If you're happy and you know it
Along with the vote-intent figures, the various pollsters sometimes include another question in their survey which attempts to quantify the public's attitude towards the government overall.
Corporate Research Associates, for example, asks a "satisfaction" question on the "overall performance of the provincial government", on a four-point scale from Completely satisfied to Completely dissatisfied, with two lesser grades of "Mostly" in-between.
Angus Reid asks if you Approve or Disapprove of the Premier's performance.
Environics, in its late poll, asked if the government is on the "right" or "wrong" track.
With the important caveat that the questions and methodologies of the pollsters are different, you can take a rough pulse of the public's level of happiness by subtracting the share of Grumpies ("dissatisfied/disapprove/wrong track") from the share of Happies ("satisifed/approve/right track").
For the purposes of this exercise, CRA's Completely and Mostly categories are combined, and all pollsters' undecideds are excluded.
This is the long-term net happiness index over the past decade and a bit. Green columns indicate a time of net happiness; red ones are net grumpiness.
While not quite in negative territory (yet?), net dis/satisfaction levels with the Dunderdale government are already worse than they were for the Grimes government in 2002-2003, a time when it seemed everybody had already concluded that the incumbent government was on its way out.
Labels: pretty charts