British Columbians Were “Nice” in 2013, Politicians Seen As “Naughty.”

Most British Columbians dislike shopping in crowded malls to buy gifts—other holiday worries are the credit card balance and gaining weight.

Vancouver, BC – Residents of British Columbia suggest Santa Claus will be good for them and their families this year, a new Insights West survey has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample, British Columbians were asked about who has been “naughty” and “nice” this year. Across the province, 88% of people say they have been “nice”—roughly the same level of “niceness” that is bestowed upon spouses, partners, girlfriends and boyfriends (89%), children (90%), best friends (also 90%) and parents (92%).

Two thirds of people who have a boss (68%) say he or she has been “nice” this year, while one third (32%) describe their boss as “naughty.” Residents seem divided when assessing their favourite sports team (59% say “nice”, 41% say “naughty.”).

Politicians get particularly low reviews, with the exception of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who is deemed to have behaved in a “nice” way this year by 61%. The level of “naughtiness” reaches 75% for the provincial government, 82% for the federal government, and 96% for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.


By a 10-to-1 margin, “Merry Christmas” is the preferred greeting of British Columbians for this time of year (73%), while just 7% rely on “Happy Holidays” and a further 16% use both greetings equally.


“Let’s put an end to the debate over Christmas versus Holidays once for all in this province, as people from all walks of life prefer Merry Christmas by an overwhelming margin,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “BC residents also believe most will make the ‘nice’ list that Santa keeps this year—except for the lumps of coal that will be gifted to most politicians.”

When asked to pinpoint three things they dislike about Christmas, most British Columbians (52%) mentioned shopping in crowded malls to buy gifts. Their credit card balance is next on the list with 30%, followed by gaining weight over the holidays with 29%, and driving in the snow with 26%.


Men (22%) were clearly more likely than women (8%) to dislike people who buy gifts for their pets. Driving in the snow is particularly cumbersome for one third of residents aged 55 and over (32%), while one-in-five of those aged 18-to-34 (20%) don’t like having to spend money on gifts and cards.

Finally, British Columbians were asked to select up to three holiday wishes from a list. Almost half of residents devoted one of their wishes to seeing peace in conflict areas around the world (49%) and having less financial burden (48%). Two other wishes were mentioned by more than a third of respondents: health for someone they care about (38%) and help for the homeless (37%).

Having more time to spend with family and friends is next on the list with 28%, followed by less crime in the world (27%), health for developing nations (20%), less discrimination (16%) and more money for charities (13%).


The top wish for women in British Columbia is world peace (51%), while a majority of men (also 51%) chose less financial burden.


About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 26 to December 3, 2013, among 866 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West