support coalition if no party has a majority
Ethics, transparency in government most important election issue
16th, 2015 - In
a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1365 Canadian
voters, the majority, close to 6-in-10 say it is appropriate for two or more
parties to form a coalition to govern if no party gets a majority of seats in
Parliament (58%) and a similar proportion also favour an informal arrangement
between two or more parties to govern (54%). In each case, one third or fewer
say these options are inappropriate (30% and 34%, respectively. One tenth don’t
have an opinion (12% each).
voters (73%) and New Democrats (69%) are much more likely to favour a formal
coalition than are Conservative voters (36%), and the same pattern applies with
respect to a less formal governing arrangement (35%, 65% and 68% approve,
Coalition/informal arrangement favoured by most if no party gets
plurality of voters say they support some form of cooperative government (41%
in total), whether a formal coalition (30%) or an informal governing
arrangement (11%) if no party gains a majority of seats in the next election. A
further one sixth say they would support a government made up of whomever has
the confidence of the House (15%). Just one quarter say they would support the
party with the most seats, if those seats didn’t make up a majority (27%). Just
more than a tenth don’t have an opinion (13%). Conservative voters are more
likely to say the party with the most seats should govern (45%), while Liberals
(38%/13%) and New Democrats (40%/10%) are more likely to support a formal coalition/informal
arrangement. A Conservative majority is preferred by those who don’t accept the
legitimacy of a coalition (45%). Those who do favour a coalition are most
likely to support a Liberal majority (26%).
Conservative or Liberal majority equally favoured as electoral
equal proportions of voters (about a quarter each) see the optimal electoral
outcome as a Conservative (24%) or Liberal majority (22%) government, followed
by fewer who would like an NDP majority (16%). However, the largest single
group in total (31%) would like to see a minority government, whether Liberal
(11%), Conservative (8%), NDP (7%) or a coalition (5%). Significant minorities
in each party would like to see a minority Conservative (16%), Liberal (18%) or
NDP government (17%).
Ethics in government most important election issue
presented with five major issues facing the Canadian government now, two thirds
of voters say ethics and transparency in government has “a great deal of
influence” on their vote (65%), and this is especially the case among New
Democrats (76%) and Liberals (71%) as opposed to Conservatives (54%).
most influential is balancing the budget (43% “a great deal of influence”),
especially among Conservatives (67%) but not so much among Liberals (33%) and
New Democrats (34%).
most influential are the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines and the
environment (42%), especially among Greens (63%), New Democrats (45%) but not
so much Liberals (39%) or Conservatives (37%). Pipelines are an especially
influential issue in Alberta (53%) and BC (49%).
to last among these issues is the mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as
well as the mission to the Ukraine, seen as having a “great deal” of influence
on one’s vote by 3-in-10 (30%), especially among Conservatives (45%), but not
so much among Liberals (26%) or New Democrats (19%). These military adventures
are seen to be ballot box issues more in Ontario than elsewhere (37%) and less
so in Quebec than elsewhere (21%).
least influential issue we probed was legal marijuana, cited by one fifth as “a
great deal of influence” (19%). This rises to more than a quarter among the
youngest (27%), the least wealthy (28%) and in Ontario (26%). Liberals are
twice as likely to say marijuana legalization will influence their vote “a
great deal” (24%) than are Conservatives (12%), while New Democrats fall
between the two other parties (16%).
"It appears that the idea of a
coalition government isn’t the bogeyman to voters that the government would
like us to believe. Canadians are familiar enough with Westminster government
that the wide majority will support some form of cooperative government in a
minority situation. One thing is clear, the coalition they are discussing is
between the Liberals and the NDP, to supplant a Conservative minority. For one
thing, when the number one issue in a wartime election is ethics in government,
that’s not a good sign for the government in question," said Forum
Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum
Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)