Sunday, April 17, 2005

Polls, Predictions, and Political Putzes

-With all the fluctuations we're seeing in poll numbers, it's inevitable that the pollsters will get criticized. Here's a good article on that and here's a great post criticizing the CBC for misrepresenting their poll data. While the "horse race numbers" are usually fairly accurate in polls, it's obvious from seeing the NDP and Bloc numbers that either
A) The electorate is really volatile
B) Someone is running a bad poll
Two polls (Ipsos and Compas) that came out the same day had the Bloc at 41% and 60% respectively. Considering the Bloc has NEVER polled over 50% for any substantial period of time, I'd be inclined to think Compas is a little off-target on this one.

-Less accurate than the percentages are the "bonus questions" that get asked in these polls. You know, "Which leader is the most trustworthy, has the best fashion sense, etc". That's why we've seen answers to the "do you want an election now?" ranging from 42% to 90%. On that question, I think Allan Gregg said it best on the National Thursday: "It's like asking if you want to have sex during Desperate Housewives? People would prefer sex after the show but they'll take it during if they have to." So long as most of the Gomery trial is done, I don't think there will be any backlash towards Harper for not waiting for the final report.

-After his flip-flop on Kyoto last week, Stephen Harper is at it again this week. Suddenly, he's all in favour of all things Liberal. It's amazing how rising poll numbers can change one's opinion on policy, isn't it? For the record, I think this is a smart move. "Liberal government without Liberals" is likely what the electorate wants right now.

-This is a smart move by Jack Layton, given what happened last spring. Jack Layton should be starting up the "Stephen Harper Fan Club" and complimenting on everything from his social policy to his haircut.

-Finally we get to one of this blog's favourite targets: Jean Lapierre. Lapierre was on "Mansbridge One on One" last night and was up to his usual tricks. Listening to him speak, it just amazes me how dense he is at realizing that the fate of the Liberals is related to the fate of the Liberal Party. When asked about poll numbers showing that people blame the Liberal Party he answered that poll numbers show they don't blame Martin. When asked how he'd defend his Party during the campaign, he answered that he'd say he wasn't a Liberal when this happened. The problem with Lapierre and the PMO "braintrust" is that they think Paul Martin is bigger than the Liberal Party. Apparently they also think Jean Lapierre is bigger than the Liberal Party which is a sign there has been some major Liberal Party shrinkage going on. (Paul Wells said it better in this post - go read it)

-BONUS JEAN LAPIERRE HIJINX: Courtesy of Norman Spector (who now has a comments section!!!), comes this head scratcher. The gist of it is that Lapierre says the Gomery Inquiry may be shut down if there's an election (my French isn't great so it's unclear as to whether he meant public viewing would be shut down or the commission itself would be shut down).


  • I think that so long as it's done (a) in moderation, and (b) with some sort of rational explanation, the CPC can be well-served by what you (and to be fair, many many others) call flip-flops.

    For instance, on Kyoto, the CPC can say, with a reasonably straight face, that it's dealing with the fact that as of Feb. '05, after the last election, Kyoto came into effect world-wide thanks to Russia ratifying it and that Canada has, for good or ill, ratified it too; the issue now is, *how* do we deal with it?

    But I would be wary of saying that the CPC should run as "Liberals who aren't Liberals". They may find out that people will just vote for the genuine article.

    Of course, all this may be academic if - and despite my hopes, I say *IF* - the grits get tarred more & more with the corruption brush. Once Canadians decide that a government is just too dirty and/or incompetent for them, even a brillian campaign, and/or the other side's ineptitude if any, may not be enough to save it.

    - Jason.

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 3:39 p.m.  

  • Martino did nothing, I swear, I saw nothing amigo!

    He is innocent! I swear!

    Just let him pick up his $250K/yr cause he is poor and he needs it!

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 10:26 a.m.  

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