Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What Hath Sponsorship Wrought?

Support for sovereignty in Quebec has broken through the 50-per-cent barrier to its highest level since 1998 amid growing controversy over the sponsorship scandal. A new poll shows 54 per cent of decided voters would support sovereignty in a referendum that offered an economic and political partnership with the rest of Canada -- the same question asked in the Oct. 30, 1995, referendum.

Polls over the past year asking similar questions showed support of between 44 and 49 per cent for sovereignty.
The Bloc Québécois appears poised to capitalize on the backlash against the federal Liberals. The poll says it now leads by 31 percentage points. After distribution of the undecided voters in a proportion equal to the expressed voting intentions, 53 per cent said they would vote for the Bloc, 22 per cent for the Liberals, 12 per cent for the Conservatives, 9 per cent for the NDP and 3 per cent for other parties.

The pollster delivers the ironic piece de resistance:

This survey, conducted April 21 to 24, shows 76 per cent of voters felt betrayed by the actions of the former prime minister and the Liberal Party of Canada after the 1995 referendum on sovereignty. That opinion was shared by a majority of federalists regardless of their political allegiance, according to the poll. "The sponsorship program, which contributed to undermining support for sovereignty between 1997 and 2002, is now having the opposite effect," said pollster Jean-Marc Léger. "In fact it is helping rebuild the sovereignty movement."

The story speaks for itself. But as if the story couldn't get dourer, the survey was conducted by Leger Marketing, which "during the 1995 referendum accurately predicted the final tally in which federalists won with 50.6 per cent of the vote." Amazingly, a federal election may just be the calm before the storm.


Blogger The Tiger said...

As much as I love to blame the Liberals for things, I just can't see Quebec separating over the sponsorship scandal. Yes, it's insulting, demeaning, a betrayal, and lots of other bad things. But -- fundamentally -- it does not demonstrate Canada's corruption; it demonstrates the corruption of the Liberal Party.

Now, if we re-elect that bunch, then... well, it's like what the Bush-bashers said: you re-elected him, you're wearing it. (And as a Bush voter, I accept that.)

11:53 AM  

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