Archive for the 'Polls' Category

If the Tories don’t get a majority, thank the Bloc not the Grits, Greens or NDP

Having just finished a massive update to the Paulitics National Polling Resource, the Provincial/Regional Polling Resource, and the Seat Projection Meta-Analysis, there is one fact that has become abundantly clear:

If the Conservatives don’t get a majority, we should thank Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Québecois, not the Dion Liberals, the May Greens, or Layton’s NDP.  Of all of the data uploaded this evening, the astonishing rise of the Bloc in Quebec (pictured below) is perhaps the most impressive.

Because of the Bloc’s rise, the Conservatives have dropped 10% in Quebec since September 13th.  In other words, 1 in 3 Tory supporters in Québec have abandoned that party since September 13th.

Tories recover on eve of election, but still down from 2006

The latest polls are certainly to be viewed as a mixed bag for all five of the major federal parties, save the Bloc Québecois.  For the latter, of course, there is little ‘mixed’ about the situation.  The Bloc’s situation appears to be moribund.

For the Tories, the latest polls have given them a slight bump (which will be accentuated when the latest Environics poll pegging the Tories at near-majority government level support is included in the Paulitics Polling Resource).  However, the Tories still remain down from their 2006 election showing by statistically significant margins despite being flushed with cash and despite their aggressive recent media buys.

For the Liberals, the recent polls have shown them slumping on the eve of the election — not exactly the best time to have a slump in popularity — and have not been able to break beyond a statistically-significant margin of their 2006 support in well over a year.  Still, on the other hand, the Paulitics Polling resource does show the Liberals as one of only two parties to rest above their 2006 levels of support, even if it is by a statistically insignificant margin.

For the NDP, after dipping badly in support, the recent polls have shown what must be a welcome up-tick in popularity back to within the margins of their respectable 2006 finish.  However, much like the Grits, the NDP have not been able to break out above their 2006 levels of support by a statistically-significant margin in well over a year.

For the Greens, after flirting with the 12 percent threshold in the Paulitics rolling-5 poll average for a time, the latest polls have witnessed a dramatic slump for the Greens back down to the 8 percent area of support.  That said, even if the Greens are able to hold on to this comparatively low level of support through to election day, they will still have roughly doubled their level of support since the previous election which is something that the other parties shall ignore only at their own peril.

For the Bloc, I have yet to update the Paulitics Provincial Polling Resource, so a complete picture of the carnage is not yet available at this time.  But, with that in mind, the latest provincial poll results from Leger Marketing put them at a dismal 30%.

Overall, even without the possibility of a legal battle over the constitutionality of the election itself, the election is shaping up to be an interesting one.

Just how big is Quebec’s shift away from the right wing? Pretty big

Given the recent provincial by-election results in the province of Quebec, bloggers and politicians everywhere have been talking about the results and their implications.

As with any event, it helps to actually review what happened and then, based on this, generate an analysis.  If we do it the other way around, we risk being like a Conservative cabinet minister who, during a Question Period session shortly after the by-elections, tried to ridicule Gilles Duccepe by saying that the by-elections were a huge victory federalists and a huge defeat for the PQ.  (I don’t remember which Tory cabinet minister it was who said it, but I remember being shocked when I heard it).

In fact, contrary to the Tories’ contention, both the by-election results and the recent provincial polling results show a rather different story.

First, the by-election results.

Simply put, the Tories’ closest provincial ally, the ADQ, witnessed a staggering collapse.  This is rather significant since the far-right ADQ is lead by Mario Dumont, a man who attracted the attention of the international press in 2007 and who was (appropriately, in my opinion) called “Canada’s Le Pen” by the U.K.-based newspaper The Independent (source).

In the three by-election ridings, the ADQ’s support collapsed to just over 1/3 of their formerly mighty self.  Now, even though none of these ridings were strong ADQ ridings, nothing I think could have prepared political observers for just how spectacular of a collapse the ADQ made.  For instance, in my riding (Hull), the ADQ dropped from being the 3rd place party to being dead last among the 5 main provincial parties with both the Greens and Québec solidaire (which is an amalgamation of left-wing provincial parties including the Quebec Communist Party) finishing above them.  In fact, only the tiny Parti indépendantiste did worse then the ADQ in my riding.

Turning to the province-wide provincial polling results since the last provincial election, we see an equally bleak picture for ‘Canada’s Le Pen’ and the far-right ADQ.

Following the last provincial election, the ADQ had actually improved over their provincial results and were polling as the #1 provincial party with seemingly prohibitive odds of forming the next provincial government, either minority or majority.

As you can see, Quebec’s repudiation of far right politics since that time, clearly extends beyond merely the three ridings which had by-elections earlier this month.

Now that it seems as though the Québecois are well on their way to throwing out their version of Le Pen and become once again a beacon to progressives throughout Canada, maybe Canadians can learn from this and get to work on throwing out their version of George W. Bush.

Paul’s back

Well, after a month-long hiatus because of a confluence of 4 personal crises — breaking up with my live-in girlfriend, finding a new apartment, finishing my masters degree and my car getting ‘totalled’ — I’m pleased to say that I’m back to blogging!

I’ve already started by putting up a massive, and long overdue, update on the Paulitics polling resource which you can can access here.

More to follow in the upcoming days and weeks.  Stay tuned.

It’s good to be back.

New poll of Canadian corporate elites shows interesting results

In the year 2000, Canada taxed corporations at a rate of 44.6%.  Despite Jean Chrétien and Brian Mulroney, we had been able to maintain this relatively good rate of taxation which we first achieved during the Liberal-NDP minority governments in the 1960s and 1970s.  Since then, however, Canada’s corporate tax rates have dropped precipitously by over a quarter to only 30.9% in 2007

During this time, the only public opinion polls conducted that I am aware of were conducted on Canadian corporate elite opinion alone.    This, quite simply, is because elites understand that the public’s opinion on such ‘frivolous’ matters would be inappropriate to solicit.  The public’s opinion is not of any consequence to the determining of public policy in this area, thus why get their hopes up by asking them?  Why remind them that their opinion will simply be disregarded shortly after it is documented?

Nevertheless, it is still worth taking a look at what Canada’s corporate elites would like to see reformed in Canada’s government spending and taxation policy because, on these issues, their opinion is more equal than others and thus is far more likely to be an indicator of what changes will come.

The most recent example of such a poll of corporate elites was conducted recently by Conrad Winn, the president of Compass Polling (and possibly the most infuriating man I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting).  Despite Winn’s delusions that the CBC actually has a whole cadre of communists working for them, that universities are only designed to indoctrinate children with Marxist propaganda and that CNN is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the U.S. Democratic Party (believe it or not he’s actually said all of these things), Winn is smart enough to know that it is elite opinion on this issue which matters and thus is worth soliciting.

The results of Winn’s poll are thus, very revealing. 

canadian-corporate-elite.png

The margin of error for this poll is +/- 8.7%, so I have highlighted the most popular response for each question in yellow (questions where two responses are highlighted are statistically tied in first place). 

The first thing that should leap out at Canadians is that this poll destroys the myth that the Canadian bourgeois does not want a large government or an activist state.  Indeed on the contrary, Canada’s bourgeois (much like America’s bourgeois) wants government intervention into the private sector in certain limited regards.  Contrary to what is published in the mainstream media, this is nothing all too surprising.  Ever since the end of the Second World War, economists of all stripes have noted that without heavy government support and intervention in the economy, capitalism would collapse.   In 1944, economist Paul Samuelson predicted the 1948 economic employment crisis when he wrote that “the present prosperity is ‘artificial,” and that many of the central sectors of the economy “cannot possibly maintain their present level of employment, or one-half, or one-third of it.”  Thus, ever since, virtually all industrialized governments (including the Canadian and U.S. governments) have been actively subsidizing corporations through ‘corporate welfare’ and ‘military keynesianism’ in order to sustain the capitalist mode of production.

The poll above illustrates that, contrary to the majority of the populace, the bourgeois is well aware of the importance of the activist role of the state.  Canada’s bourgeoisie wants increases in government subsidies to the private sector for infrastructure funding and military funding (military keynesianism) in addition to increased government activism in paying down the national debt and increasing health care payments (which, after all, relieves employers from having to offer private heath insurance unlike their American counterparts).

But, on the other hand, there is one other final item which is interesting and worthy of consideration in this poll of Canada’s bourgeoisie.  While the poll illustrates that capitalists recognize the value to them of these various forms of corporate welfare, the last two questions (highlighted in red), also conclusively show that they just don’t want to have to be the ones to pay for it.

Don’t you love that we’re teaching the Afghans to be ‘free’ just like us?

“On the contrary, the citizen, always active, sweats, agitates himself,
torments himself incessantly in order to seek still more labourious
occupations; he works to death, he even rushes to it in order to get
in condition to live, or renounces life in order to acquire immortality.
He pays court to the great whom he hates, and to the rich whom he
scorns. He spares nothing in order to obtain the honour of serving
them; he proudly boasts of his baseness and their protection; and
proud of his slavery, he speaks with disdain of those
who do not have the honour of sharing it.”
-Rousseau, Second Discourse

See also:

Propaganda in Action: Ontario’s election “priorities”?

Poll: Do you support the conservatives or oppose helping children? WTF!

Our entire existence summed up in one cartoon

Globe and Mail grossly inflates Tory support in Atlantic Canada

A Decima poll has just been released to the press which, for the first time in a very long while, shows the Liberals regaining the lead over the Conservatives.

However, in their reporting of the poll, the authors of the Globe and Mail piece falsely claim that the Conservatives have been leading in the polls in Atlantic Canada.  The article states that

“In Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives had been leading for most of the year…”

This is so far from the truth that it even stretches the imagination as to how the Globe and Mail could be so completely and demonstrably off in its research.

To illustrate how the Conservatives have actually not  in fact been, as the Globe suggests, leading in Atlantic Canada for the past year, consider this rolling average of all polls conducted in the region by all polling firms. 

2007-12-09-atlantic.png

So, not only have the Tories not been leading in Atlantic Canada for most of the year (or any portion of the year for that matter) but the Tories are actually down from their 2006 election results by a statistically significant margin (and indeed have been down from said showing for quite some time).  (see also Polling Report’s stats for Atlantic Canada which confirm what my stats are showing above, albeit in a much more messy fashion).

Saskboy joins Paulitics, Jim Harris and the Green Party in the ‘dog house’?

conservative-party-support-september-to-november-2007.pngFor those of you not aware, a while back I posted mathematical evidence that Ipsos-Reid’s polling numbers are dramatically off from every other major polling firm in the country insofar as the level of support they attribute to the federal Conservative Party.

Jim Harris, the former leader (not ‘president’ as John Wright claimed him to be) of the Green Party of Canada, read my blog and enjoyed the post enough to reproduce it (with my permission, of course) with some additions of his own over on his blog.

Ipsos-Reid’s senior vice president John Wright (he seems to like it when we use his full title) didn’t particularly like what Jim and I wrote, and thus has, how shall I say, become a regular reader of Paulitics for the past few days.  Since then, however, it seems as though some additional bloggers have stumbled across Wright’s comment on this blog and have written posts on their own sites discussing what they think of Wright’s tactics.

I am not going to comment one way or another on whether I endorse Saskboy’s analysis or not.  However, in the interests of ensuring that my readers have every opportunity to critically consider and contemplate for themselves all facts as well as what they think on their own about his analysis, I have decided to link to it.

Specifically though, I wanted to draw my readers’ attention to two comments on Saskboy’s post which very much interested me.  The first was one by Wright himself wherein he wrote:

“each one of those who posted the comments have now, on their own advice, taken them down or altered them, because in the end they knew you cannot make unfounded or defamatory claims about a person or company.”

This, of course, is demonstrably untrue.  As I informed Wright when I made the changes on my blog, the changes I made, to use legal language, were made “gratuitously” and thus were accompanied by no admission of guilt nor were the changes an admission that the original text was defamatory or unfounded.  Moreover, Jim Harris explicitly spelled out, in an e-mail to Wright, that his changes to his blog post were also not an admission of guilt or an admission that the original posting was defamatory.

So, I found it interesting that Wright received explicit wording stating that changes were not made because they were defamatory, yet he still wrote that above comment on Saskboy’s blog.  Thus, I invite my readers to critically consider and contemplate for themselves whether Wright’s comment is founded in reality.

The second comment on Saskboy’s blog that I found interesting was made by an acquaintance of mine (but was not made at my behest or request).  While I have no opinion or comment one way or another on whether I endorse or share Kim’s analysis or not, I did want to present this comment to my readers for them to be free to draw conclusions on their own.

Kim wrote:

“You know, I showed Wright’s original comment to a lawyer friend of mine and she asked if he’d gotten drunk one night and went trolling on the internet. Just saying.

And Wright, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Paul at Paulitics changed his post “gratuitously” for your benefit. Just in case you’re not near your legal counsel at the moment, I’d like to refresh your memory that the legal definition of “gratuitous” is something that is done unnecessarily, without admission of guilt – so essentially, giving the baby his bottle.

The blogosphere knows you’re full of it, Jim. Instead of attacking a bunch of bloggers, I suggest that you make some inquiries into your survey-taking at the lower levels, where the mistakes are evidently being made. As a former employee, this seems entirely plausible to me. It could be the callers, or those people writing the questions themselves.

Numbers aren’t a personal attack on you – the methodology of some people in your company has been found to be lacking. Unless Ipsos-Reid has a mysterious database of Conservative supporters that nobody else has access to (you and I would both agree that this is ludicrous), Ipsos-Reid and other polling firms are contacting the same public. Why they would not get the same result is something you may want to look into, instead of making empty threats to bloggers who, despite what you may think, aren’t out to “get” you.

My point is, relax and carefully consider the facts before you comment on the blogs of others. Paul didn’t change his post because he believed what you were saying – he spoke to three or four lawyers and they said that changing the language would be the easiest way to appease you, even though he did nothing wrong. I actually know for a fact that one of his lawyers begged him to take it to the media, because nothing would be better than a story about a grown man, executive to a major polling firm, bullying a college student who crunched numbers and found his company’s polling to be inadequate, just because he can. It’s fear-mongering, John. Paul gratuitously changed his post, when he could have met your case and won, or taken you to the media and made a serious dent in your personal reputation.

And instead of attacking the evidence, be the better person and admit that there might, just might, be a problem, and look into it.”

Once again, I’m not saying I endorse Kim’s comment or not, and I certainly didn’t ask her to make it, but as a public service announcement, I felt it best to allow my readers to draw their own conclusions from it and to draw their attention to the lively (and still ongoing) debate over at Saskboy’s site.

Happy reading!


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