Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gun Control Poll from EKOS

EKOS, as part of their "viewer question" series of polls, has a new one out asking people about the long gun registry and gun ownership.

In general, Canadians give a slight edge to banning the long gun registry (but there is a huge "don't know" group), but are also in favour of banning gun ownership in its entirety and banning gun ownership in urban areas.

But looking behind the numbers, we get an idea of party support between November 11 and November 17. EKOS asked respondents who they would vote for in addition to how they felt about guns in order to get an idea of how particular party supporters feel about gun ownership and the long gun registry. Using those numbers from a pool of 2,517 decided voters, we get:

Conservatives - 38.1%
Liberals - 26.6%
New Democrats - 14.5%
Greens - 10.6%
Bloc Quebecois - 10.3%

Now, take those numbers with a grain of salt, as I don't believe EKOS weighted the regional results the same they do for a normal national poll.

Anyway, as to the actual topic, we find that the supporters of the four opposition parties are far closer to each other than they are to the Conservatives.

On abolishing the long gun registry, 56% of Conservatives saw it should be, while only 20% say it shouldn't. The next highest supporters of abolishing the registry are NDP supporters at 35% (29% opposed), then the Greens at 29% (32% opposed), the Liberals at 27% (47% opposed), and the Bloc (20% to 47%). I find it surprising that NDP supporters are more for abolishing the registry than they are against it.

One other thing to look at is the undecided group. Among them, 33% are for abolishing and 25% are against. What does that mean? Undecideds are more in line with the NDP then either the Liberals or the Conservatives - at least on this issue.

Outlawing guns in urban areas gets a lot of support, even from Conservatives (51% to 38% opposed). It gets highest support among Liberals (76% to 18% opposed) and Bloc Quebecois supporters (74% to 21% opposed). NDP and Green supporters see eye to eye on this issue, with 67% and 66%, respectively, for outlawing guns in urban areas.

Undecideds, at 61% for and 25% against, are somewhere in between. It is interesting to note that on gun control issues, the Conservatives and the Liberals (or at least their supporters) are diametrically opposed.

As for outlawing guns in their entirety, Liberals and Bloc voters are most for the idea (67% and 66% to 33% and 34%, respectively). NDP and Green supporters are also in favour (58% and 54% to 42% and 46%, respectively). Here again, Conservative supporters are alone on the issue, with 38% in favour of outlawing guns and 62% against. Undecideds are split down the middle, 54% to 46%.

So, apparently, on gun control the argument is between the Tories and everyone else.

14 comments:

  1. "So, apparently, on gun control the argument is between the Tories and everyone else."

    That seems like a gross oversimplification given that the NDP results are a mixed bag and have a high MOE. They have so many rural ridings its not surprising that a lot of their membership have a position similiar to the CPC's.

    Also, I think this data could be far better if it included a provincial sample broken down to inside and outside of Montreal/Toronto/Vancouver.

    A lot of the pundits predicted that the Tories would blow their chanced in the Quebec by-elections by scheduling the registry vote just before they took place.

    In fact, its possible that it helped them out in Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

    Of course, we'll never know that since the Quebec results all include Montreal!

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  2. What interesting results!

    It appears that even though Canadians feel the long gun registry must be abolished, a good portion - even those that support the ban - still aren't pro-firearms.

    This falls in line with what I've been thinking; the long-gun registry created by the Liberals is rightfully thought to have been a huge waste of taxpayer's money, but Canadians aren't opposed to having some form of control and legislation. This leaves room open for the Liberals to offer a new program, but with a helluva lot more oversight and cost control - and gain back some much needed votes and support.

    I'd say the Conservatives have the chance to do the same, but this isn't the Tories - these are the Conservatives. I don't think there would be much movement to bring in gun control from them.

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  3. Volkov,

    What are you talking about ?

    You don't consider the existing requirements that people obtain a firearms license to be gun control?

    Owning, obtaining, and using a gun is highly regulated in Canada. Doing away with registration of long guns doesn't change any of that.

    The proposed change in law simply removes the added step of providing the government detailed information about grandpa's hunting rifle!

    Some people don't appreciate the government reaching into their lives and collecting private information. Once its been determined you're responsible enough to own a gun (licensing) then what does it matter what particular guns you have?

    Law enforcement issues need to be dealt with at the licensing stage - if someone is a criminal they can easily be prohibited from using a fire arm. But everyone else should the presumtpion of innocence and be treated with respect.

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  4. Given than a plurality of NDP voters seem to support abolishing the registry, and the margin is fairly close for Green supporters, I don't think "the argument is between Conservatives and everyone else" is at all the right message to take from the poll.

    Clearly, Conservatives are for abolishing the long-gun registry and Liberals are against it, but that's about all the poll shows. Given that the vast majority of Liberal supporters are urban and most Conservative supporters are urban or suburban, this isn't really surprising.

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  5. I'll re-post the last sentence of my post:

    So, apparently, on GUN CONTROL the argument is between the Tories and everyone else.

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  6. Jesse,

    The question isn't what I think is acceptable levels of gun control - it is what the Canadian populace believes.

    While you're correct in saying that gun licensing and ownership is highly regulated in Canada, there are some circles that would like to see it even more regulated. I believe these polls tell us that a good portion of the Canadian populace are open to the suggestion of more gun control, but with effective management - something that never went with the long-gun registry.

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  7. Eric,

    "So, apparently, on GUN CONTROL the argument is between the Tories and everyone else."

    You mean on the issue of banning guns. (Even then there's a good chunk of NDP supporters out there that don't agree.)

    Gun control is properly understood as regulating legal gun ownership - a ban on gun ownership wouldn't constitute gun control so much as a gun ban.

    Sorry to argue semantics but when you make sweeping statements you need to word them very carefully!

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  8. Volkov,

    "I believe these polls tell us that a good portion of the Canadian populace are open to the suggestion of more gun control"

    Sure. If someone wants to bring forward a bill they can. That's what we elect politicians for.

    But i'm a little troubled by the notion that we should determine public policy based on a poll.

    What Canadians want and what's good for Canada are not automatically the same thing.

    Politicians and parties are usually entrusted with a wide latitude of decision making options, independent of polls.

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  9. New Angus Reid Poll:

    CPC 38, LPC 23, NDP 17, Bloc 11, Green 10%

    http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2009.11.20_Politics_CAN.pdf

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  10. Earl, thanks for the link. It was interesting to read through.

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  11. Yes, we can conclude that this issue breaks down along party lines.

    It is not an urban/rural disconnect at all.

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  12. liberal supporter20 November, 2009 15:41

    In 2006, the CPC's platform included repealing the entire firearms registry.

    Now they only want to scrap the "long gun" portion. Why? Since the costs are already paid (the so called 1 billion or 2 billion), the current annual operating costs of $8 million would be reduced by $3 million.

    So we can save a few dollars by repealing the long gun part of the registry. If the long gun registry is also "useless", despite all the police bodies saying it is useful, would not the same apply to the entire registry?

    Can someone explain why the hand gun registry is a good thing, while the long gun registry is not?

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  13. "Can someone explain why the hand gun registry is a good thing, while the long gun registry is not?"

    The likelyhood of use in crime?

    The actual useage in crimes?

    The ability to conceal it while walking down the street?

    The places you find them?

    Are you really equating my great-grandfathers gopher gun (which I shot 2500 gophers with this year and never came within miles of hitting a person) with target shooting handguns (or the (mostly) illegal ones in the hands of criminals and gang members)


    The tool isn't the problem. A gun laying on the ground will never jump up and shoot someone by itself. It is the training and more importantly the intent of the person with the tool in their hand.

    And registering my gopher gun... will not change the intent I have when I pick it up.... Neither will it change the intent of the gang member.

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  14. liberal supporter20 November, 2009 17:59

    The likelyhood of use in crime?

    The actual useage in crimes?

    The ability to conceal it while walking down the street?

    The places you find them
    ?
    How does a hand gun registry have any effect on these?

    Are you really equating my great-grandfathers gopher gun (which I shot 2500 gophers with this year and never came within miles of hitting a person) with target shooting handguns (or the (mostly) illegal ones in the hands of criminals and gang members).
    If registering long guns does not prevent crime, how does registering hand guns prevent crime? I thought "the bad guys don't register their guns" is the talking point. Does that not mean the hand gun registry is useless?


    The tool isn't the problem. A gun laying on the ground will never jump up and shoot someone by itself. It is the training and more importantly the intent of the person with the tool in their hand.
    So by your logic, we should also lift the ban on prohibited weapons? After all, a machine gun won't jump up and shoot someone by itself either.

    I don't fear guns. I fear idiots with guns.

    And registering my gopher gun... will not change the intent I have when I pick it up.... Neither will it change the intent of the gang member.
    If registering your gopher gun won't affect a gang member, how would registering your Uzi affect a gang member?

    So, given your arguments, do you think the hand gun registry should be scrapped as well? Your points all apply to the entire firearms registry. Should we scrap it in its entirety?

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