Monday, December 7, 2009

New Ontario Provincial Poll

Angus-Reid has a new Ontario provincial poll out.So, a huge result for the Progressive Conservatives, with strong numbers everywhere. The Liberals are down very low, while the NDP is at 20%.

The Tory strength is distributed across the province, but is especially high in the Hamilton-Niagara area (51%) and in the North and East (47% each). In the GTA, the party is still at 38% and is even at 33% in the 416 area code.

The Liberals are hovering between 31% and 34% in the Toronto area, but are down to 19% in Hamilton and 22% in the East.

The NDP is doing best in the southwest (27%).

The big problem for the Liberals is that Ontarians' opinion of Dalton McGuinty has worsened. This is the case for a whopping 54% of the province, while the same can be said for only 16% of Ontarians when it comes to the Progressive Conservative leader, Tim Hudak. He benefits from having the best "improvement" score with 15%, which is still relatively low.

Certainly bad news for the provincial Liberals, and good news for the Progressive Conservatives. Of course, an election is a few years away so there is plenty of time for Ontarians to forget about the HST issue.


  1. Actually Eric, the election is scheduled for October of 2011 and the HST comes into effect on July 1 of 2010. I know voters have short memories but something the Liberals did may come back to haunt them. Every Ontario family (some income limits) is scheduled to get $100 in HST rebates. The rebate is paid in three installments with the last one intended to come a few months before the election. Instead of a bribe, that cheque may be a bitter reminder of the tax.

  2. Earl, I totally agree with your statement. I know all of the people I have talked to about this have completely soured on the Liberals as they not only pushing the HST down our throats, but are trying to bribe us with the extra money they intend to collect off of it. People are not going to forget where this money is collected from. This is not going to be revenue neutral, nor is any other tax. I am going to enjoy Dalton trying to explain to people come July 1st the reason they are paying an extra 8 to 12 cents on each litre of gas. People are not going to easily forget the HST, regardless of the newspaper/coffee/fast food crap tax breaks they offer us.

  3. For those of you who have not read the article already, here is a link to a Toronto Star Article named: HST equals Hated Sales Tax

    Read some of the comments from the readers of the article. That will give you some insight as to how hated this tax really is.

  4. Hi Micheal:

    They're not even tax breaks, just continued exemptions on fast food below $4. The level hasn't been raised in years. Fairly adjusted for inflation it would probably exceed $10. Now that would be a tax break. Also the $1000 is to offset the added cost of the HST in year 1. That tells us that we'll all be paying more , a thousand dollars a year more every year there after.

    I think the BC Liberals will find a similar reaction. People remembered the GST for 3 years after it was introduced. Other than a few months under the then photogenic Kim Campbell the Tories never regained the ground they lost to the Liberals because of the GST. It will not be until 2016 that any government can remove us from the HST thanks to the "contract" signed with the Feds to get the money. Wouldn't it be supreme irony if the Feds broke because of stimulus refuse to compensate Quebec retroactively and Quebec pulls out of the HST. They can do it and the PQ would appauld as it would a step towards independence.

  5. All that being said, I think that this poll may be a bit of an outlier. No other poll from the same time period has given the Ontario PCs anywhere near that kind of a lead and Tim Hudak has made a bit of a fool of himself over the past week. It makes perfect sense that Liberals support would be down compared to last election and that all the opposition parties would be up somewhat - but the 14 point Tory lead does not strike me credible. I'd have to see another poll with similar numbers before i would believe it.

  6. DL believe it and the numbers will get worse for the Libs. The NDP has a great chance to form the official opposition in 2011. Andrea Horvath is quietly competent and if she can persuade ON. that she would govern in the tradition of Doer, and the Sask. NDP then she could be a winner come 2016.

  7. Exactly Earl.

    Even though I am no fan of the NDP, I too can see them forming official opposition in 2011. The core Liberal support in 416 is going to die fast after the HST is enabled on July 1st and I am quite sure a lot of that vote is going to switch to NDP. Time will tell!

    Also, in regards to the $4 level, yes, that should have been increased along the lines of inflation over the years. That would have been fair.

  8. News of the death of the Ontario Liberal Party are quite premature...

    Granted the NDP is possibly the only credible source for anti-HST sentiment, it isn't enough to propel them back to Official Opposition status. Horwath, bless her Hamiltonian heart, isn't much of a leader, just as Hudak isn't, or McGuinty as well. Horwarth, though, is at the absolute bottom of the crop, and will stay as such, because she is no Darrell Dexter, and her party lost all credibility in the 90's.

    Now, I'm not exactly a huge fan of McGuinty, but the man is the most credible leader of the lot. His government, while overall bumbling and inept, isn't doing that horrible of a job. The HST might be its downfall, but it isn't going to be its destruction - it is simply just going to be another switch in the long line of government mandates.

    Dipper-topia dreams are quite amusing, though.

  9. Volkov I'll agree that it is a long shot that the NDP forms the official opposition in 2011. There is real anger in the land though. That's what elected Bob Rae in 1990. David Peterson in power proved to be an arrogant SOB. I still find it stomach churning to watch the man today. I voted for Mike Harris the first time, but for McGuinty ever since. I will not vote for McGuinty again. His HST gambit is poorly timed and will hurt consumers to help business. Make no mistake about it most of the money that the average family will pay in increased taxes will go right into the pockets of business. Unlike Jesse and Martin I don't believe in trickle down economics. I'm centre right. Ontario is center left/right as the wind blows. Bland works. the HST and the health tax punish the less well off and middle class. I don't like Hudak and don't like the NDP as represented by Layton. If Horvath can differeniate herself from the federal NDP she has a chance. Read an article by Layton on the HST and found it overly simplistic and self serving as usual. But then I just find Layton grating. Always have from his days on Toronto Council.

  10. J. Kenneth Yurchuk07 December, 2009 12:25

    I find it passing strange that Hudak (Fed Con Finance Minister Flaherty's BFF from the Harrisite Parasite days)should suddenly find the HST so Abhorrant.

    Can you say political opportunism writ large?

    The Dippers are the only ones with a consistant line and a moral justification consistant with their principles for opposing this massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy corporate elite.

  11. "DL believe it and the numbers will get worse for the Libs."

    As I said, i will believe it when it is confirmed in a second poll. Until then it is too much of an outlier.

  12. This is sad. Hudak's histrionics are hypocritical, considering that the Cons would be perfectly happy to bring in HST if only they were in power. It's a centre-right policy to start with.

    I hope McGuinty bounces back up once HST is in place and people realize how much of a non-event it really is. The income tax cuts and the rebates should help a lot.

  13. If I lived in Ontario I would be so mad at my neighbours right about now.

    I think McGuinty's implementation of the HST is terrific, and it's a good move for a province that for too long has chosen politics over business every chance they got.

    With the exemptions, it's not much of a tax increase, and it spreads the tax burden more evenly.

    I'm a vocal opponent of BC's HST plan (which is a huge tax increase, and seemingly done just to collect the $1.6 billion in federal transition funding), but Ontario's I quite like.

  14. Ira, perhaps you'd like to explain why you do not see it as much of a tax increase?

  15. Michael,

    PST + GST = 13%, HST = 13%.

    Does that explain how this is NOT a tax increase?

    Ok so some items that were previously exempt from the PST are now taxed by the HST, an 8% tax increase.

    But wait.

    That money is being refunded through rebates and lower property taxes.

    The gov't isn't keeping the money, there is no net increase in revenue.

    Therefore, this is a TAX SHIFT, not a tax increase.

    Please use proper terminology in the future.

  16. Earl,

    There's no need to use the term "trickle down economics".

    In the future you can simply say economics.

    Here's your corrected sentence:

    "Unlike Jesse and Martin I don't believe in economics."

    Because what you call "trickle down" is actually an integral and proven part of the field.

    Also, Quebec cannot "pull out of the HST".

    They are not in the HST framework other provinces are in.

    Instead of the federal government hnadling provincial sales taxation like in the HST provinces, the provincial government handles federal sales taxation in Quebec.

    While they technically have a blended tax, their arrangement is much different.

  17. Jesse I know economics you only think you do! Supply side and trickle down are as George H.W. Bush said many years "voodoo economics". If you choose to think fantasy is fact, please enjoy your fantasy. BTW no property taxes are being reduced in Ontario due to the HST. Business taxes are. Our taxes on heating oil, natural gas, gasoline, electricity, haircuts, funerals, etc are going up. It is a tax shift from business to consumers. Do some research.

  18. It doesn't matter what taxes are being decreased. If the total revenue collected by the government isn't going up, then it's not a tax increase.

    BC will be collecting something like $4 billion in extra revenue over the next 3 years as a result of their HST, because they're not making any offsetting tax reductions nor did they negotiate any exemptions to the HST (like Ontario did with food under $4). Basically the PST is going away, and the GST is being raised from 5% to 12%. Since the GST is a broader tax, that's a big tax increase.

    Consumption taxes on consumers are generally very efficient taxes, so in the abstract I'm a fan (and this is why I like Ontario's HST plan), but since there is no public policy problem to which the proper response is higher taxes, I'll happily oppose any significant tax increase - and that's what BC's HST is.

  19. Earl,

    Both W's were failed presidents. If you feel like quoting them that's up to you.

    Trickle down is really just an expression of very basic economic reality:

    * Government is notorious for sub-optimal capital allocation and market systems are far superior in delivering most services.

    What does this mean? That you can either take a big government (public) or small government (private) approach to public policy vis a vis taxation.

    The idea is that wealth left in the hands of people who know what to do with it, ex. venture capitalists, developers, small business people, will

    * create jobs

    * raise people's standard of living.

    Where as taking money from such people and using it for services that could be performed by the private sector will

    * create less jobs, cost more money, and be less efficient.

    * lower the average living standards because of the effects of unemployment and foregone prosperity.

    Governments can also tax to redistribute money to the poor from the rich, but that simply creates inflationary pressure that erases any living standard gains in the poor and creates inefficiency via the bureaucratic/regulatory drag of such a scheme.

    I'm not really sure how you can call yourself a conservative if you don't believe in the central tenants of small government philosphy....

  20. Earl,

    Increased property tax rebates for certain individuals ARE part of the measures announced, at least according to a news story you linked me to.

    "It is a tax shift from business to consumers. Do some research"

    The HST itself is no such thing.

    If you're talking about cuts to the corporate tax rate within the over all scheme of tax changes the Liberals are making then sure.

    But reducing the corporate tax rate is an exceedingly good idea.

    But hey! If you want business to continue to move west to escape high taxes that's up to you, have fun turning into Michigan.

  21. Jesse, I would love to believe that the Liberals in Ontario are going to make the HST revenue neutral, but all the years living here with them at the helm, I am not inclined to believe them any more. If you lived here, I am sure you would have the same feeling.

    Oh, and by the way Jesse, it was not I that stated the HST was a tax increase, so relax yourself. I was asking Ira why they believed it was a tax increase. Thanks.

  22. The poll, outlier or no, presumably reflects unhappiness with the HST. However, the Conservatives and NDP refuse to say that they will reverse the tax if elected. That makes it hard for them to campaign on the HST in 2011. Which means that the Liberals will do better than this poll would indicate.

    I'm not a Grit, but I respect McGuinty for doing the right thing for the province even though it is costing him politically.

  23. Michael,

    Oh sure, the Liberals here in BC said the carbon tax would be revenue neutral but it turned out a lot of it was siphoned off into "green" program spending.

    But that's a reason to change governments so there will be more honesty in their accounting, not to oppose a specific policy.

    We should take this stuff at face value and argue it out on its merits.

    A year after its implimented the Ontario PC party is probably going to sweep to power and can make sure people are getting their refunds.

    While they won't be able to back out of the actual HST arrangement they can still do a wide range of fixes.

    The actual HST arrangement is a REALLY REALLY GOOD policy. I can't say that enough.

    It cuts the paperwork and accounting regarding sales taxes that small business has to do in half. That frees up a lot of time.

    I wonder if the actual issue is that the HST is a good policy but people don't trust the governments to do it in a revenue neutral fashion.

  24. "The poll, outlier or no, presumably reflects unhappiness with the HST. However, the Conservatives and NDP refuse to say that they will reverse the tax if elected. That makes it hard for them to campaign on the HST in 2011. Which means that the Liberals will do better than this poll would indicate."

    The GST was introduced in 1990 and three years later people were still pissed off enough to reduce the Tories to TWO SEATS.

  25. DL, Earl, The entire world,

    A lousy campaign and the reform party splitting votes might have had something to do with the disasterous PC results in '93.

    Just sayin'.

  26. Yes Jesse, the HST is good policy. And yes, the problem is that people here do not trust the current governing party to keep this as being revenue neutral. So in the end, I see the Liberals paying the price. It is not solely because of the HST, but because of people getting sick and tired of being lied to. When the health tax was created here, it was just after an election promise of no new taxes. Since then there have been new evironmental disposal taxes added and Toronto has been pretty much given the right to tax the crap out of people left, right and centre. All the PC party has to do here to win in 2011 is promise some sort of tax cut and they will win in a landslide.

  27. Michael,

    I've made a suggestion that instead of trying to repeal the HST that the Ontario PC promise to LOWER the rate by 1%, maybe even by another 1% a couple years down the road.

    Its what the atlantic provinces did when they harmonized and it ensured that even though you were paying more for specific items you were paying a little less on everything and it all balanced out in the end.

    Its a much simpler and fairer solution than all these targeted rebates and a good way to achieve revenue neutrality in a very transparent way.


    New QC poll

  29. Jesse,

    Agreed Tom would be much more credible if he would introduce a reduction of the HST rate if elected vs the theatrics.

  30. I posted about that Quebec poll on November 30:

  31. That poll was commened about a week ago. its old news.

  32. In response to Jesse's comment:

    Therefore, this is a TAX SHIFT, not a tax increase.

    Stephane Dion tried that argument with his GREEN SHIFT, and look what happened to him.

    The individual may be smart, but the collective society is just dumb. Yell and scream about a tax grab and they'll buy it hook, line, and sinker.

  33. Top Can Inc,

    I agree, the easiest way to sink a policy is to yell "tax grab".

    But just because something is revenue neutral and is a shift not an increase doesn't say anything about whether or not its a good policy.

    Dion's shift was based on social justice - redistribution of wealth from the productive to the non-productive - and on the notion of reducing carbon emissions.

    Obviously if those aren't your priorities, especially if like myself you believe there is ZERO evidence of AGW, there is plenty to dislike about the Green Shift.


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