Remember the Strategic Counsel poll which came out a few days after the Gomery Report which indicated that the Liberals dropped below the Tories?
But, then remember that poll that came out three days later that showed that the Liberals had recovered? The Strategic Counsel even laughably reasoned in its analysis “The sudden possibility of a Conservative victory once more gave a significant number of voters – especially in Ontario – pause, and an occasion to reassess their support.” Note that while the poll was released but three days after the release of their Tory leading poll, the Liberal rebound poll was conducted the day after the release of this first poll on Friday – the weakest day for news consumption and processing by the public. The Strategic Counsel is absurd if it thinks that the news of Gomery has little staying power with the public but that the shock of learning of a Conservative lead in the polls has an immediate and massively significant effect of reversing the trend. Perhaps they don’t think this way and perhaps there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Remember the questionable methodology of previous Strategic Counsel polls in which the pollster manipulated question order in order to prompt the respondant with Liberal positive questions before asking voter intent?
Remember how the poll in which the Tories led, did not have any prompting questions?
Now, consider for a moment that polls are engineered and that the post-Gomery poll that showed the punishment of the Liberals, followed by the poll that showed that the Liberals had recovered were commissioned by Liberals to show that Gomery in fact “wasn’t a big deal” in public perception and that “Canadians want the Liberals to continue to govern” or that the electorate wants to “let the business of the House continue”.
Now take that momentary consideration and file it under “fact“.
Fact: The Liberal government has commissioned the services of the Strategic Counsel many times (examples: PWGSC, Justice, Public opinion research services, Revenue, OSFI etc)
There’s nothing wrong with honest work done by a private company for a government contract, but consider that the current power brokers in Ottawa give the Strategic Counsel a lot of business.
Fact: Peter Donolo, Jean Chretien’s director of communications took part in strategy sessions with Paul Martin team during the last election.
Fact: That same Peter Donolo (the one that provided “strategic counsel” to Paul Martin during an election) is… executive vice-president of… The Strategic Counsel!
Fact: Donolo was on a Canadian Journalism Foundation panel to discuss “Spin and the Public Interest”. Here’s an excerpt from the event’s press release:
Does spin support the public interest? Compromise it? Both? What influence does spin have on Canadian journalists and journalism at home and abroad (where the challenges are amplified)? How energetic and persistent are they in their efforts to assess spin critically and deal with it accordingly? How well equipped are they to do that job? Are Canadian media hiring and retaining the people and making the investments that are necessary to get at the truth independently and bring it their readers, listeners and viewers? Is it a media owner’s obligation to serve the public interest?
So, ask yourself, are polls meants to take the pulse of the electorate or are they meant to set its heartbeat?