Friday, March 02, 2007

Federally mandated poll post

I've been busy at work today but I have been informed by the CRTC that if I don't do a post on polling tout de suite I'll forfeit my secret blogger decoder ring.

Not wanting that to happen, and still being busy, please allow me to reprint this post from August 3, 2006, at a time there was much polling joy in Liberal land, called Polls are for dancing:

There seems to be much glee and rejoicing around the Liberal blogsphere these days over recent positive poll results, including a Decima poll today that shows the Liberals just one point behind the Conservatives.

Positive news, to be sure. But let's not get carried away here. In fact, let's try not to pay too much attention to the polls at all. Was it that long ago that we were very low in the polls, subject to lots of Conservative carping about their coming majority? Things change quickly, and they can change quickly again.

I consider polling to be mainly a junk science anyway, take a look at how well most polling companies did calling the last election. Public opinion is also a fickle thing, and can change on a dime. This week the results seem to be driven by a poor opinion of Harper's Middle East policy. Who knows what the issue will be next week.

My point is that we shouldn't pay attention to the polls because our ability to influence them, particularly in opposition, is limited. And no matter what our position in the polls, our job is still the same.

I think we’re on the right track with a good leadership race that is now heating up. I think we need to be a more forceful and effective opposition when Parliament resumes in the fall, and I hope that message goes out at the caucus meetings this month in Funcouver.

We need to just keep doing our job, and if we do it well the people will come around and the support will be there. Newspapers may like polls, but for us there's only one poll that counts. And I don’t mean SES

Lesson being, things change, and can change quick, so don’t get hung-up on polls good or bad. We need to stop obsessing over every poll result, trying to debunk it or issue dire warnings. We know we have work to do. We know what needs to be done. So let's just do it.

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Olaf said...


We know we have work to do. We know what needs to be done.

You do? Oh crap... who the hell told you?

Also, I've been applying to get my secret decoder ring from the CRTC for months now, and still haven't received it - damn bureaucrats! The conservative ones are actually pretty cool, I hear: when you pass their light over newsprint, it automatically turns the word "Liberal" into "Librano", Mr. Dion into "Citoyen Dion", and so on. It's pretty sweet, and saves time, because then the Blogging Tories don't have to make the conversions mentally, which can take a while.

ottlib said...


That is pretty amusing Olaf.

Thanks for the laugh.

Miles Lunn said...

Polls are accurate, but they are a snapshot of where things are right now, they do not forecast the outcome of the next election as things change. The swing vote only represents about 10%, but that can have a massive impact on the final outcome. In Ontario alone, which way this 10% swings can affect over 30 seats. So the Liberals if they run a strong campaign can win this 10% to their side, just as they could lose them to the Tories if they mess up badly.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Actually Olaf haven't you gotten the Blogging Tories 2.0 upgrade yet? It saves you the trouble if having to write posts, instead the day's talking points from Sandra Buckler are automatically transmitted, formated and posted...