Monday, January 26, 2009

I Guess the Budget Will Pass

Canadians want budget passed: Poll

By Andrew Mayeda, Canwest News ServiceJanuary 26, 2009 3:01 PM

OTTAWA— Tuesday's federal budget is poised to plunge Canada into deficit for the first time in more than a decade, but nearly six in 10 Canadians hope it will pass, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll.

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians want the opposition parties to vote for the budget, according to the poll, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National.

By contrast, 30 per cent believe the opposition should defeat the budget, while 13 per cent are unsure.

"People want the budget to pass because they're generally in tune with what the government is going to try to do with the deficit — they're not shocked by it," said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

The Liberals and NDP threatened to topple the Harper government last month with their proposal to form a coalition backed by the Bloc Quebecois. Prime Minister Stephen Harper staved off defeat by convincing Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to suspend Parliament on Dec. 4.

Parliament reconvened Monday after a seven-week break, and the first test for the government will be Tuesday's budget. It is automatically considered a matter of confidence, meaning a defeat would bring down the government.

If that happens, Jean would have to decide whether to call the fourth general election in less than five years, or grant the coalition a chance to govern. But with economists warning of a deep recession, few Canadians are in the mood for another election or the prospect of a coalition taking power, said Bricker.

"They don't want an election and they don't want political instability," he said.

Government officials have revealed that the budget will push the federal treasury into a $34-billion hole next year and $30 billion the following year — the first federal deficits since the Liberals balanced the books in the late 1990s.

Tuesday's budget will forecast that it will take five years for the government to balance the books again.

Albertans are most likely to want the budget to pass, with 66 per cent wanting the opposition to support it. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are next, both at 65 per cent, followed by Ontario at 61 per cent and British Columbia at 59 per cent.

Forty-six per cent of Quebecers want the opposition to support the budget, while only 45 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada hope it passes.

Both the NDP and Bloc have strongly suggested they will vote against the budget.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has offered only broad conditions for his party's support, and party insiders say it is all but certain the Grits will let the budget pass. Nevertheless, Ignatieff has publicly held out the possibility that the Liberals might bring down the government.

Liberal MP John McCallum warned this weekend that his party would not support permanent tax cuts that would inhibit the government's ability to get back into the black. Harper said last week the budget will contain some permanent tax measures.

The poll, conducted by phone Jan. 20 to 22, contacted 1,000 randomly selected adult Canadians. It is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Regional margins of error are larger.



Dee said...

We've only heard the con clean bits. I'm waiting to hear the dirty bits.

MississaugaPeter said...

I do not believe that Ignatieff will make the same mistake Dion made at the start of last year - prop up Harper so he can stay in office even longer.

Last year, Dion should have forced an election over Afghanistan and this year, with the support of the majority of MPs, Ignatieff should put in place a government that is honest and really is concerned about the best interests of all Canadians.

James Curran said...

As I said in my previous post, the Liberal Party is not prepared for an election, and MI does not believe in the coalition. Therefore, the budget will pass. Such is life.

Even if party funding gets cut, the budget will pass.

Anonymous said...

I was amused that the Girlscouts are getting some money in this budget - wonder how that helps Canadians keep their jobs....

Andrew P. said...

There must be a lot of clairvoyoants in Canada cause last time I checked, the Budget hasn't been released yet...fully that is, yet they already have opinions on whether it should pass or not.

James Curran said...

Andrew, when the Liberal War Room director is telling everyone that this is a marathon, not a sprint, then you KNOW the budget will be passed.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, there are budget leaks....

Andrew P. said...

James, I was referring to what the people asked for this survey want done with a budget they haven't even seen yet. Not what they think the parties will do. On that account, you're right and I'm sure it'll pass

MississaugaPeter said...

If you Liberal pundits are correct:

1. Harper gets his wrist slapped, and Liberals can claim a moral victory.

2. Harper continues to be king, and Liberals abstain themselves into losing another 25+ seats.

3. Harper gets to call an election on his own terms, and the Liberals get to claim again that they were not prepared.

I just got an email from Ignatieff asking for my opinion on the Budget. You suggest that he has already made up his mind. I hope you are wrong.

James Curran said...

The budget will pass. For us to go into an election, it would involve having a plan. Right now there is no plan.

MississaugaPeter said...


Are you suggesting that Warren's and Ignatieff's war room of young guns are not ready for an election?

James Curran said...

Well, are you suggesting that somewhere between December 10 and now the Liberal Party has a platform?

MississaugaPeter said...

James, I would never suggest that.

But remember, the Conservatives did not either, and without a last minute resurgence by the Bloc, we would have a Harper majority today.

James Curran said...

The cons were in government though.