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Polls! Bah Humbug!

September 2nd, 2009

Polls! Ignore them, I always say. The mistake too many people make is reading political machinations based on what the polls  say should be happening. Case in point: many prognosticators are today saying Michael Ignatieff is nuts top want an election – hasn’t he seen the polls?

The answer of course is, yes he’s seen the polls. He has seen the Liberal party tracking polls, and he has information that you or I don’t have. Ignore the Ipsos Reid poll from last week that says Conservatives 39, LIberals 28. Useless. Instead, note the performers in the political drama. Michael Ignatieff is screaming for an election, Stephen Harper and his cabinet are saying, “it’s no time for an election.” Do you really believe if their internal polls were saying Conservatives 39, Liberals 28 that Stephen Harper would be sounding so offended at the idea of an election. He’s not that good an actor, if Stephen Harper believed Ipsos Reid, he’d be downright giddy today.

Now maybe Ignatieff has Joe Clarkian political instincts, maybe, just maybe, he’s that politically naive. And maybe he’s brilliant, and this is a gambit to force the NDP, at 14% in the Ipsos Reid, to back the Conservatives, to force them to take the flack that the Liberals have taken the last two years.  If that’s what this is, and the NDP bites and backs the Conservatives, this is a very good move for Ignatieff.

Does either option really sound right. Does Ignatieff strike you as that dumb? Or has he demonstrated that much political savvy before? More likely, based on Ignatieff’s speech, Harpers response, and even Jack Layton’s softening of his stance against the Conservatives (and who will be fighting Ignatieff’s Liberals for every vote more so than the Conservatives), that the real polls, the inside polls, are saying something much different than Ipsos Reid.

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  1. Nicola Timmerman
    September 2nd, 2009 at 17:47 | #1

    No, he was just given an ultimatum by his leadership rivals. So this is his last chance to be Prime Minister.

  2. Bec
    September 2nd, 2009 at 18:01 | #2

    Yes, but did their polling questions include “Do you want an election, November 2009?

    The PM, is not afraid of an election in the slightest but his wisdom is that, this is the absolute worst timing. However, if the Liberals want to throw the country in turmoil, so that they can get that ‘buzz’of potential power in their loins, bring it on. This is definately about power and I am not convinced, wisdom or polls had much clout. Fear? Perhaps.

    I suspect,the polling companies are feeding the questions, as we speak.

  3. NovaDog
    September 2nd, 2009 at 18:01 | #3

    Maybe what you are saying is what Ignatieff would like us to believe.

  4. Phil
    September 2nd, 2009 at 18:39 | #4

    Harper’s goal is not to simply win an election. His goal is to win a majority. But aside from that. The Conservatives have to build a narrative against the liberals heading into an (possible) election and that is that nobody in the country (but the liberals) wants it and that it’ll jeopardize the economic recovery. Harper and the Tories have to de-legitimize the election and therefore de-legitimize the liberals. An unnecessary election is the path they seem to be going down.

  5. Powell Lucas
    September 2nd, 2009 at 18:55 | #5

    My own unofficial poll, carried out at my place of employment, concludes that everyone…and I mean everyone…is dead-set against an election, and the vast majority intend to punish the Liberals if they have a hand in bringing this government down.
    To a man/woman the reason given for slamming the Liberals is they believe that, with the economy showing modest signs of recovery, they don’t want to rock the boat. Once the recovery is settled in they are more than willing to consider an election.

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