5/14/2007

Poll Spinning

According to Canada.com, "Canadians do not believe Environment Minister John Baird's dire warnings that honouring the Kyoto protocol would lead to a deep economic recession or that his new plan to crack down on industrial pollution is the toughest in the world." This is apparently pushing the Liberals into a slight lead.
The poll indicates that:
1 per cent of Canadians believe the Conservative government's proposal "does not go far enough or move with enough urgency to make a meaningful contribution to the global effort to fight climate change."
When asked if they personally believed the plan was a good one, only 40 per cent of respondents answered yes, while 52 per cent said it was "a bad plan.
The poll also revealed a staggering drop in support for the Conservatives in Western Canada, leaving them in a virtual tie with the federal Liberals in overall popular support across the country.

The use of the word "staggering" is rather misleading. The article later goes on to say that in Alberta support for the Tories dropped by 13 points, leaving them at 53%. The Liberals, however, still only stand at 25%. The biggest change has taken place in BC, putting the NDP ahead, followed by the Liberals and then the Tories. There is, however, only 6 points separating the NDP and the Tories which still makes it anyone's game.
If an election were held now, the Liberals would have a slight advantage, nationally, at 32 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 31 per cent, the NDP at 17 per cent, and the Green party at nine per cent. The poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
...Only 32 per cent of Canadians believed [Baird] while 55 per cent said he was "just saying these things to scare people so that the government doesn't have to do things it doesn't want to do."

It would be interesting to see how that particular question was worded.
While the article makes it sound as though the Conservatives are being dramatically hurt by their environmental policy, the truth of the matter is that they aren't. If an election were held today, we'd find ourselves in pretty much the same position as we are now: some form of minority government, most likely Conservative. The media can bend itself out of shape to its blue in the face but when election time comes, while some will try to make the environment center-stage, for most Canadians it will not be the deciding factor. It will be one of many, and will probably get lost in the shuffle as tax-cuts, Afghanistan, health care and wait times, overall leadership ability and "getting the job done" take centre stage. Very few Canadians look at either the Conservative or the Liberal Party and think "Behold the saviour of the planet." That's what the Green Party is for.
And the Green Party has no chance of forming a government, so you can all relax.

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