Skip to comments.Stephen Harper gets poll-axed (Canada's msm bias far worse than stateside's)
Posted on 07/03/2005 9:53:18 AM PDT by GMMAC
Sunday July 3, 2005
Stephen Harper gets poll-axed
... While Martin and Layton get a free ride
By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN
Today, I want to make one point about the political situation in Canada now that Parliament has adjourned for the summer.
It's that you should ignore almost everything our national pro-Liberal, pro-NDP, anti-Conservative media punditocracy have been spouting of late, because most of it is nonsense.
Contrary to so much of what you have read and heard recently (a) Paul Martin and the Liberals are not sitting pretty despite AdScam (b) Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have not self-destructed because of their opposition to same-sex marriage and their handling of the Gurmant Grewal affair and (c) Jack Layton and the NDP have not made huge strides with voters.
In fact, according to pollster Ipsos-Reid, if Canadians were to go to the polls today, our Parliament would look almost exactly as it did a year ago right after the federal election.
On election night, June 28, 2004, Martin's Liberals won 37% of the vote. Today, (a June 21-23 Ipsos-Reid poll released last week) they're at 35% popular support. Harper's Conservatives were at 30% then, 27% now; Layton's NDP, 16% then, 18% now; Gilles Duceppe's Bloc Quebecois, 12% then, 13% now.
Factor in margins of error and everyone's pretty much where they were a year ago, with some small regional variations.
Now consider this. In the past few weeks, you've no doubt read and heard countless speculative stories about Harper being in huge trouble and that even his leadership of the Conservatives could be in doubt. And that's fair comment, because if Harper fails to win at least a minority government next time out, he will likely be dumped by his party. But, that said, how many speculative pieces have you seen about Martin being in equally big trouble, since, if he only "wins" another minority -- as the polls indicate would happen today -- he, too, will likely be dumped?
The punditocracy know full well that the Liberals, who see themselves as the natural governing party, won't long abide a leader who can't win a majority. So why the double standard?
Next, consider this. For all the praise the pundits have lavished on Layton for his deal to prop up Martin's Liberals in return for $4.6 billion in new social spending in the budget, the reaction from voters to date has been one, big yawn. According to Ipsos-Reid, NDP support has been stuck at 15% to 19% for months.
Now, I'm going to do something that the pro-Liberal, pro-NDP, anti-Conservative punditocracy almost never do.
I'm going to offer some evidence that doesn't support my theory. This was a Decima poll released June 8 showing the NDP had barely cracked the 20% barrier of voter support nationally -- 21% -- but, more significantly, were only two points behind the Conservatives across Canada, and two points ahead of them in Ontario.
Of course, this one poll received massive media play because it fit the media's pre-conceptions of what should be happening. But why so little reporting of any of the extensive Ipsos-Reid data I'm citing? And do you even have to ask?
It's true Layton and the NDP are seen more positively by voters today. As Ipsos-Reid puts it, they have a 12-point "positive momentum," meaning 32% of those polled say their impression of Layton and his party has improved recently, compared to 20% for whom it has worsened. Eventually, this may (or may not) translate into more support for the NDP. So far, it hasn't.
Harper and the Conservatives, by contrast, have a 26-point "negative momentum" compared to a neutral rating in April, when as many people had a better impression of their recent performance as a more negative one. Thus, media criticism of Harper of late is consistent with the public's perception of him.
What isn't consistent is the relatively free ride Martin and the Liberals are getting, even though they now have a staggering 43-point "negative momentum" with voters. The only saving grace for them, if you can call it that, is that they haven't fallen as far as the Conservatives due to the fact their numbers were already so bad, they've only fallen three more points since April.
Certainly, it's valid for the media to criticize Harper for being unable to capitalize on AdScam, especially following Jean Brault's explosive testimony at the Gomery inquiry, released April 7, after which Conservative support briefly spiked by nine points over the Liberals (36% to 27%) before settling back to where it's been since last year's election. But Martin is in at least as much trouble in failing to meet voter expectations.
The fact you've heard so much about the first story, and so little about the second, tells you all you need to know about media bias in Canada.
Unfree media is a threat to freedom and democracy.
The Toronto-centric MSM needs to be held accountable. However, on the bright side, once the election campaign begins, they won't be able to ignore us and we will rise in the polls.
If the Conservatives and Liberals are tied in Ontario, remember, the Conservatives will win far more seats as the Liberal support is concentrated in the GTA media bubble, while the Conservatives have far-reaching support elsewhere. (Less so nationally, since the west, especially Alberta, skews the numbers somewhat as well but not as much as the Liberal skew).
Ken Dryden was on the radio today taking credit for advising Martin to promise to hold an election after the conclusion of the Gomery inquiry.
Mr. Dithers is pathetic when it comes to keeping his word though - Pat O'Brien would be the first to tell you.
However, he is waveirng somewhat on this issue. I'll see about a link ... stay tuned.
Of course, to them, dithering is the Canadian way.
We need to get rid of this Desperate Dithers Dictatorship!!!
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