18/04/2011

Where is all this Going?

I was reading the polls again. Big mistake. Polls will drive us crazy and I am not sure if anything really meaningful can be learned from them.

The overnight Nanos poll would tell us that the Conservatives are up in the polls but their methodology is a bit wonky. The question asked is not who would you vote for but, "For those parties you would consider voting for federally, could you please rank your top two current local preferences?" I don't know what that really tells us except that outside of Quebec no one is voting Bloc.  On second thought I guess it doesn't even tell us that. In any case that poll, shows the Tories gaining ground.

However, if the question asked is Which of the federal leaders would you best describe as:    

  1. The most trustworthy  
  2. The most competent  
  3. Has the best vision for Canada's future
Things come out quite differently. Harper has dropped considerably over the last few days.


The other thing I found interesting is that when it comes to issues, is that none of the leaders are talking much about is Health Care. That issue is at the head of the pack with The Economy running second.  

While  27% of Canadians apparently say the economy is the most important issue 30% of us say they see the economy growing stronger in the next year. So, Canadians care about it but are confidant it is ok. 

Harper seems to wants us to focus on his economic record and to worry about what might happen if he isn't re-elected. I can't figure out why. His record  isn't particularly good.

Harper plays an old game. In political science there is probably a name for it. It works like this. Even if it isn't true,  keep saying it is. Say it often and with confidence. Do that often enough, people begin to believe it. 

Even the media seem to buy in which, to me at least, is curious considering Harper's economic record lags far behind that of Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney.

The media refer to his economic credentials but in truth, Stephen Harper doesn't have the qualifications to teach economics in a community college. The Canadian economy weathered the economic down turn better than most in the G20 more as a result of banking regulations put in place by Liberal governments that my Conservative economic policy.

So we struggle along through an election campaign that already seems too long arguing about the economy, the tough on crime agenda, attack ads, fighter jets, the ignored veterans and corporate tax cuts. 

Did we need this election? Yes we did. Will it accomplish much? I wonder.

If anything this election will highlight to Canadians just how broken our democracy is. What we really need to to replace all the leaders except perhaps Gilles Duceppe. We then need to have a serious talk about a vision for Canada. We need to have a frank discussion about how to fix our broken electoral system. It is time to drag those old tired politicos into the 21st century. 

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