a marriage is in trouble. Of these two points of view, which one comes closest to your own?

Affairs keep a marriage interesting.....8

Affairs mean marriage is in trouble... 87 DK/NA..................................................5

Never Rarely Sometimes Often DK/NA 55 12 17 5 11 55 10 18 6 11 58 10 17 3 12 60 9 15 3 13 64 9 12 3 12 74 6 7 2 11 79 4 5 1 11 83 2 2 1 12