10 March 2010



--and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) “Who roar for the Sub-Warden?” Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting “Bread!” and some “Taxes!”, but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

Once upon a time, as all good fairy tales must begin, one could explain how to pronounce the name of the place by saying that it rhymed with “understand”.

But since “understand” has gone out of favour both as a word and an idea, one must now try and find a replacement.

What better choice than “Wonderland” for a place that these days most resembles the love child of Tim Burton and John Waters after consuming a truckload of the Peruvian marching powder reputedly popular in local junior high schools these days.

After all, this is a province where cabinet minister after cabinet minister admitted over the past six months that they shagged up public finances – spending is “unsustainable” – and the public response is to give them the highest satisfaction level in the history of polling anywhere in Atlantic Canada.


Higher than flag stomping time.

Higher than the January 2005 handout cheque victory.

Higher than not one but two back-to-back record surpluses that put more money in public coffers than the entire provincial budget 20 years ago.

Even higher satisfaction than the poll taken after the October 2007 election.

Without any apparent reason, people suddenly decided to be hugely satisfied.

Ah, but it was Danny’s bum ticker getting sympathy, some of you smarties are saying.

Take a look.  In a question in which people could show love for Hisself alone, he could only manage to go from 79% to 81%. Less than half the margin of error.  Hardly a thing worth noting at all, let alone label a surge. Were the Telegram story signed it could have been a job application to the Ministry of Truth.

And if you deconstruct the CRA poll numbers, it is even more bizarre.  After 24 months of steady decline, support for the provincial Tories shot up enough to beat the poll taken right after the 2007 election.

But that’s not all.

Even with satisfaction levels that Sarah Palin and George Bush The Younger could only dream of, still 15% of the people polled actually want someone other than the current Premier to be Premier.  In fact, half the people who want Yvonne Jones running the place instead of Danny Williams actually think that Danny Williams’ crowd is doing a completely or mostly satisfactory job. or maybe all 15% of them do which is even weirder.

Such is life in Wonderland.



Wm. Murphy said...

In fact, half the people who want Yvonne Jones running the place

I dare you to name one of these people. Actually Ed..that is completely unfair. There is not one person who would publicaly or privately, admit to wanting Yvonne running the place....I stand corrected..there are a few out-patients and family members kicking around

Ed Hollett said...

Well, apparently 15% do.

And seven percent or whatever it is want Lorraine.

The point to always bear in mind is the a poll done by the government pollster for government and subjected to a variety of methods to massage the result is completely useless except for the propoaganda purposes for which it was designed.

It is a travesty that it is still regarded as credible when it patently isn't.

Wm. Murphy said...

Not following you Ed. If they are massasing the results then the same could be said about the results about the Libs.

One would assume that the pollster uses the same criteria each time...or are you saying that this one was "massaged" differently than the others?

I would also guess that the same questions are used each time..."Who would you vote for? and what leader would make the best Premier?

Ed Hollett said...

I guess you only started reading BP lately, i.e. within the last couple of months.

You can go back to 2006 (at least) and start from there.

Every quarter.


How the polls are goosed, the numbers misrepresented etc etc.

And then last fall:

"How the Tories get 28% more votes..."

when the poll was released very obviously way earlier than normal (three weeks or so) and right before a by-election vote. If nothing else it looked really odd.

There are huge issues/questions with the quarterly poll.

The issues/questions are well known and yet every quarter the results are presented by the conventional media without question and without reference to the fairly obvious problems associated with the news releases.

I dunno about the Telly policy but CBC should have long ago checked into this stuff given the front end of their existing journalistic policy on reporting poll results. You can find it on line on cbc.ca.

Ed Hollett said...

Just to correct/clarify:

When I doubled checked, the release was a minimum of one week early last november and in the worst case was three weeks in advance.

As for qording and sequencing of questions, part of that is addressed in those earlier posts.

The part I haven't noted before is the likelihood that the outcome of the three CRA public questions can be influenced by the sequencing and wording of the other questions paid for by government.

You can see a fine example of this sort of torquing in polling done by another firm for DW on the whole flag ripping issue. I have the polling report released under ATIP so maybe I should post the examples. Blatant, obvious efforts to push the results in a certain direction. The only one it clearly didn't work for was the one on the flags. The rejection of the whole stunt was absolutely unmistakeable.

Since we never see the CRA survey instruments, we have no idea what they are doing and what methodological problems there might be that also contribute their obviously skewed results.

Wm. Murphy said...

come on Ed...I am suprised you forgot....we have had a few spars over polling.

Goose...moose....I think you are picking the flies out of the shit on this one. Whatever the polling bias and whatever the torque...the numbers are through the roof. I completely agree with your assessment but the fact of the matter is that this gov't has a popularity hold on its constituents.

The last thing I want to do is "deconstruct CRA"... whatever for??

I want a formidable opponent for the ego maniac...that's my deconstruct

Ed Hollett said...

Well aside from anything else, the numbers actually aren't through the roof.

They are actually pretty normal.

Wm. Murphy said...

yes they are...