Canadians may appear cold to the carbon tax – until you rephrase the question

Many people who oppose the notion of a carbon tax have been claiming that the Liberal defeat is a clear indicationthat Canadians are not prepared to embrace a Carbon tax. This idea has wasn’t true (according to polls) before the election, and seems to not hold true after the election.

[In early October], McAllister Opinion Research asked nearly 2,000 Canadians what they thought of a tax shift that involved “cutting income taxes and increasing taxes on pollution.” Two-thirds said they thought it was a good idea. Sadly, no one phrases the question like that on the hustings. In politics, perception is everything.

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The fact is that the Liberals ran an abysmal campaign. While the Conservatives spouted dishonest attacks on the Green Shift, the Liberals were silent. In fact most Canadians likely heard more about the Liberal proposal from the Conservatives, than from the Liberals. How many Canadians even know that over 200 economists back carbon taxes as the most effective way to reduce our GHG emissions?

Given all of this is it any wonder that the Liberals were trashed in the recent election? Given that most Canadians have only heard the Conservatives take on carbon taxes, is it any wonder that when presented with a more honest look at carbon taxes the results differ wildly from the results of the last elections?

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