The province released the polling it did before the budget today. It was pretty boring: Most people feel pretty good about the economy and the job the NDP are doing and health care is still the top spending priority. Shocker. But here's a couple of interesting bits.
- Manitobans don't give a crap about the environment or poor people. Only four per cent said going green or combating poverty were their top spending priority.
- Wait, that's not true. The next question has 84% of Manitobans saying the province should give a higher priority to cleaning up lakes and rivers. People still didn't care about hiking welfare rates or building more subsidized housing, though.
- When it comes to new taxes, nearly 60 per cent said they'd support a junk food tax. Wha? Hands off my Peanut M&Ms! I checked, and this isn't actually happening, but it polled pretty well. Way better than raising the business tax or a small increase in gas taxes, two other options the NDP floated.
- 92% of people said promoting wind and geothermal would be a good way to boost the economy. I wonder if that's a little nudge to Manitoba Hydro, which has been strangely slow to embrace either.
- There was a question about balancing the budget using savings from previous years - a test to see whether the current plan to balance the books over a four-year rolling average would play alright with the public. It didn't do badly - 43 per cent said the province could balance over several years.