MACLEAN'S/DECIMA POLL

Cross-Canada Opinions

January 6 1992
MACLEAN'S/DECIMA POLL

Cross-Canada Opinions

January 6 1992

Cross-Canada Opinions

MACLEAN'S

DECIMA POLL

HOW THE POLL WAS CONDUCTED

Results in the eighth annual Maclean’s/Decima year-end poll are based on 1,697 interviews conducted with Canadian residents 18 years or older in all 10 provinces, by telephone from Nov. 19 through Nov. 24. National results are based on a proportionate, weighted sample of 1,500 of the poll respondents, and are considered accurate within a range of 2.6 percentage points above or below the figures given, 19 times out of 20. The other 197 interviews were conducted to increase the reliability of results in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Regional results here and on previous pages are considered accurate within a range above or below figures cited, 19 in 20 times, of 4.4 percentage points in Quebec, 4.2 points in Ontario, 7.3 points in British Columbia, 8.5 points in Alberta, 9.8 points in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and 8.6points in the Atlantic region. 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). For that reason, and because non-answers are eliminated in some

charts and tables, the totals in all cases may not add to 100. Figures following DK/NA represent the percentage of those who said that they did not know or chose not to answer a question. Results of responses nationally in the tables are indicated as Nat., in Quebec alone as Que., outside Quebec as RoC (rest of Canada).

1. In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing Canada today, the one that concerns you the most? (Responses grouped)

Unemployment..........................................................................18

The economy............................................................................18

The economy & unemployment...................................................6

National unity/Quebec issues.....................................................13

Taxes/Goods and Services Tax..................................................10

Govemment/govemment spending............................................10

The deficit................................................ 4

Environment................................................................... 4

Other........................................................................................12

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

2. How satisfied are you with your own personal economic situation now?

• Very dissatisfied...............12 • Satisfied..............................56

• Dissatisfied.......................25 • Very satisfied........................7

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

• Very pessimistic?................6 • Optimistic?..........................62

• Pessimistic?......................24 • Very optimistic?....................7

4. In your view, is the economy in Canada beginning to improve, not changing or getting worse?

• Getting worse........................................................................55

• Not changing..........................................................................35

• Improving................................................................................9

5. Who do you look to most to look after your best economic interests— government, business or unions?

• Government...........................................................................27

• Business.................................................................................48

• Unions...................................................................................15

6. If you had a problem in your community that affected a large number of people in your area, who do you think you would be most likely to turn

to for assistance?

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

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

• A volunteer organization in your area.....................................16

• A group of neighbors..............................................................21

• Yourself.................................................................................21

7. Thinking about your federal member of Parliament, in your opinion, how should your MP vote in the House of Commons on major issues facing

Canada? Should your MP vote according to:

• The majority view in his or her constituency?.........................67

• His or her own conscience and beliefs?...................................23

• The policies of his or her political party?..................................9

8. Supporters of the three main political parties say that their party can make a real difference to the type of government we receive. Others say that it doesn’t 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?

• Can make a real difference................................................... 24

• All govern pretty much the same...........................................74

9. And in your view, do you think Canada needs a new political party that will provide an alternative to the main political parties, or do you think that the main political parties really need to give Canadians a clearer view of their position on the issues?

• A new political party..............................................................35

• Clearer view by main parties..................................................63

Asked outside Quebec only

10. How likely is it that you personally will vote for the Reform party in the next election, if the Reform party has a candidate in your area?

• Not likely at all.................29 • Somewhat likely..................27

• Not very likely.................17 • Very likely..........................19

If “somewhat” or “very” likely, outside Quebec only

11. And, in your view, which of the following is the main reason that you would consider voting for the Reform party? Is it because that party:

• Could not do worse than the main parties?.............................24

• Is the only party which takes the issues of

English-Canadians seriously?....................................................9

• Is the only party prepared to stand up to Quebec?....................7

• Is the only party prepared to listen to the issues of

average Canadians?................................................................50

• All of the above........................................................................5

• None of the above/Other..........................................................5

Asked in Quebec only

12. How likely is it that you personally will vote for the Bloc Québécois in the next election, if that party has a candidate in your area?

• Not likely at all.................25 • Somewhat likely..................26

• Not very likely.................16 • Very likely..........................24

If “somewhat” or “very” likely, in Quebec only

13. And, in your view, which of the following is the main reason that you would consider voting for the Bloc? Is it because that party:

• Could not do worse than the main parties?.............................17

• Is the only party which takes the issues of

French-Canadians seriously?...................................................23

• Is the only party prepared to stand up to English Canada?......14

• Is the only party prepared to listen to the issues

of average Quebecers?...........................................................39

• All of the above........................................................................4

• None of the above/Other..........................................................3

Asked nationally

14. As you may know, the federal and provincial governments have held a series of public hearings that were intended to collect the opinions of Canadians about constitutional and other issues. In your opinion, which of the following best describes your view of these types of public consultations? Would you say that they:

Nat. Que. RoC

• Have been an effective way for Canadians to take part in government, but we should

not do any more?.............................................9........13........8

• Are an effective way for Canadians to take

part in government, and we should do more?....36.......26......40

• Are just a waste of time and money?..............51.......57......49

15. Some people have said that we should change the current system of electing MPs so that a local member can be recalled by the people in the riding if they believe that the member is doing a poor job representing their views and positions in Ottawa. Other people say that we should not change the current system of electing MPs and that each elected member should hold the seat until an election. In your view, would you prefer:

Nat. Que. RoC

• A change allowing recall?................................60.......54......63

• Keep current system?.....................................38.......44......36

16. Some people have said that having two official languages in Canada makes us a more interesting and even better country. Other people say that having two official languages is a source of constant conflict and we would be better off with just one official language. Which one of these two points of view best reflects your own?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Two official languages....................................57.......79......50

• One official language.......................................40.......19......48

17. As you may know, the federal government has recently tabled a package of proposals to change Canada’s Constitution. Would you say that you:

Nat. Que. RoC

• Know them in detail?.......................................3.........4.........2

• Know the basics?............................................16.......18......15

• Have heard of them, but only vaguely?...........52.......47......54

• Have not heard anything about them?.............30.......31......29

Questions 18 & 19 asked of those who heard of / know proposals

18. Overall, would you say of the proposed changes that you:

Nat. Que. RoC

• Strongly oppose?............................................13.......14......13

• Somewhat oppose?.........................................26.......30......25

• Somewhat support?........................................35.......32......35

• Strongly support?............................................3.........1.........4

• No opinion......................................................23.......23......23

19. And what is the main reason for your attitude to the proposals? (Similar responses grouped) ™

Nat. Que. RoC

Support/like proposals.......................................15.......15......16

Oppose/do not like.............................................11.......19........8

Should keep country unified...............................10........6.......11

Quebec favored too much...................................9.........1.......11

Constitution needs to be changed.......................6.........3.........7

No faith in govt./govt. too involved.....................6.........5.. ...7

Dislike distinct society clause.............................4.........1.. ...5

Not good for Quebec..........................................4........15. ...0

Good for Quebec................................................1.........5.. ...0

Other................................................................10........7.. .11

Not interested in issue/DK/NA.............................24.......25. .24

20. Regardless of whether you support or oppose the proposals, what in your view is the main problem in resolving the constitutional issue?

Nat. Que. RoC

• A concern that Quebec’s French language

and culture receive special treatment.............20.......10......23

• The description of Quebec as a

distinct society...............................................22.......20......23

• A concern about changes in power between

the federal and provincial governments..........14.......21......11

• A lack of understanding of the details.............25.......22......26

• The proposals do not go far enough to

keep Quebec in Canada...................................9........12........7

• Other/Combinations/DK/NA.............................11.......10......15

21. The federal constitutional package proposes a number of changes to Canada’s Constitution and system of government. I’m going to read you a list of some of the proposed changes. I would like you to tell me which one you personally think is the most important change being proposed.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Distinct society clauses designed to preserve

and promote Quebec’s language and culture.... 15.......35........8

• Clause which guarantees aboriginal people

the right to self-government..........................12........6.......15

• Clause to protect property rights in

the Charter of Rights and Freedoms..............14.......15......13

• Replacement of the Senate by an elected Senate with greater regional representation

and expanded powers.....................................16.......11......18

• Measures to strengthen Canada’s economy, including elimination of provincial trade

barriers and the streamlining of services........38.......28......42

22. Thinking specifically about the clauses to preserve and promote Quebec as a distinct society, those proposals:

Nat. Que. RoC

• Are just a symbolic gesture that does not give

the Quebec government any new powers.......19.......32......15

• Give Quebec new powers only in the area of

language, culture and civil law........................29.......37......26

• Give Quebec powers in a broad range of areas

where it did not have power before................40.......24......45

• DK/NA.............................................................12........7.......14

23. In your own personal view, do you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose proposals recognizing Quebec as a distinct society?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Strongly oppose.............................................23........7.......29

• Oppose...........................................................33.......13......40

• Support..........................................................34.......60......24

• Strongly support.............................................7........17........4

Questions 24 & 25 put only to those opposing distinct society

24. Would you be prepared to see distinct society kept in the proposals if it is the only way to get a final agreement?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Yes.................................................................42.......53......41

• No..................................................................55.......47......56

25. And what is the main reason that you oppose the proposals which would recognize and encourage Quebec’s status as a distinct society? Is it because you believe:

Nat. Que. RoC

• They will give Quebec more power than the

other provinces?.............................................25........9.......26

• They will lead to the abuse of the English

minority by Quebec?.......................................12.......13......12

• They do not go far enough in ensuring the

survival of Quebec as a distinct society?..........3........17........2

• They will increase tensions between Quebec

and the rest of Canada?..................................30.......34......30

• Quebec’s distinctiveness is already a fact; including it in the Constitution just

makes it harder to reach agreement?.............26.......22......27

Questions 26 & 27 put only to those supporting distinct society

26. Would you be prepared to see distinct society left out of the proposals if that is the only way to get a final agreement?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Yes.................................................................58.......47......69

• No..................................................................38.......48......28

27. What is the main reason that you support the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society? Is it because you believe:

Nat. Que. RoC

• It simply describes a fact about

Quebec society?.............................................22.......22......23

• It is a small price to pay to have Quebec

finally sign the Constitution?...........................13........7.......18

• The proposal will give Quebec more power

than the other provinces?................................8........10........5

• It is time that all Canadians accept the

differences between the two cultures?............37.......35......39

• Quebec’s distinct culture and language will

be lost without constitutional recognition?......17.......22......12

28. If the wording of the proposal related to Quebec’s position in Canada was changed from “distinct society” to a province with a “unique language and culture,” would you be much more likely, somewhat more likely, neither more nor less likely, somewhat less likely or much less likely to accept the proposal as part of the constitutional changes?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Much less likely.............................................10.......10........9

• Somewhat less likely......................................13.......19......11

• Neither more nor less likely...........................26.......32......23

• Somewhat more likely....................................35.......28......37

• Much more likely...........................................14........7.......17

29. Once the consultation process is completed, what do you think would be the best way to come to a final decision about constitutional reform?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Have the Prime Minister and the provincial

premiers work out a final deal........................25.......31......22

• Select individual Canadians from across the country to work with provincial and federal

governments in coming to a final deal............34.......35......34

• Turn the whole matter over to a large group of Canadians that does not include any federal

or provincial politicians...................................39.......30......42

30. And once a final decision has been made, how should the constitutional package be finally settled?

Nat. Que. RoC

• By a vote in a national referendum.................46.......43......48

• By Parliament and the provincial legislatures.... 11.......16........9

• Both...............................................................42.......39......43

31. Which of the following options should be required in order to make the final constitutional changes into law? Should it be approval by:

Nat. Que. RoC

• All 10 provincial legislatures?.........................18.......15......19

• A majority of the population in each of

the 10 provinces?...........................................37.......21......42

• Seven of the 10 provincial governments

representing half of Canada’s population?.......12.......14......11

• A majority of Canadians as long as it includes

a majority in Quebec?.....................................31.......46......26

32. Generally speaking, do you think it is very likely, somewhat, likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely that Quebec will leave Canada if no agreement on constitutional reform is reached?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unlikely..................................................25.......11......30

• Somewhat unlikely.........................................32.......22......35

• Somewhat likely.............................................25.......41......20

• Very likely......................................................15.......23......13

33. If Quebecers did decide to separate from Canada, do you think that Canada’s economy would be:

• Much weaker?.......................

• Somewhat weaker?.................

• Neither stronger nor weaker?,

• Somewhat stronger?...............

• Much stronger?......................

Nat. Que. RoC

.13.......15......12

.37.......42......35

.33.......27......35

.11.......11......11

„4......... 1.........5

34. What about Quebec’s economy? If Quebec decided to separate, do you think that the Quebec economy would be: Nat. Que. RoC • Much weaker?................................................46.......24......53 • Somewhat weaker?.........................................34.......34......34 • Neither stronger nor weaker?.........................10.......21........6 • Somewhat stronger?........................................7........15........4

• Much stronger?...............................................2.........3.........1

35. If Quebec decided to separate, do you think the rest of Canada should do everything it can to convince them to stay, or just let them go?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Do everything to convince them to stay..........52.......58......49

• Canada should just let them go.......................47.......39......50

If Quebec did decide to form a separate country, people have made different proposals about what should happen next. Would you find the following suggestions very acceptable, somewhat acceptable, somewhat unacceptable or very unacceptable? (Questions 36 through 46)

36. Canada and Quebec would cut all monetary and economic ties.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..................................... 27.......42......21

• Somewhat unaccèptable.................................26.......31......24

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................25.......20......27

• Very acceptable..............................................21........4.......27

• No opinion.......................................................1.........3.........1

37. Official bilingualism would end in Canada.

Nat.

• Very unacceptable..........................................16...

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................25...

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................31 ...

• Very acceptable..............................................28...

• No opinion.......................................................1....

Que. RoC

..26......12

..36......21

..28......32

...9.......34

... 1.........1

38. Official bilingualism would end in Quebec.

Nat.

• Very unacceptable..........................................20...

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................23...

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................32...

• Very acceptable..............................................24...

• No opinion.......................................................1....

Que. ..28.. ..36.. ..24.. .. 12.. ... 1 ...

RoC ..18 . 18 ..35 ..28 ....2

39. Canada and Quebec would keep present monetary/economic ties.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................25........9.......31

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................19.......14......21

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................37.......53......32

• Very acceptable..............................................17.......23......15

• No opinion.......................................................1.........1.........1

40. Travel between Canada and Quebec would be controlled.

Nat. Que.

• Very unacceptable..........................................30.......32 ..

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................24.......30..

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................34.......33..

• Very acceptable..............................................11........5 ...

• No opinion.......................................................1.........1...

..29

..22

..34

..14

....1

41. Canada and a separate Quebec would negotiate new agreements on borders and property.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................18.......16......19

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................14.......17......13

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................45.......53......43

• Very acceptable..............................................21.......12......24

• No opinion.......................................................2.........2.........2

42. Canada and Quebec would cut all ties on social services, including medicare, unemployment insurance and education.

Nat. Que.

• Very unacceptable..........................................18.

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................16.

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................29.

• Very acceptable..............................................37.

• No opinion.......................................................1..

.30.

.28.

.30.

.10.

..2..

RoC

..14

..11

..28

..46

....1

43. Canada would use military force to keep Quebec from leaving.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................74.......76......74

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................18.......17......19

• Somewhat acceptable......................................5.........5.........5

• Very acceptable...............................................2.........1.........2

• No opinion.......................................................1.........0.........1

44. Canada would use military force to protect its interests in Quebec.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................47.......64......41

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................22.......17.....24

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................21.......15......23

• Very acceptable...............................................9.........3.......12

• No opinion.......................................................1.........1.........2

45. Quebec would use armed force to get itself out of Confederation.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................71.......76......70

• Somewhat unacceptable.................................21.......19......21

• Somewhat acceptable......................................5.........4.........6

• Very acceptable...............................................2.........0.........2

• No opinion.......................................................1.........1.........1

46. Quebec would use armed force to protect its interests.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Very unacceptable..........................................56.......65......52

• Somfewhat unacceptable.................................20.......19......21

• Somewhat acceptable.....................................18.......14......20

• Very acceptable...............................................5.........2.........6

• No opinion.......................................................1.........1.........2

47. If you had to describe Quebecers in one word, what would it be? (Similar descriptions grouped in order of use by non-Quebecers)

Que. RoC

• Spoiled/childish/egotistical.........................................7........13

• Canadian/family/equal/patriotic..................................3..........8

• Nice/friendly/outgoing/lively......................................9..........8

• Different/distinct/separate........................................10.........8

• Confused/uninformed/divided.....................................5..........8

• Selfish/greedy............................................................0..........7

• Stubborn/difficult/unreasonable..................................3..........7

• Human/just people.....................................................2..........5

• French/bilingual.........................................................1..........5

• Good/all right............................................................5..........4

• Proud/strong.............................................................9..........3

• Other/DK/NA.............................................................44.......22

48. If you had to describe Canadians living outside of Quebec in one word, what would it be? (Similar terms grouped in order of use by Quebecers)

• Lucky/unique/proud...................................................6..........4

• Great/super/strong....................................................6..........6

• Ignorant/stupid..........................................................6..........2

• Friendly/kind/likable/nice...........................................6........12

• Unreasonable/intolerant/greedy.................................6..........3

• Frustrated/unhappy/fed up.........................................5..........5

• Passive/apathetic/disinterested..................................4..........4

• Confused/misunderstanding/paranoid.........................4..........4

• Ordinary/normal/human.............................................3..........6

• Tolerant/reasonable/compassionate............................3........12

• Canadian/family.............. 3........12

49. Would you describe Quebecers and other Canadians as essentially the same, mainly the same but with some small differences, mainly different but with some small similarities, or essentially different?

Nat. Que. RoC

• Essentially different.......................................15......19.......14

• Mainly different but with some small

similarities....................................................16......21.......14

• Mainly the same but with some small

differences....................................................48......39.......51

• Essentially the same......................................19......18.......20

50. to 63. Which of the following characteristics best describe Quebecers? And which best describe Canadians outside of Quebec?

Quebec Rest of Canada Description of Description of Selves Others Selves Others

• Very friendly...............................37........23....... 31 18

• Somewhat friendly......................57........59....... 60..........49

• Somewhat unfriendly...................5.........13.........6............22

• Very friendly................................0..........3..........1..............8

• Very narrow-minded....................5..........8..........3............17

• Somewhat narrow-minded...........19........35........33...........44

• Somewhat open-minded..............58........46........48...........29

• Very open-minded.......................16.........8.........13.............7

• Very hardworking.......................25........23........26...........25

• Somewhat hardworking...............59........61........59...........57

• Somewhat lazy............................13........10........10...........10

• Very lazy.....................................1..........2..........1..............1

• Very uptight about sex.................2..........5..........4..............2

• Somewhat uptight about sex........8.........20........23.............9

• Somewhat open about sex...........52........50........47...........43

• Very open about sex...................33........15........14...........30

• Very generous............................27.

• Somewhat generous....................58.

• Somewhat stingy.........................9..

• Very stingy..................................3..

.14.

.61.

.16.

..2..

• Very imaginative.........................25........15.

• Somewhat imaginative................59........62.

• Somewhat unimaginative.............11........15.

• Very unimaginative......................3..........4..

• Very polite..................................20.

• Somewhat polite.........................62.

• Somewhat rude...........................13.

• Very rude....................................3..

.18. .68. , 10. . 2.

. 13. .63. .19. ..2..

. 14. .66. .13. ..3..

.19. .65. . 14. .. 1..

. 10 .50 .25 ...6

.21

.56

.11

...5

. 12 .40 .32 .12

Questions 64 & 65 asked in Quebec only

64. Have you visited other parts of Canada outside Quebec in the past two or three years?

• Yes........................................................................................60

• No.........................................................................................40

65. If answered “yes” to question 64: How likely do you think it would be that you would visit other parts of Canada outside of Quebec if Quebec decided to form a separate country?

• Very unlikely...........................................................................5

• Somewhat unlikely...................................................................9

• Somewhat likely.....................................................................37

• Very likely.............................................................................48

Questions 66 & 67 asked outside of Quebec only

66. Have you visited the province of Quebec in the past two or three

years?

• Yes........................................................................................35

• No.........................................................................................65

67. If “yes” to question 66: How likely do you think it would be that you would visit Quebec if Quebec decided to form a separate country?

• Very unlikely.........................................................................28

• Somewhat unlikely.................................................................13

• Somewhat likely.....................................................................28

• Very likely.............................................................................31

68. Of the two official languages, do you speak both English and French, French only or English only?

Nat. Que. RoC

• English only.................................................61.......4...........81

• Both English and French..............................31......63..........19

• French only...................................................9.......33............0

Questions 69 through 71 asked of those who said they spoke only English or French

After hearing some statements that different people have made, for each one, do you strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree?

69. Because I am not fluent in both official languages, I resent Ottawa because it is run by a closed club of bilingual elites.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Strongly agree..............................................11.......4........12

• Agree............................................................24......27.......23

• Disagree.......................................................45......48.......45

• Strongly disagree..........................................19......17.......19

70. Because I do not speak both official languages, it is more difficult for me to get work in any part of Canada.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Strongly agree..............................................15......20.......15

• Agree............................................................32......49.......29

• Disagree.......................................................38......24.......40

• Strongly disagree..........................................14.......6........15

71.1 have been able to get along fine speaking only one official language.

Nat. Que. RoC

• Strongly agree..............................................42......30.......44

• Agree............................................................51......53.......51

• Disagree........................................................5.......15........4

• Strongly disagree...........................................2........2.........2 □