Question: How did anglo Quebecers respond to questions about the Parti Québécois victory?
To put things mildly, Quebec anglophones are not happy the PQ. They are very wary with the party and they are very concerned with the implications that the PQ victory is going to have.
Q: Were you able to notice a difference between majority and minority governments?
We didn’t directly test on that but we did ask them if the PQ government were to have a majority, what would some of the implications be? One of the things they said, 84 per cent of Quebec anglophones say that if the PQ government were to get the majority, they would do more to limit the English language. Seventy-eight per cent said that they would use their power to limit English community rights and only 13 per cent feel that (the PQ) actually value the anglophone community.
Q: You heard about distrust and anger. How did they respond to those issues?
Overwhelmingly, respondents say that they distrust the PQ. Just 12 per cent say they trust the party.
This in and of itself isn’t all that surprising. In other research we’ve done, we find that whether we use the words ‘trust’ and ‘governance’ in the same sentence, you get this very negative, very cynical response.
One of the questions we’ve asked on a number of occasions is trust in occupational groups. For example, 80 per cent of Canadians say they trust doctors, 75 per cent trust scientists... but politicians usually rank around 10 per cent, just behind lawyers and slightly ahead of Internet bloggers.
This lack of trust in and of itself isn’t that surprising. But where it gets interesting is 51 per cent of respondents say they are actually angry with the PQ. Now, anger is a very powerful emotion. The two most powerful emotions in politics are hope and anger. They both get people out to the polls, they both people civically engaged, so the fact that half of anglophones say they are angry with the PQ is really quite significant.
Q: How important are language issues for the anglo voter?
First we asked them straight up, how important are language issues when you decide who to vote for and 85 per cent say they are important. That includes 55 per cent who say they are very important. So this is definitely a leading issue.