Monday, January 17, 2011

Pollsters Don't Know Canadians: It's Not Over Until It's Over

While Stephen Harper is again running attack ads and the pollsters, believing that the election is over, have already declared a winner, they are ignoring an important element in all of this. An element that the Harper government has been ignoring for the past five years: The Canadian people.

We hate attack ads. Remember the last time?

Greg Mercer in the Guelph Mercury said in May of 2009:
Leadership? Pfft. Who needs it? It's not like we've got work to do. Canada's exports are drying up like free beer at a high school party. Personal bankruptcies are soaring. The unemployment insurance program is so swamped that job counsellors are coaching groups of 25 rather than one person at a time. On and on, our economy continues to shrink. Jobs, people's retirement savings and the homes of the suddenly broke all disappear.

So what does Canada really need in tough times like these? You guessed it: political attack ads.
And we are not doing much better, with unemployment and underemployment enormously high, bankruptcies still on the rise and the food banks swamped. And this is what we get from our leader at such times? It only validates his reputation as a bully.

And as to the pollsters declaring a winner, as Keith Beardsley writes for The Mark, It's not over Until the Last Vote is Counted.
Media pundits and pollsters seem to forget that elections are decided by voters who see past the political spin. As one surveys the various media stories over the last few months, you get the sense that the media has written off Michael Ignatieff. The public has been bombarded with opinion polls and articles that question his ability to lead, and more importantly his ability to win. The Liberals are shown as fractured, while unnamed insiders comment on their dismal election prospects, and the Conservative machine appears to be quite formidable.

But this is not necessarily the case. If voters always followed the predictions of our pollsters or media outlets, there would be no such thing as an “upset” victory. Such victories do indeed occur on a regular basis both at the national level and certainly at the local level. One only has to look back a few years to recognize that voters have minds of their own. If we add in the unpredictable nature of elections, no one is a guaranteed winner, and that includes the Conservatives under Stephen Harper.
So for my news story in three minutes or less, I give you: It Aien't over 'Til it's Over:

1 comment:

  1. Repost from Diplomacy 4:51 PM on December 17, 2010
    Percentage of votes nationally doesn't translate into Seats in the House of Commons. Therefore, ALL polling is IRRELEVANT.

    Polls are a bass ackward way of determining how Canadian men or women will ultimately vote on voting day. They do not take into account the impact of an election campaign, and the hot-button issues that may arise.