Canadians feel variously about thing they only sort of pay attention to

Two polls this week on popular attitudes toward the business of Parliament—one from Nanos, the other from Pollara. The feelings toward Question Period are predictably sour and there are a couple points where it appears Canadians are generally unhappy with the present state of affairs. Nanos, for instance, finds more are dissatisfied (44%) with the effectiveness of the House of Commons than satisfied (35.4%). Pollara finds more would prefer a majority government (40%) than a minority government (22%).

And yet, go further into Pollara’s data and the attitudes toward our present situation are rather forgiving (with one particular issue of concern).

Specifically, Pollara asked its respondents to judge the effectiveness of the minority Parliaments that have ruled since 2004. And here is how those numbers break.

Overall. Effective 55%  Not Effective 37%
At representing the views of Canadians. Effective 48%  Not Effective 44%
At addressing Canada’s short term needs and interests. Effective 56%  Not Effective 36%
At addressing Canada’s long term needs and interests. Effective 36% Not Effective 56%

Later, Pollara asked respondents to compare minority and majority governments.

Minority governments consider and represent the views of more Canadians than majority governments.
Agree 47%  Disagree 39%
Minority governments pass more legislation than majority governments.
Agree 14%  Disagree 56%
Political parties do a better job of working together in a minority parliament than in a majority parliament.
Agree 52%  Disagree 33%
Canada’s long-term needs and interests have been neglected during the current period of minority governments.
Agree 63%  Disagree 25%
This period of minority government is turning me off of politics and public policy.
Agree 38%  Disagree 48%

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