December 24, 2022

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday December 24, 2022

Angry about Doug Ford or inflation? You’re not alone, ‘rage index’ poll finds

Inflation is fuelling anger among Canadians even though gasoline prices have dropped and most are not worried about their personal finances, a new poll suggests.

Pollara Strategic Insights’ monthly “rage index” survey found people were even more angry about rising prices than they were during the summer.

“People are not in a good mood as the year comes to a close,” Dan Arnold, chief strategy officer at Pollara, said in an interview.

“They’re more upset now about inflation (than in previous rage index polls) and it could be because these things build over time,” said Arnold, noting prices at the gas pumps have actually plunged in recent months.

“It could also be that more people are going out to restaurants and bars for holiday parties and are buying gifts so maybe they are feeling the pinch more than before — that’s probably driving it,” he said.

The firm surveyed 3,834 people across the country from Dec. 8 until last Thursday.

It is an online panel poll, but for comparison purposes, a random sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The survey found 60 per cent have negative feelings about the economy — with 10 per cent happy and about 31 per cent neutral — but when it came to personal finances, responses were less pessimistic.

Here in Ontario, those surveyed expressed anger toward Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives for opening up the Greenbelt of environmentally sensitive land to housing development.

Some 62 per cent said they were angry about the surprise move — which allows 7,400 acres to be developed in exchange for all 9,400 acres of farm fields and wetlands elsewhere — while just eight per cent were happy and 30 per cent neutral.

“The Greenbelt move is damaging for him; his negatives appear to be on the rise,” Arnold said of Ford, whose party was re-elected June 2 with an expanded majority.

“One-third of Tory voters (33 per cent) are angry about it,” he said, adding only 19 per cent of PC voters approved.

Among self-identified New Democrats, 90 per cent disapproved of building on the Greenbelt, while 69 per cent of Liberal voters panned the scheme.

Ford was also criticized for his abandoned plan to use the Constitution’s “notwithstanding clause” to impose a contract on unionized education workers earlier this fall.

The poll suggests that invocation was a provocation with 61 per cent angry about it and 15 per cent happy and 25 per cent neutral.

“There was a lot of anger over this,” said Arnold, pointing out that 26 per cent of Tories were angry, although 37 per cent were happy.

Three-quarters of NDP voters — 76 per cent — were angry with the overriding of workers’ Charter rights with only one per cent happy; 72 per cent of Liberals were angry and eight per cent were happy. (The Toronto Star)

Ontario, YDF, Young Doug Ford, Christmas, Tonka, toys, presents, Stretch Armstrong, pong, Burning School House, Monopoly, notwithstanding clause