Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

October 31, 2005 09:17 ET

CANADIANS PONDER POTENTIAL FALL-OUT OF GOMERY REPORT

Sixty-three Percent Don't Think The Gomery Report Will Change Anything Meaningful When It Comes To The Federal Government Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 31, 2005) - With the public release today of the much-anticipated report by Justice Gomery into the sponsorship scandal, a new CanWest News Service/Global News Ipsos Reid poll indicates that most Canadians (63%) don't think the Gomery Report will change anything meaningful about the way the Federal Government does things.

And regardless of the Gomery Report findings, half agree (51%) that they are still more likely to trust Paul Martin as Prime Minister than Stephen Harper (40% disagree).

Further, Canadians offer no clear choice as to which party and leader they believe would best clean up the corruption uncovered by the Gomery Inquiry: twenty-five percent choose the Liberals, another 25% choose the NDP, and 22% choose the Conservatives.

Canadians are also divided when it comes to the statement that "because of what's been revealed at the Gomery Inquiry, the Martin Liberals have lost their moral right to govern and the opposition parties should force an immediate election" - half (48%) agree with this statement, and half (45%) disagree.

When Canadians are asked whom they think is most to blame for the sponsorship scandal:

*One-third (34%) point to Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minster at the time;
*15% say Paul Martin, the Finance Minister at the time;
*14% say officials from the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec; and
*12% say public servants who worked at the Department of Public works.

As for the possibility of the Liberal government introducing across-the-board tax cuts in the next few weeks, the majority (68%) of Canadians say they would view such a move with scepticism and believe they would do this "mostly because they want to distract people from the Gomery Report on the sponsorship scandal".

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News and fielded from October 25th to October 27th 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1001 adult Canadians were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Sixty-three Percent Don't Think The Gomery Report Will Change Anything Meaningful When It Comes To The Federal Government…

Sixty-three percent of Canadians agree with the statement "I don't think the Gomery Report will change anything meaningful about the way the Federal Government does things" (31% strongly agree). Only three in ten (29% disagree) feel the report will have an impact in this regard (11% strongly disagree). Eight percent say they "don't know".

*Residents of Atlantic Canada (68%), Ontario and Alberta (both at 65%) are the most likely to agree with this statement.
*Disagreement is highest in British Columbia (37%) and Quebec (37%).

Half (51%) Agree That Regardless Of Gomery Report Findings They Still Trust Paul Martin As Prime Minister Over Stephen Harper (40%)…

Half (51%) agree that "regardless of what's being revealed by the Gomery Inquiry, I'm more likely to trust Paul Martin as Prime Minister than Stephen Harper" (27% strongly agree). Four in ten (40%) disagree with this statement (25% strongly disagree). The remaining 9% "don't know" if they agree or disagree.

*Agreement with this statement is highest in Atlantic Canada (55%), followed by British Columbia and Ontario (both at 54%).
*Disagreement with this statement is highest in Alberta (54%).
*One-quarter (23%) of Conservative Party supporters agree with this statement, while 16% of Liberal supporters disagree with this statement.

Canadians Split As To Whether Paul Martin's Liberals Have Lost The Moral Authority To Govern…

One out of every two Canadians (48%) agree that "because of what's been revealed at the Gomery Inquiry, the Martin Liberals have lost their moral right to govern and the opposition parties should force an immediate election" (25% strongly agree). Of the opposite opinion are the 45% who disagree with this statement (22% strongly disagree). The remaining 7% "don't know".

Agreement with this statement is up slightly since an April 2005 poll (when 45% agreed/ 52% disagreed).

*Agreement with this statement is highest in Alberta (61%), Quebec (54%) and Atlantic Canada (53%).
*Disagreement with this statement is highest in Ontario (48%), British Columbia and Sasktachewan/Manitoba (both at 47%).
*Men are more likely than women to agree with this statement (54% vs. 44%).
*One-quarter of Liberal supporters (25%) agree with this statement.

Plurality Blame Chrétien For Sponsorship Scandal (34%), More Than Double The Percentage Who Blame Paul Martin (15%), The Federal Liberals In Quebec (14%), or Public Works Employees (12%)…

When Canadians are asked whom they think is most to blame for the sponsorship scandal:

*One-third (34%) point to Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minster at the time;
*15% say Paul Martin, the Finance Minister at the time;
*14% say officials from the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec;
*12% say public servants who worked at the Department of Public works; and
*10% blame all of these parties.

Among remaining Canadians, 3% don't blame any of these groups, while 11% "don't know" who they blame most.
No Clear Choice As To Which Party And Leader Would Be Best For Cleaning Up Corruption…

Canadians offer no clear favourite choice when asked which Federal party and leader they think would do the best job of cleaning up corruption uncovered by the Gomery Inquiry. Paul Martin and the Liberals (25%), Jack Layton and the NDP (25%), and Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (22%) all receive equal levels of endorsement, while 9% choose Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois.

One in ten (12%) say that none of these groups would do the best job, and 8% say they "don't know".

Majority Of Canadians (68%) Question Motives Behind Potential Income Tax Cuts Measures…

If the Federal Liberals were to introduce across-the-board tax cuts in the next few weeks, 68% of Canadians say they would think they are doing this "mostly because they want to distract people from the Gomery Report on the sponsorship scandal". One-quarter (24%) think the Liberals would introduce tax cuts because "it is the right thing to do for Canadian taxpayers and the economy". Eight percent say they "don't know".

*Residents of Alberta (86%) are the most likely to believe that these tax cuts would be designed as a distraction from the Gomery Report, followed by residents of Quebec (75%) and British Columbia (72%).
*Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (44%) are the most likely to believe the Liberals would do this because it is the right thing to do, followed by residents of Atlantic Canada (35%).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
President & COO
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

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