Strategic Communications Inc.

Strategic Communications Inc.

December 17, 2007 06:00 ET

Albertans Back Harper Approach on Climate, New Provincial Poll Finds

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2007) -

Attention News editors/environment and oil-industry reporters:

A new poll released today by the research firm Strategic Communications Inc. shows that a slight majority (54.3%) of Albertans feel that the Harper government is doing a good job of representing their point of view in the international climate negotiations that have just concluded in Bali, Indonesia.

Most of those (35.7%) said that the government is representing their point of view 'moderately well', while less than one-in-five (18.6%) say it is representing their point of view 'very well'.

"At least in Alberta, the federal government's position at the climate talks went over fairly well," said pollster John Willis, who conducted the poll of 600 Alberta residents between December 7th and 13th. "Alberta is a Conservative heartland, and this data illustrates how political support lines up with policy support."

Willis noted, though, that support for the government position is not very intense. "There are just as many people who say the Harper government is not representing their viewpoint at all -- 15.9% -- as say it is representing their viewpoint 'very well'. Most people are actually in the middle, so the government has to beware of how easily it can end up fighting against public opinion on this file."

Conducted during the week of negotiations in Bali, the poll also found that most Albertans agree with the Harper government's view that it would not be fair for industrialised countries like Canada to make signficant cuts to their carbon emissions if major developing countries such as China and India are allowed to keep polluting without firm caps on emissions. This position was voiced by the government's Bali delegation at the start of the UN conference, and has been strongly criticized by Canadian critics and some other governments.

The results on these questions are as follows:

1. Right now, in Bali, the Canadian government is involved in negotiations that will set the stage for a new global treaty to limit the pollutants that cause climate change. Given what you have seen, or read, or heard, how well do you think that the government of Stephen Harper is representing your point of view about what needs to be done on climate change?

Very well 18.6%
Moderately well 35.7%
Not very well 22.1%
Does not represent my point of view at all 15.9%
Don't know/No answer 7.7%

2. (ROTATE 'Some/other people') Some/other people say that it's only fair that western countries like Canada and the US should move more quickly then developing countries like China and India to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases. They say that western countries have had hundreds of years to benefit economically from being able to dump those pollutants into the atmosphere for free, so they should be the first to pay the price of cutting back. Some/other people say that it's not fair for some countries like Canada and the US to have to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases now, while other countries such as China and India, are allowed to keep polluting until a later date, when they too would have to cut back. Which is closer to your view?

Only fair that Canada/US/etc cut back first 39.0%
Not fair that Canada/US/etc should have to cut back first 52.7%
Don't know/No answer 8.3%

About Strategic Communications

Strategic Communications (Stratcom) is a Canadian consulting firm, founded in 1991, that specializes in services for the non-profit sector and political candidates. Stratcom is the official pollster for 24 Hours Newspaper (Vancouver), and its research findings have been covered by The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and Maclean's Magazine.

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