Saturday, April 12, 2008

Polls; lies, damn lies and statistics

the major polling companies publish their poll results and those results are duly reported in the media.

The Ipsos Reid poll, published in the CanWest group of newspapers, put support for the Conservatives at 35 percent, unchanged from a poll in March. But support for the Liberals fell to 30 percent, from 32 percent.- from Reuters

However a summary of headlines based on this poll includes:

Tories and Liberals remain deadlocked, new poll suggests The Canadian Press

Tories hold on to poll leadNational Post, Canada

Then a poll released about a week ago gives

Ten-Point Lead for Conservatives in Canada Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research, April 02, 2008
Outlying statistics are loudly reported, but the boring fact that the published 3 week averages produced but generally under reported show little variation from Tories with 34%, Grits with 30% Dippers with 16%. The Greens are slowly growing and the Bloq slowly waning. The big issue is that with the current stable popularity of the various parties, the Liberals will gain seats, and the Bloq and NDP will lose seats if an election were called. The Conservatives will remain a minority government.

I'm not sure why the Liberals don't force a confidence motion, since they'll gain seats in an election, and probably the NDP and Bloq will prop up the government lest they lose seats in any current election. Currently, an election would help then Liberals and the greens, because both would gain some seats. The Conservatives would look like half-milers because they'll still be in minority.

Expect the election when the snow melts. A gain in seats would strenghten Dion's position(I think his nuanced positions will gain currency against that of the bully-boy, backroom Tories). I think the Greens will be the big winners next time around because the parlour pink socialists of the NDP and the psuedo-left Bloq will melt with the late spring. Knowing that the next government will also be a minority should help relieve the pressure for strategic voting.

Certainly, ending the government by fiat of Stephen Harper's Tories would allow us to go forward in a more kindly and effective way as a nation.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster