Analysis of the new poll

The latest Ipsos Reid poll was released today at 6am for public consumption. The poll shows the Liberals and the Conservatives in a virtual tie with 32% and 31% voter support, respectively. As for seat rich Ontario (TM), the Liberals lead the Conservatives by an 11 point margin (44-33%).

We’ve seen the Liberals and the Conservatives switch positions not once but twice in Ontario, which indicates high volatility in that province. This indicates a ‘fickle’ electorate in Ontario which means that whoever dominates an election campaign in the near future will likely win the province, and the election.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the poll comes from some sneaky questioning by Ipsos pollsters. In a featured section of the poll, pollsters ask why Conservatives want an election now. Two options are presented: “they just want to be in power” and “they sincerely believe they can no longer support a corrupt government”. The poll splits 58%-37% on this question. The answers to this question provide a “right” and a “wrong” answer for media analysis and Liberal spin. The answer “they just want to be in power” presents itself as a selfish motivation for an early election and allows Liberals to label the Conservatives as “power hungry”, which, of course, is not how anyone would want to be described. The “right” answer is that “they sincerely believe they can no longer support a corrupt government”. This answer presents itself as the noble choice. Now, of course we see that Canadians believe that the Conservatives want an election so that the party can be in power. Is that such horrible motive? In fact, it underlines what Canadians and all citizens in any democracy wish for: an election fought on the merits of the platform of all parties involved.

Of course Conservatives are sincere in their desire to dump a corrupt government. But Canadians should hope that the Conservatives, or any party for that matter, should also be fighting to have an election so that they can implement their platform. Since Conservatives aren’t going to be able to implement their platform in the budget (the union masters of the NDP have already beat the Conservatives to it), Conservatives do desire that an election should be held as soon as possible. The Conservative Party wouldn’t want an election, unless they believed that they could win it. Therefore any desire to go to the polls indicates a sincere belief that Canadians want better government and that Canadians believe that they would find this in the Conservative Party of Canada. But you wouldn’t know this from the juxtaposition of the noble answer against the “power hungry” answer. Wait for the Liberal spin, it’s coming. Thanks Ipsos!

I’d like to see some one-sided questions posed about the Liberals in the next poll (they are, after all, the party in power, hmm?).

Is the Liberal government corrupt?
A majority of Canadians believe that the Liberal government is corrupt

What is the motivation behind the Liberals cancelling opposition days and playing procedural politics?
The Liberal government just wants to stay in power

What is the motivation behind tabling the budget without the confidence of the House?
Paul Martin wants the budget defeated, not passed, so he can have a stick to beat the Conservatives with