Thursday, August 03, 2006

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.

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Joanne (True Blue) said...

There is a lot of wisdom in this post. From the POV of a Conservative supporter, I actually think these polls are good medicine for the government. It keeps them on their toes; not taking anything for granted. Complacency is the real enemy.

S.K. said...

Do you poll dance BC'er? Will you do that at the prog blog gathering on Saturday? Do we have to pay you or will you donate the "pocket" money to charity?

Jeff said...

Thanks Joanne. I could have written this when the Libs were down in the polls, but I thought it might be more useful at a time like this.

SB, much like PET would were he alive today, I believe the blogsphere has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.

Anonymous said...


Great post, very smart.

Side note:

Seen your boy Dions comment in the globe today, not bad (sorry man that's all I can give him). Looks like he could be a threat to Harper, just on the Quebec situation alone.

The way you liberals do you selection I think is crazy, but I really think Dion is going to come out on top.

I'm not a liberal supporter, But I really like Dion's passion. I don't agree with some stuff he says but I like his heart.

Anonymous said...

Just for today, I'm going to rejoice. It's been such a depressing couple of years for our Liberals. But the strategist Harper is he'll come up with some trinkets to up his polls - gotta get that majority.

When the election was over and many polls were taken they all showed that Canadians voted Conservatives because some wanted change and the other were angry. The percentage voting for his policies was consistently between 5 and 9 percent.

Perhaps they are seeing that the change isn't what they want and the anger has subsided.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, golly, gee, I would have thought that the Conservative Government would always be on their toes; not taking anything for granted when they barely sqeaked out a paper thin minority. The whole North American continent is polarized given the recent elections in Mexico. I believe it was the right wing who squeaked through with .5%. No one should be celebrating.

Anonymous said...

Well, Harper must be worried. He's already Liberal bashing and guess what folks, he's politiking with the recent pedophile issue. Hmmm.

Harper doesn't even stop at using wars and abused children to campaign.

He's sickening.

player_hater said...

Such a true statement. The only place for polls in this country is in our great adult entertainment establishments. On that note, I volunteer to return to the taxpayer any of the sponsorship dollars that were spent in these places. Of course I will need to fronted for this journey (by the taxpayer of course) to retrieve any lost money that found its way into g-strings of our nation's ballet dancers. I promise an extensive search to return all of the lost money.