THE OL’ NORTH POLL

Yes, I know, I know. It’s ‘pole’, not ‘poll’, but when you live in Canada, you really have to watch that other one. You all know how I feel about pollsters, and especially the way that the results of polls are manipulated to reflect the desired image. Well, here is yet another story that is so blatantly and obviously skewed, I don’t know why it was run. Or perhaps I just can’t add, you be the judge.

The National Post, a paper that I like for the most part, has just run a story on the latest fortunes of both the Liberals and the Conservative. Apparently, a new CPAC-SES tracking poll, (big words) has the Conservatives closing fast. I still don’t believe the numbers. I am more than convinced that the Conservatives are out in front and that they have been there for weeks now. The pollsters are simply attempting to convince the Canadian people that it just isn’t so. It seems that the media just isn’t able to accept that the Liberals will not win this time.

As for the story, it is titled “Liberals Losing Ground.” It discusses the latest numbers and then jumps into the Paul Martin apologetics theme again. Let’s look at their reporting on the numbers. The first quote states that “a CPAC-SES tracking poll showed the Liberals and the Conservatives in a virtual tie in public opinion for the first time in the campaign.” It then goes on to state that “The poll showed the Liberals with 35% and the Conservatives at 34%.” So far, I can follow the stats and the story. It seems to make sense, even if I disagree with the actual numbers. It is the second next paragraph that throws me for a loop. I just don’t follow.

Outside of Quebec, the Conservatives lead the Liberals by five percentage points.

Now, wouldn’t that tell you that the Conservatives are out in front? Are most of the polling questions being asked in Quebec, where the Conservatives are just now gaining some footing? If so, then the poll result will always, every time, show the Conservative support lower than it actually is, and I believe that is the ultimate purpose for all of these polls.

I have already dealt with the Ralph Goodale affair, but since the Post surrounded this latest poll with a rehash of Prime Minister Martin’s defense of his minister, let me add this thought.

When Paul Martin was asked whether the leak over the income trust announcement could have come from his office, he responded with the following statement:

The fact is, first of all, we’re dealing with opposition allegations, um, and that’s all we’re dealing with. And we’re dealing with opposition allegations during an election campaign.

Now, to the untrained individual, this would sound like a typical response. To Conservative Joe, it is something entirely different. It is a deflection of the question. As you can see in the quote above, Mr. Martin never does answer the question he was asked in the first place. He has honed that skill into an art form.

That leads me to believe he does not want to provide you with an honest answer to the question.