July 26, 2013: While members approve of the recent cabinet shuffle, few think it will make any difference to how the government treats older Canadians because Stephen Harper is the only minister who counts.
Members think it very important leaders visit disaster sites but admit they do so only for photo ops.
The recent spate of resignations and departures from the government benches is seen as a clear indication of trouble coming, not a natural progression of talent to the top.
The Liberals are seen to be more ready to govern than the NDP, who are seen to spend too much time posturing in the media, while the Liberals are more likely to be seen as an ineffective opposition.
More than half suggest it’s time for the Prime Minister to retire, and most suggest he will do so because he won’t win the next election in a second half-term full of trouble. Jim Flaherty, Jason Kenney and John Baird are seen as his most likely successors.
The recent Senate expenses scandal is seen to be the most damaging in Canada’s history, outstripping even the Sponsorship Scandal.
Top issues to members include the economy, an aging society, the debt, income inequality and the environment. The ones they feel the government ignores most are an aging society and health care reform, followed by the debt, income inequality and pension reform. The reason these issues are ignored is because politicians are out of touch with seniors, party priorities don’t reflect personal priorities and because politicians, who are always campaigning, pick easy wins.
Increasing transparency in government is best done by banning omnibus bills, banning whipped votes and posting all expenses online. Neither Proportional Representation (PR) nor the Alternate Vote (AV) is strongly preferred to our current First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system.
The Liberals and Conservatives are tied in first place, and the NDP are deep in second.