Friday, November 27, 2009

Healthcare Top Issue Once Again

On Tuesday, Nanos released a new poll asking Canadians what their top issues were. Between November 7 and November 10, 1,005 Canadians were surveyed.

Healthcare took the cake with 27%, up two points from a similar poll taken a month ago.

The economy has dropped to 24% as a top issue, down six points from the last poll and down about 30 points from earlier this year. Apparently, Canadians believe the economy is doing fine and they are returning to more traditional concerns.

The environment was at 9% and education at 4%, more or less unchanged.

One wonders whether the political parties, the Conservatives in particular, will change their message. A puzzling aspect about this is that the federal government is not the level of government responsible for healthcare - the provinces are. And whenever the federal government does try to get involved to a greater extent than they already are, the provinces object. It is a lose-lose situation for federal parties, as if they give healthcare a priority, they can't really do all that much about it, other than give the provinces more money.

Anyway, it is another sign that Canadian politics is returning to normal.


  1. "A puzzling aspect about this is that the federal government is not the level of government responsible for healthcare - the provinces are."

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." -- Winston Churchill

  2. It's as if Canadians are unaware of how federalism works (or even how it's supposed to work). Perhaps we should make a bigger part of our civics classes.

  3. I suppose we should note that the Nanos question did not ask about the most important "federal government" issue.

    The question instead asked:

    "What is your most important NATIONAL issue of concern?"

    Perhaps this is splitting hairs, but then again perhaps not.

    "National" may simply mean that the quality/cost/etc. of health care is an important issue across Canada. It may carry no implication as to which level of government is chiefly responsible.

  4. I will add that this is potentially even more confused when it comes to francophone Quebeckers.

    The French version of the question was:

    'Quel dossier NATIONAL revêt le plus d’importance pour vous?'

    As many of you will be aware, in Quebec, 'National' is, in fact, often used to refer to Quebec provincial things (for example their provincial legislature is called the 'National Assembly')

  5. The federal government promised to pay 50% of the health care costs at one time. Under Martin that dropped to 12% and Harper has only upped it to around 17%.

    The feds do have a roll.

  6. Robert,

    Where on earth do you think the federal government gets it money ?

    From the same place the provinces do - the Canadian public.

    The only reason to have the feds paying a larger and larger percentage is so that poor provinces can take money from rich provinces.

    We already have a program for that called equilization.

    So what difference does it make AT ALL the percentage of health care money that comes from the feds?

  7. Does the word 'isotopes' mean anything to you? Maybe it's not sexy enough...


COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.