VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Just in time for B.C. Day, a new poll is suggesting the province’s least popular premier is easier to choose than the most well-liked.
Former New Democrat Premier Mike Harcourt beat out two Liberals and the current NDP leader as top choice.
Nearly four out of 10 respondents in the latest Research Co survey couldn’t pick a favourite, but 15 per cent chose Harcourt with John Horgan and Gordon Campbell each getting 12 per cent.
“It’s an interesting scenario. I mean, Mike Harcourt left office in a very difficult situation and a lot of people were critical of the situation that he faced and now, we see that he’s the number one choice,” explains pollster Mario Canseco.
“Time makes everything look different. If we had asked this question back in 1991 or something, the numbers definitely would have been different.”
Canseco says at 11 per cent, Christy Clark’s support is the lowest and at 31 per cent, she has the dubious distinction of being B.C.’s least-liked Premier since 1986.
“There’s a certain sense of freshness when it comes to Christy Clark. We just had an election a year and a month ago and I think that is part of the situation. There’s definitely a lot of residents who are dissatisfied with her style and certain things that she did,” he says, adding those numbers, like with Harcourt, could change too.
“Maybe two years from now, the numbers will be different. The first time I asked about this, Gordon Campbell was the undisputed worst premier in the province.”
Canadian versus Cascadia
Not only that, but the poll also found that British Columbians don’t connect with other major Canadian centres as much as you might think. We actually relate more to other cities, albeit American cities, in the Cascadia region.
Seattle and Portland are favoured more so than Montreal or Toronto according to this poll.
“It’s interesting to look at some of the fluctuation over the years,” shares Canseco, adding this is the third time he’s posed the questions of Toronto vs. Seattle.
“It’s not related, necessarily, to the station of the United States as a country–I think there’s definitely a lot of people in British Columbia who are dissatisfied with the election of Donald Trump, with the situation relating to the trade war and so on. But it doesn’t stop you from feeling really fond of the people of Seattle, the people of Portland, to dream of this Cascadia,” he says.
“Maybe you’re upset about the United States for a wide range of reason, but you’re not necessarily upset with way things are happening in the cities close to us.”
In this part of the poll, Canseco says millennials are the ones that have particularly bonded with other coastal Pacific-Northwest cities. He says that generation is more adventurous on the travel front compared to a more-frugal GenX. They also tend to prefer the craft beer scene, whereas baby boomer snow birds might opt for a trip to somewhere warmer like Arizona.
“They are the driving force, they’re the ones talking about craft breweries in Oregon two or three years ago before we actually had any craft breweries in B.C.!” he says.
“They’re definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to looking into the relationships with other people and Cascadia is no different.”
Close to 80 per cent of the 800 people taking part in the survey conducted during the last week of June also say they plan to spend the rest of their lives in B.C.
-with files from Marcella Bernardo