Saturday, June 06, 2009

...And the Question Is?

I think it's pretty clear by now that the Liberals do lead the Conservatives in this country. The latest poll to confirm this is here.

Liberal Party 37% (+1)
Conservative Party 32% (-1)
NDP 16% (+1)
BQ 8% (-1)
Green Party 7% (NC)

It's not an enormous lead, (as I've noticed some seem to expect), but it has solidified, remained pretty constant, so...good news!

What drives me mad though, are the questions posed following the horse race numbers. I mean they are somewhat interesting I suppose, taken on their own, but that's the problem in my opinion. Often pollsters seem to use the 'topic de jour' and frame an all important question around that and that alone. No doubt it's in keeping with our incomprehensible need to break everything down to it's simplest form, but in this case, an election is not a simple matter.

Message to pollsters: Dumbing it down is passé.

In this case I'm speaking of EI. It's a very specific issue, but to suggest that any party would call an election, only to run on that, is patently ridiculous. Likewise, an open ended, 'do you want an election now?' is unlikely to produce any meaningful result.

All of that said, I think there are plenty of reasons to change the government. I think that the Liberal team and Ignatieff do identify these reasons in the House, but they have yet to put forward a cohesive summary. I'm not talking about a platform here, because I think continuous calls for same are ridiculous and are holding this leader of the Official Opposition to a different standard.

No, I'm talking about an overall theme about the incompetence of this government. That comes out in bits and pieces in the media but it never tells the real story, the mural if you like. Instead, it's a dab of paint here and a dab of paint there. People stop to look, ponder a bit, but they move on because until the paint covers the wall, the full picture just isn't apparent to most.

From the lack of credibility on all things economical, to the appalling human rights abuses, there isn't anything the Conservatives haven't messed up. It's time to tell that story. It's time to stop the floundering from pillar to post trying to follow all the failures. It's time to create and deliver a concise narrative and force the pollsters to ask a question that envelops the larger picture.

Competence.

16 comments:

CuriosityCat said...

Have a close look at the Nanos poll - the results about one quarter or so before any election, and the results on election day. You will note that the Tories seem to make up about 4% extra during the campaigns, while the Liberals lose 4%.

This means any polling results before election day (like the 37% for Liberals right now) might well be subject to a drop of say 4% (down to 33%) on election day, as the campaign proceeds.

Likewise, the current Tory 31.9% might well bounce up to about 35.9%) on election day.

Why does this happen? My best guess is that the Tory election campaign is more effective than the Liberal's, especially when it comes to framing the issues and the people. That is when the Tory ads against Ignatieff will kick in, when they are reinforced by an election blitz. And the Tories seem to capture the issues.

CuriosityCat said...

Have a close look at the Nanos poll - the results about one quarter or so before any election, and the results on election day. You will note that the Tories seem to make up about 4% extra during the campaigns, while the Liberals lose 4%.

This means any polling results before election day (like the 37% for Liberals right now) might well be subject to a drop of say 4% (down to 33%) on election day, as the campaign proceeds.

Likewise, the current Tory 31.9% might well bounce up to about 35.9%) on election day.

Why does this happen? My best guess is that the Tory election campaign is more effective than the Liberal's, especially when it comes to framing the issues and the people. That is when the Tory ads against Ignatieff will kick in, when they are reinforced by an election blitz. And the Tories seem to capture the issues.

wilson said...

Did you notice the question asked in the Nanos poll knb?
...Pick your top 2 candidates in your local riding (unless you are decided)
So right there the Libs get a bump up in the polls. Dippers and Cons are polar opposites, so their second choice is likely Libs.

''People stop to look, ponder a bit, but they move on because...

they don't hold the same views as the opps,
or they don't buy the spin.

ex: EI, 92% of Canadians are employed. Libs created the current EI system.
Canadians are optimistic about the country soon being out of this recession, and concerned about the deficit...

ex: The govt didn't create the Chalk River leak. Libs ignored problems there for years, when the reactor should have been mothballed, and this government will deal with it...

ex: Drug pushers, Gang members, Murderers and Terrorists don't get a lot of sympathy from the majority of Canadians...

KNB said...

While history is never to be ignored, circumstances do change the equation substantially, so I wouldn't count on status quo.

That said, you're not wrong about org skills and likely tactics. My bet is that you and I aren't the only ones who realise that.

Anonymous said...

The July election will not be close. Either the Liberals will get a majority (or come very close to it), or the Tories will get one.

I don't think the polls are measuring how ticked-off the voters are. I don't think they're gauging the depth of the economic destruction in all parts of Canada.

KNB said...

Wilson my friend, I know this is tough, so you are obviously reading in Conservatese...but look again. The results are those of committed voters and the first preference only is what is illustrated.

Deep breath.

All of your examples are BS...Conservative spin. I'd really like to know if you actually buy it or are just happy to spin it. I'd give you higher marks for option number 2.

Do you ever even take the time to consider that Harper is breaking the law, that the courts have ruled and he ignores? You're cool with law breaking on your own terms apparently. Sadly, so is the leader of this country.

Tough on crime? LOL

KNB said...

Anon, though I wish that to be true, (Lib majority) it's tough to conceive. That's a lot of seats to pick up. Time could provide that switch, but it's also unknown what that would provide.

The Con's with a majority? My worse nightmare and not going to happen. At least not with Harper at the helm.

sjw said...

At a time when election buzz is circulating, Ignatieff is alienating a lot of left of centre voters with these rumours of his Bill C-15 support. We need those soft NDP votes, not drive them back to Jack Layton.

KNB said...

sjw, I can't disagree with you.

wilson just treated us to what the retaliation would be, but I'm with you.

ottlib said...

sjw:

It would warm the heart of Conservatives across the country for the Liberals to fall for the trap the Conservatives are laying for them.

The Conservatives will drag their feet on these measures because they need something to talk about during the next election. So, don't worry, these will not become law any time soon, if at all.

In the meantime they would love for the Liberals to make a big stink about it now to distract from the economy and the Conservatives' dismal handling of Canada's finances.

The Conservatives are in trouble and they know it so it is not surprising that they have been playing wedge politics as of late. I do not have a problem with that. It is a sign of their weakness and desperation. However, I would have a problem with the Liberals falling for this stuff instead of focusing on what is important. In the words of James Carvell: "It is the economy stupid."

Pray the Liberals will realize that and not fall for the increasingly desperate gambits the Conservatives will employ to make the national conversation about anything but the economy.

Tomm said...

The "national conversation" is about the Conservative government and their good points and their bad points.

This is bad for the LPC because they don't seem to have a horse in this race. They seem happy to criticize the CPC horse. Ignatieff was suppose to be a horse.

Rex Murphy commented on it today. I think he is right. The LPC will continue to be defined by their "against" the CPC views instead of tangible and positive ideas for governing Canada.

They stated a positive policy with their strident views on EI. The EI thing was a debacle. The public doesn't want EI to be too easy. They want it there when they need it, but they don't want people on it every year. So there they sit criticizing, but without a real platform to present. They should lobby to bring back the social justice programs the CPC cut, more money for CBC,or perhaps universal daycare.

I am actually making myself chuckle...

RuralSandi said...

I guess Tomm never watched Harper when he was in opposition and the stupid things the Cons attacked. Pizza lunches comes to mind. This was rather funny, because Rahim Jaffer and friends "flew" to Toronto (what did that cost?) to prove he and his friends could buy a pizza lunch cheaper.

EI - that's where NDP and Libs differ - Libs want it temporary and NDP permanent (the 350 day rule). Also, Harper is misleading Canadians, as usual, as the Libs have not said people would collect for a year after only 360 days.

The NDP should be careful. I know people that are so fed up with unions they want the NDP out. Imagine garbage workers in Toronto wanting to go on strike during a recession of this magnitude. Unbelievable. The more strikes, the more the NDP will lose.

My concern is more about what Harper is doing to Canada. Selling off assets, ignoring the Supreme Court, ignoring motions that have been passed in the House if he doesn't agree with them, total disrespect for parliament and our other institutions like Elections Canada. Hey, even selling silverware that was on loan from the Royals.

People better wake up, or he'll be selling the Parliament Bldgs next to Washington.

Steve V said...

No offence to CC, but that's a laughable conclusion. Was it the issues in 2006 or an RCMP investigation. There was a 12% swing in two days because of that story, so using some remote last quarter poll to then extrapolate is useless. As for 2008, well I'll bite my tongue, but if anyone wants to use that as a template, their choice.

CC looks at the polls showing the Libs leading, it doesn't fit with his/her "axe to grind" bias, nor the contention that the attack ads would work. So CC pours over everything trying to cobble together any weak argument to make good news look suspect.

All I know, one of Quebec's leading political scientists said the Liberals historically poll LOWER than actual voter turnout numbers in that province. I'll take a respected scholar, over somebody who's forever trying to turn lemonade into lemons. It's really boring to be frank.

One real thing to remember, the national numbers somewhat mask the gap. For instance, the Ipsos poll, even closer, only showing a 3% lead, but Eric at his non-partisan blog calculates that, using the regionals to be 130 seats for the Liberals.

RuralSandi said...

There's no way CC is a Liberal anyway - NDP and mad as hell that the Libs pulled out of the UNPOPULAR coalition. CC's facts twist constantly to put Libs in a bad light.

Why is CC on Liblogs - shouldn't he/she be on progressive bloggers?

Joseph said...

What I enjoy about CC, said somewhat jokingly, is the pure extrapolation of where we'd be right now if "x" had happened (coalition formed, for example).

According to the CC version of events I've bee able to piece together, the Governor General would have thrown open the doors and tossed confetti as they approached. "Of course you can have power," she would have gushed before flashing that dazzling smile heavenward for the cameras.

Citizens would have flocked to the streets, coming out of hiding to praise their liberation and return to rational government. Polls would have swimmingly coalesced around the coalition (in some vague fashion, not sure how that works), because that's what coalitions do you know . . . naturally. And peace and harmony would have ruled the land for at least the next generation due to the abiding friendship and spirit of mutual purpose among the coalition leaders and all of their followers.

If not for that Iggy, that is. He's definitely the wicked witch who stole the little doggie in that scenario.

I know we can all be guilty of rosy scenario imaginations sometimes - I know I've been guilty of my own. But it is the steadfast unblinking belief CC projects that finally convinced me to avoid the blog.

--------------------

As for the conversation here, I think the ferocity with which some are spinning the temporary or deceptive nature of these (rather consistent) polls says more than any rationale out there.

Has anyone considered the most obvious possibility. The voting public has grown a bit weary of Harper and Company, and Ignatieff isn't as frightening as the conservatives would really, really like them to be, to the tune of about $5 Million in negative ads and blanketed push polling?

Joseph said...

Notice I didn't mention the conservatives at all in my above dream scenario. Well, neither does CC. They just go "poof" like in a disney movie, to never again interfere with the happy trio or force their own narrative onto the scene, which I guess means their financial advantage would have evaporated as well.