Monday, March 15, 2010

Provincial Uprising

Angus Reid has updated their Premier approval numbers from November and it's not rosy - only 2 of the 10 Premiers crack the 30% approval barrier.

And suddenly, Stephen Harper's underwhelming poll numbers start looking a lot more whelming by comparison. The man has struggled of late and may spend his life chasing an unobtainable majority, but at a time when voters are P.O.'d at governments coast-to-coast, he's still Canadians' top choice for Prime Minister.

The Premiers

Danny Williams 80% approve, 11% disapprove
Brad Wall 56% approve, 24% disapprove
Greg Selinger 27% approve, 28% disapprove
Darrel Dexter 23% approve, 53% disapprove
Gordon Campbell 23% approve, 60% disapprove
Jean Charest 22% approve, 53% disapprove
Dalton McGuinty 21% approve, 52% disapprove
Ed Stelmach 16% approve, 62% disapprove
Shawn Graham 15% approve, 62% disapprove

Despite his American vacation, Danny Williams towers over the field. 80%? Crap, I'm not sure Sidney Crosby could get that. The scary thing is, 80% is on the low side compared to other recent polls.

More and more, Danny is looking like this generation's Ralph Klein - he could choke 101 puppies to death in the Legislative Assembly and voters would shrug and say "that's just Danny being Danny". Because, after all, even puppies don't get 80% approval ratings, no matter how cute they are.

What's remarkable is that Williams has done it without the same partisan foundation Klein stood on - it's not like Newfoundland is an ultra-Conservative province, after all. I don't know how he does it, but if you could bottle Danny Williams, a teaspoon of him a day would turn anyone into a contender.

The news is less good for Danny's fellow Atlantic Canadians, who could certainly use a teaspoon or two of the Williams magic.

The biggest loser since November is Nova Scotia's Darrell Dexter, who has seen a 20 point swing in his numbers, most likely due to a series of expense claim scandals. Let this be a cautionary tale to all you kids out there on the dangers of experimenting with NDP governments.

Shawn Graham is now less popular than Ed Stelmach, which tells you all you all you need to know about how the New Brunswick Hydro sale has gone over. The weird thing is, you can't count Graham out in the upcoming election (likely this September) - a recent poll has him just 6 points down. The same holds true for equally unpopular McGuinty, Charest, and Stelmach.

No matter how cruddy the job of "Premier" has become, it still beats "opposition leader".

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17 Comments:

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    By Blogger St. Catharines, Ontario, at 6:16 PM  

  • Interesting.

    So the Premier who isn't proud of Canadian services (Danny Williams with regards to Canadian health care system) gets 80% approval...

    By Anonymous Tyler, at 6:25 PM  

  • Not to quibble but you've only got 9 of 10 premiers. Thankfully they don't publish a PEI poll. Robert Ghiz can probably count on being premier as long as Harper is PM. Especially with Mike Duffy and Helena Guergis to help him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:27 PM  

  • This is weird. Graham's approval in Quebec is 81%.

    By Blogger R J, at 8:41 PM  

  • The expense claim issue in NS has been cheerfully bipartisan (or tripartisan), with no shortage of petty sniping over a few thousand dollars of generally not altogether unreasonable expenses. One Tory MLA has resigned and a Liberal resigned abruptly this week after having some kind of meeting with the Auditor General. These numbers don't quite add up with local surveys with larger samples.

    By Blogger Josh, at 8:49 PM  

  • Williams is popular because almost no one doubts he's governing in the interests of his province, rather than in the interests of his party, his career, or his ideology.

    Which is a nice change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

  • I saw this poll earlier... but I never thought of comparison to Stephen Harper... Interesting point. I hope to one day understand the hearts and perspectives of our separatist brothers & sisters, but man, I will never grok why Nfld digs Danny Williams so much.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:56 PM  

  • Williams is popular because almost no one doubts he's governing in the interests of his province, rather than in the interests of his party, his career, or his ideology.

    Which is a nice change.


    A nice change from what?

    Do the interests of his province include jacking up the size of the provincial public service, and its payroll, in order to buy labour peace (and political happiness) in St. John's?

    Do the interests of his province include deliberately delaying major capital works projects over multiple electoral cycles, in order to act as a carrot... even at the cost of doubling the eventual construction costs?

    Do the interests of his province including calling up private citizens and berating them for daring to express dissent in a province - a province of Canada - where expressing dissent can be hazardous?

    Do the interests of his province include atrophying the legislature, making a mockery of the independent electoral process, or simply ignoring his own Access to Information legislation?

    Does it include petty vendettas against sitting judges, or interfering in the decisions of delegated bodies such as school boards (when it is politically expedient to do so?)

    Does it include saying, of certain people at a public health board, that "they should be shot over there"?

    Do the best interests of his province include overseeing an absolute and utter gutting of the private-sector economy, which is what has happened since 2003?

    When are people going to wake up to the reality of Danny Williams?

    What a farce. What a fraud.

    By Blogger WJM, at 10:40 PM  

  • I think you really need some context for Greg Selinger's poll numbers. He's just become Premier of Manitoba after a long, folsky cult of personality sustained, popular Premiership by Gary Doer.

    By Blogger D, at 12:46 AM  

  • I wouldn't say that Dexter's unpopularity is a lesson in the danger of electing NDP governments. The expense claim scandal, as was mentioned previously, hit all three parties and would have made a dent in the popularity of a Liberal or PC government as well (although Dexter himself showing up on the list for excessive purchases and then the discovery that he has been charging the province for his bar association fees didn't help matters for him). I give them credit for now trying to clean up the system (long overdue) and also having to tackle with horrible deficit left behind by the PCs. They're likely going to have to raise taxes, which isn't going to help their popularity either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 AM  

  • The biggest loser since November is Nova Scotia's Darrell Dexter, who has seen a 20 point swing in his numbers, most likely due to a series of expense claim scandals. Let this be a cautionary tale to all you kids out there on the dangers of experimenting with NDP governments.

    Yes kids, don't settle for imitations. If it's corruption you are looking for, choose the original. Choose Liberal.

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:45 AM  

  • D - True enough. Sellinger is still an unknown, and the large number who can't offer an opinion bear that out.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:04 AM  

  • Now, now. I was mostly kidding re: NDP governments. I have nothing against NDP governments, given that most succesful NDP governments (Sask, Man) govern like Liberals... ;-)

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:05 AM  

  • Who cares about Ghiz and PEI? That province is a hell hole!

    By Anonymous HG, at 11:33 AM  

  • @ WJM

    To all of your yes/no questions...

    Apparently, "yes." :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger WJM, at 12:35 PM  

  • Anonymous, I know Danny Williams likes to conflate himself with his province — l'état, c'est lui — and that he once, ever so modestly, claimed, "I think I represent, in my heart and soul, the hearts and souls of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians", but do not confuse the best interests of Danny Williams and the best interests of the province.

    By Blogger WJM, at 12:37 PM  

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