March 11, 2011
Competence, ethics and honesty are strongly valued in a government by CARP members, but just half believe the current government is competent, and only a minority believe it is either ethical or honest (or transparent). Majorities of members agree that the political culture of Canada is being changed for the worse, that the nation is moving more to the right and that Canada is becoming less democratic.
The vast majority of members say they expect a cabinet minister to resign for a serious error or misleading parliament, but they are somewhat less demanding of politicians who make well-meaning errors or break their campaign promises. The majority say it is “very important” that the Auditor General be allowed to audit MP expenses, that the government release its prison building cost estimates and that Cabinet Minister Bev Oda resign for misleading parliament.
Most members feel they have little or no influence politically or in the political process, but one third think they can make a difference. About twice as many members say they are on the right-hand end of the political spectrum as say they are on the left end.
Members claim negative political advertising works against its purpose, and the majority said recent negative advertising about Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper was ineffective.
The Liberals have recovered from their swoon in the last wave of polling, and the Conservatives have declined a similar amount, to the point where results for the two main parties are in the same place they’ve been for months, about 10 points apart with the Conservatives leading.