Here we go again. A poll is released claiming increased support for the Liberals. Naturally, the largely Liberal-favoring MSM leaps upon it, hoping to manipulate the electorate into thinking that somehow the Libs must be doing quite well as long as more people are saying so via polling. Here, I'll examine this CTV report on the poll in question.
Let's just look at the Liberals and Conservatives here, for they're the only parties that really matter when it comes to forming the next government. Libs: 40%; Cons: 24%, according to the claim made by Leger Marketing.
Bear in mind that:
"The numbers were reached after distribution of the 20 per cent of respondents who were undecided. "
Ok, so apparently it's standard practice in the polling profession to "distribute" the undecided percentage among the parties. But I personally find this to be worthless in terms of reliability, as regardless of established "scientific" methods as pertains to polling, the real world will not in any significant likelihood mirror this arguably arbitrary practice, however esteemed it may be amongst pollster peers. After all, polling is not an exact science any more than is economics, which itself has plenty of disagreement among its own peerage. Why do the pollsters seem to be so cocksure that their "science" is so damned exalted and practically above question? This is the impression I have gotten from discussing polling with those who understand it best- the members of the profession. It's best to provide the raw, undistributed numbers, including the undecided, so as to allow the electorate to better judge for itself and draw its own analysis, in my opinion, which I believe would be shared by many Canadians who don't like to be told what to think.
Here's some actual pollster analysis:
"It shows that even though they (the Liberals) went through hard times last spring, it seems that they're slowly coming out of it," said Anne-Marie Marois, Leger Marketing's research director.
In my opinion, that's pure opinion, completely at odds with common sense, as more Canadians than ever before are aware of how bad the Liberals really are and therefore would be highly unlikely to vote Liberal at such an implausibly lofty rate, which is the same as the Liberals have had, roughly, under Chretien when he won his majorities. Never happen again in a very long time, one must realize. Exact science, sure. Sure. But the pollsters will still defend their exalted "methods" and "techniques", of which they love to point out we know little or nothing, therefore our opinions are wrong and theirs are right...
Another surprising statement of Mme. Marois:
"And as long as he waits at least until the Gomery report is out and as long as the Conservatives still have Stephen Harper leading the party, his chances can only improve."
Ah, yes. There we have it: a clear partisan bias, as far as I'm concerned. Mme. Marois really should have been more judicious when opining about Mr. Harper's leadership's supposed effect on the relative electoral chances of the Tories and Grits, especially as she offered no rationale or even polling numbers (which really don't mean much crap to me). There's no reason for any intelligent, open-eyed Canadian to believe that there's anything lacking in Mr. Harper's leadership, unless they let his partisan opponents tell them what to believe. Also, there's Mme. Marois's bizarre logic that waiting till the Gomery report comes out will improve Liberal support! Only in the "Bizarro World", for sure! Man! Some people just go and make public spectacles of themselves by making such statements.
My own experience with polls is this: When a poll comes out claiming increased Liberal support and decreased Tory support, the MSM will go to work trying to get that claim rammed into the electoral consciousness. Why, here in Saint John, NB, the "Telegraph Journal" this morning put the "Lib-40%" poll right up on top on the front page. Contrast this with when polling claims increased Tory and decreased Liberal support. Never have I seen this on the front page of the TJ. Perhaps it'll be buried deep down in a little blurb of an article, barely noticeable. Plus, many times, I've seen one MSM outlet report on a poll favorable to the Tories, but nowhere else. A few days later, a poll comes out saying the Tories are "down" and practically the entire MSM in the nation takes off with it. Real-life story here. Leads one to the reasonable belief that the MSM is cheering for the Liberals. The longer they keep it up, the less reliable they'll be perceived as a source of objective information. No wonder so many people all the time are turning to the blognet to help them develop their perspective on whatever "information" comes their way.
Remember, polls are for dogs to piss on.