Latest Polling Thread - February 11, 2012

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Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

The other issue that hasn't been brought up yet in response to Debater's points is that to some of us, this is simply a matter of principle. I agree with Brian Topp when he says that New Democrats should have the chance to vote for New Democrats, but I also think Liberals should have a chance to vote for Liberals and Greens should have a chance to vote for Greens. When someone stood up at an all-candidates' meeting in the 2008 election and told the Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Strathcona to step down so that Linda Duncan would have a better chance of winning, Linda told them that she wasn't looking for them to make things easy on her. I've never been so proud of her, before or since.

But beyond principle, the so-called easy way is also the loser's way. If we in Edmonton-Strathcona had listened to defeatist ideas about who could and couldn't win there, there would still be a Tory in that seat. As a New Democrat who's active in my community, my job isn't to try to arrange things so that voters have fewer choices and winning is easier. My job is to ensure that we have a better candidate than the Liberals and Greens do, and that we do the absolute best we can to win. And I have to say, in Edmonton-Strathcona we've had a little bit of success with that attitude. Other long-shot places can, too, if they play the long game and really work their asses off.


The way Debater frames it, Ontario's just one big quivering mass of Etobicoke Centre.


I think it's important to note that Cullen's proposal for riding-level cooperation in the next election is tied to his commitment to start the process of introducing PR as his first act in government. His idea is not that there should be some kind of permanent "division of territory" among the parties. It's a pragmatic approach to do this once, as something that makes sense in this particular moment... so that we never have to do it again! Once there is PR, the parties can go back to competing, and FINALLY it will be possible for voters to vote for ANY party, knowing that their vote will not be wasted. All of this talk about "giving voters the opportunity to vote for their party" as a reason for rejecting Cullen's proposal just doesn't cut it for me. It's very high-minded-sounding but really misguided. Think about what should be our priority in the present moment.

(By the way, Cullen has said that he would not have proposed this in the past. He's willing to propose it now partly because the NDP is in a position of much greater strength.)

Having said that... I actually do not support Cullen's proposal because it doesn't include cooperation with the Bloc. I understand that refusal -- cooperating with the Bloc would be a huge political risk for the NDP in the rest of Canada -- but refusing the Bloc would, I think, be interpreted very badly among potential NDP voters in Quebec. It's a lose-lose situation and unless I can be convinced otherwise, I think it's better not to go there at all. That's the problem I see with Cullen's plan. Nevertheless, in principle I think it is a good idea, conceived with a sense of urgency about reforming our electoral system. It shows Cullen's commitment to achieving PR, and I credit him for thinking of it.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@Idealistic Pragmatist:

You point above is bang on and is exactly why I vote NDP only. I am simply not ready to accept the premise that I support a movement whose ideas would never resonate with other Canadians to such a degree that I had to accept an "alternate choice" as Debater advocates. Really, that is why there are New Dems and Libs; we simply have very different visions of what the eventual outcomes of policy positions should be. I don't know why this is so hard to undestand to Libs like Debater. Honestly Debater, I just don't get why you don't get this. If you are a Lib, you are a Lib. But that doesn't mean as a New Dem I have to see you as a fellow traveller. I can't emphasis enough that my life experience tells me I cannot epxect Libs to act in consort with how I see the world. I have seen enough to know that the truth is what it is. I would think it would be more honest of you to at least admit that up front and then try to sell your ideas, rather then tell me that the Libs are somehow the only natural choice, that this how it always has been and must be. I simply won't ever vote Lib. I can't trust them and never will. They have had more then enought chances to prove to me otherwise and inevitably always fall short. You have to at least understand that is how I see it. You don't have to agree with it, but I wish you would pay me the courtesy of acknowledging you actually undestand the point I am making. And frankly, I don't get the feeling you do, or, that you partiuclarly care.

Surely if you and I can agree on anything at all, it would be this.


NorthReport wrote:

I have a question for the Globe and Mail and CTV - why is your pollster Nik Nanos hiding under a rock while his beloved Cons are crumbling and tanking and the hated NDP are rising in public support?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Nanos is the only pollster showing the NDP in third. I think that is odd. It kind of reminds me of Rasmussen. Sorry Nik, I know you think you are smarter then everyone else, but I don't believe it.


Linda Duncan says on her last year fb replied to someone "we dont pay attention opinion polls" before may 2.

she not trust opinion polls. that what i think.



iancosh wrote:

I actually do not support Cullen's proposal because it doesn't include cooperation with the Bloc. I understand that refusal -- cooperating with the Bloc would be a huge political risk for the NDP in the rest of Canada -- but refusing the Bloc would, I think, be interpreted very badly among potential NDP voters in Quebec.

Interestingly the ONLY place where i have seen one peep of criticism about Cullen's plan excluding the BQ - is here on babble. I have been following Quebec media coverage of the NDP leadership campaign very carefully and to the extent that they mention Cullen's plan at all - the Quebec pundits NEVER make any mention of the fact that the BQ would not be included in the deal. They don't care. To people in Quebec it goes without saying. First of all since the BQ is an explicitly sovereignist party - everyone knows that they themselves would not touch an electoral alliance with the federalist NDP and Liberals with a ten foot pole. The whole point of the BQ is to be able to point to BQ votes as being a mandate to push for sovereignty. If a BQ candidate got elected in Beauce as a joint BQ/NDP/Liberal/Green candidate - that person would have a diluted mandate and could not legitimatly use their seat in parliament to fight for Quebec independence. So its a moot point. In the highly hypothetical situation that Cullen becama NDP leader AND that the Liberals also chose a leader who wanted to go along with this plan...its a given that this deal is not about Quebec (where there are already practically no Tory MPs in the first place). Its about Ontario.

So I think this is one of those cases where a lot of guilt-ridden anglos who live outside of Quebec are fantasizing about a reaction in Quebec that does not exist. I'd actually like to see if anyone can find a real, live francophone Quebecer who would actually care if Cullen's plan did not include the BQ. Good luck. I suspect they would all say "of course, why would it? the BQ is only there for sovereignty - not to replace the Harper gov't".


Polls exist to sway people. I would never use summaries of a poll that I didn't author and/or dissect and analyze completely, to impact my decisionmaking.

Folks who are trying to analyze these polls from the armchair, without seeing the raw data and analyzing it for yourself, and seeing the questions and the subject groupings and characteristics, and the polling methodology in it's entirety, are fooling yourselves.





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