Thursday, December 4, 2008

Take a Deep Breath, Count to 10, Exhale

The Governor General gives the 308 hellspawn wards of parliament a time out. Okay, kids. Now play nice. They're not your toys that you're fighting over; they're ours.

Related: According to a Leger poll, antipathy towards the idea of a Liberal-NDP coalition supported by an accord with the Bloc is sinking in.

A Leger Marketing poll shows 41% of those asked would be "very concerned" by such an arrangement, and 19% "somewhat concerned." Thirty-five percent of Canadians are "not very concerned" or "not at all concerned" about whether separatists hold the balance of power in a coalition.


The level of concern over the separatist role rises to 70% from 60% when the views of Quebecers are taken out of the equation.

Now, I've always argued that public opinion polls are reactional rather than reflective. That is, they best measure the "gut reactions" of the respondents without much nuance, and without much personal reflection or qualification on the part of respondents. After all, they are rooted in "multiple choice" not "essay" questions. Also, the wording leaves voter intent ambiguous. Do the categories of "very concerned" and "somewhat concerned" imply that people wouldn't vote for it in the end? I don't know. But I suppose it's a fairly reasonable assumption, if people's reflection confirms their reaction.

Perhaps polls are best viewed as snapshots in time. This snapshot shows that 60% of respondents in Canada as a whole (up to 70% for the RoC alone) oppose the three amigos' coalition configuration. As snapshots go, this one seems to be in much sharper focus than ... say ... Mr. Dion's late-arriving taped address to the country last night.

Just saying.

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