09.05.2012 06:14 AM

A media cautionary tale

The polling firm that says the NDP is way ahead…

…is the same firm that declared the Parti Québeçois was headed towards “a comfortable majority.”

Why does the Star do this? Why does any media organization, for that matter?

Media political polls have turned into a bloody farce. The media are shredding their credibility by repeating the same mistake, over and over.


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    Nic Coivert says:

    It was more than a wage freeze, sadly. It seemed out of the Stephen Harper play book, and not very Liberal at all.

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      Conservative Socialist says:

      As wages continue to remain stagnant or decrease in the private sector, there is an equally downward pressure on the public sector. Without good-paying jobs in the private sector to provide a taxbase, governments will be forced to reduce costs. McGuinty’s heart might be with liberalism, but liberalism costs money. He can’t afford to buy everybody who wants a pony to have one.

      Unions, for good or ill, aren’t very popular with the general public right now. If Unions are to make a comeback with public perception, they should aggressively try to unionize the retail sector. Heck, they should make a serious play for IT workers who often work unpaid overtime hours.

      Try to unionize where the jobs are. When your public image is that of fighting for gold-plated pensions in the auto and government sector, you’re just preaching to the echo chamber and organizing an aging workforce that’s headed for the grave. Unions need young blood. Wal-Mart associates or McJobs might not contribute much in union dues, but it’s a start.

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        The Doctor says:

        Good post, CS. The unions are being politically and strategically stupid, if they think they’re going to get broad, or even significant, popular support the way they’re behaving. They need to quit behaving like just another interest group, taking care of their own. They need to DO things that actually demonstrate that they care about, and speak for, all of those people out there — the vast majority, in fact — who aren’t members of a union.

        Unions blather on and on about how they represent the interests of “the ordinary working man” etc. But their actions, and reality, indicate otherwise. The average working person in Canada is not unionized. The unions are behaving like it’s 1965. They need to quit furiously humping the leg of the public sector, and get out there and really do something for non-unionized private sector workers. Organizing in those sectors that you mention would be a start.

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    Conservative Socialist says:

    “NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) urged voters to not give the Liberals a coveted 53rd seat in the 107-member legislature, which would enable the government to survive confidence motions because Speaker Dave Levac, the tie-breaker, by tradition would not cast a vote to dissolve the house.”

    Why is the Speaker only compelled “by tradition” to vote with the government to not dissolve the house? I understand this would not happen anyway in the case of Dave Levac who was elected as a Liberal. But what if in a minority situation, when the speaker comes from the opposition, decides to break with said tradition? What sanctions would there be, in any exist at all? It seems like there would be a bit of manufactured outrage, and that’s pretty much it.

    I can see the headline: “Speaker who was originally elected as a member of the opposition, decides to help his/her party by voting with them to bring down the government. The horror!”

    All this talk of “breaking with tradition” sounds a lot like “there’s a first time for everything”.

    What say you, scholars and eggheads?

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    Tim Sullivan says:

    It’s parliamentary tradition, meaning it is a reflection of our democractic tradition for the speaker, when called upon, to vote in a way that permits the contiation of debate. It in fact is to permit a sounder majority, and not to be the deciding vote.

    There is no sanction to break the tradition except to be held in contempt of parliamentary democracy. That seems not to bother anyone these days when we have a Prime Minister proroguing Parliament to avoid a confidence vote and suggesting that coalitions are somehow un-parliamentary, a coup, or undemocratic.

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    Paul McKeever says:

    They’ve apparently never learned the lesson taught so painfully to Gail Wynand (“The Fountainhead”, 1943).

    So desperately they wish to be king makers, only to discover the limits of their influence. The greatest (though, in the face of the web, dwindling) power they have is to tell society which parties have the establishment’s seal of approval (e.g., who gets to participate in leaders’ debates). Their second greatest power is to slander upstarts, or to marginalize them (using language like “main parties”, or “fringe”, or “also running”, or “extreme”…etc).

    But their polls, I agree, have become so unreliable – and so self-servingly reported – that they are now discrediting themselves. Take, as one example, a poll I read this morning that had undecideds at about 30%…a poll result buried in most other reports.

    Luckily, the only people reading and relying on such reports anymore are the dwindling number of aged, who refuse to take the attitude of a growing majority: that government is a joke, and elections change nothing…and that if elections *did* change anything, they’d be banned.



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      Greg says:

      New rule. Anyone who quotes Ayn Rand, cannot be taken seriously. They should however, be taken to the nearest mental health facility.

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    Aaron E. Steele says:

    I don’t put a great deal of faith in that poll. The only poll that matters is the one that involves casting ballots on election day.

    I do put a great deal of faith in democracy. Because the alternatives are even worse.

    You do know that The Fountainhead was a piece of fiction, right? :rollseyes:

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