Canada tilting to left of political spectrum, shows new poll

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Another poll, this one by Forum Research, has the NDP poised to form a minority government in the next election.

According to Forum's Lorne Bozinoff, however, the poll, commissioned by the National Post,  has some greater meaning.

Bozinoff suggests that the Canadian public is on a distinct tilt to the left,  signifying that concern over wealth distribution has traction beyond the Occupy tents and protest parades.

The poll claims a wide majority of Canadians — more than three-quarters — think Canada suffers from an income gap, where the rich are getting too rich and the poor are getting too poor.

Regionally, Albertans were the least likely to worry about an income gap (63 per cent did), compared with 89 per cent in Atlantic Canada, 80 per cent in British Columbia, 78 per cent in Ontario, 77 per cent in the Prairies and 76 per cent in Quebec.

"A lot of what we see and hear about these days is the '1 per cent' versus the '99 per cent' and this poll is a perfect reflection of that," Bozinoff told the National Post.

"I think this suggests a long-term trend and the Conservatives are at the wrong end of that long-term trend."

Bozinoff isn't the first one to suggest a collective shift to the left.

"Occupy Wall Street - and now Bay Street? The 99 per cent? Conservatives losing elections all over the country? American billionaires demanding to be taxed at higher rates? Is something happening here?" journalist Murray Dobbin wrote in an article last fall.

In his article, Dobbin cited a worldwide movement toward socialist governance with examples in Latin American and even in Canada.

"There may well be a flowering of the social movement energy that has been lacking for too long in this country," he wrote.

"Conservatives were notably quieted by the Ontario election where they - and almost everybody else - were sure that the Hudak Barbarian Party would join its civic and federal counterparts."

Other examples of jurisdictions moving left include Greece, Germany and France who recently voted - en masse - for socialist politicians.

And, in Alberta - Canada's most conservative province - voters chose to stay away from the very conservative Wildrose Party.

The Forum poll was based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,836 random residents of Canada, 18 or older, conducted on May 23. The results are considered accurate to within 2.29 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reuters photo)