Those ‘bleepin’ polls

The T&T is running a poll today about the top election issues:

Health care has not played a central theme in any of the party leaders’ electoral strategies but a copyrighted Times & Transcript-Omnifacts Bristol Research poll shows that 42 per cent of New Brunswickers feel it is the most pressing issue in campaign 2006. Education is a distant second with 27 per cent, followed by the economy and gas prices at 22 per cent, seniors issues at 19 per cent and the cost of electricity at 10 per cent.

In the Metro Moncton area health care is by the far the most pressing subject. According to the survey, 92 per cent of respondents indicated it was a very important issue, well above the 83 per cent for education, 79 per cent for the economy and 72 per cent for the price of gas.

Now, if you read this blog with any regularity, I hate polls like this.

Firstly, “copyrighted Times & Transcript-Omnifacts Bristol Research” poll means, literally, Al-Hogan-Bernard-Lord’s copyrighted poll. Bristol has received more gravy under Lord than any other company.

Secondly, they lead the friggin’ voters. Either a) they have a set list of things to rank or b) they don’t set a proper context. People are conditioned – and have been for years – to automatically respond to these polls with the automatic ‘health care’, ‘education’, ‘seniors’, and increasingly ‘electricity’.

So, here’s my poll questions for the people of New Brunswick. This poll will never be done because it serves no one’s political agenda but you can take it:

1. Your government is running the province into the ground. The population is in decline for the first time since the Great Depression. Our youth are leaving at a record pace. Many of our bedrock industries are in decline. We invest the least amount of money in Canada in the types of investments that would change this. Do you want your government to spend almost every new dime of revenue on health care or would you like a few dollars spent to try and fix our province before it’s too late?

2. Since 1999, the government has become increasingly dependant on Equalization and other Federal transfer programs. What this means is that when we have another recession, New Brunswick may not be able to recover. Do you want your government to spend a few dollars trying to generate more ‘own-source’ revenue or do you want us (as we have for the past seven years) to continue begging Ottawa for more welfare?

3. If you were put in charge of a large organization with a complex mandate and tens of thousands of employees and a six billion dollar budget would you:

a) hire your buddies and old time political cronies to run things?
b) find the best talent you could find anywhere in the world to run things?

4. Which vision do you think we should follow:

a) Turn New Brunswick into an old folks home fully funded by taxpayers in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia? (the current Tory approach)

b) A dynamic an vibrant society where folks can come back to retire and to start a career in one of the many growth sectors? (a faint and slipping vision)

5. What is your definition of leadership?

a) confusing people with misleading spin using words like ‘record’, ‘prosperity for all’, etc.

b) being honest with voters about the state of their province. About the record levels of obesity and sickness. About the 14 straight years of net out-migration. About the decline in bedrock industries.

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0 Responses to Those ‘bleepin’ polls

  1. scott says:

    Your government is running the province into the ground.

    If you want a true sample on how people are feeling toward the current state of the province, you definitely don’t lead them in their answers. lol

  2. Poll guy from Bagtown says:

    Here’s a good example of a few that would not be misleading:

    I. Generally speaking, do you feel things in New Brunswick are going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten off on the wrong track? And do you feel strongly or somewhat strongly about that?
    Please select one response only.

    a) Strongly right direction
    b) Somewhat right direction
    c) Somewhat wrong track
    d) Strongly wrong track

    II. If a Provincial election were held today, which party would you vote for?
    Please select one response only.

    a) The Liberal Party
    b) The New Democratic Party
    c) The Progressive Conservative
    d) Another party (Please specify)
    e) Undecided/don’t know
    f) Would not vote/nobody

    III. Generally speaking, how satisfied are you with the performance of the PROVINCIAL government’s economic record in New Brunswick in the past four years? Would you say you are…?
    Please select one response only.

    a) Very satisfied
    b) Somewhat satisfied
    c) Somewhat dissatisfied
    d) Very dissatisfied

  3. David Campbell says:

    But that’s my point (Scott is right about my ‘running the province into the ground’ comment). If people don’t have an adequate picture of the ‘facts’ how can they make a reasoned response?

    These polls have been listing health care as the top issue – by far – since the end of the last recession in the early 1990s.

    The New Brunswick government has responded by plowing almost every new dime into health care.

    It’s still the #1 issue – what’s that tell you?

    We have been ignoring fundamental questions of our very future and economic sovereignty and we get these polls served up with ‘health care’, ‘education’ and ‘senior care’ as a mantra.

    In today’s context, political leadership should be about reading the polls and then forgetting them and doing what’s right.

  4. David Campbell says:

    Last point – just for clarification. I am not questionning the validity of the poll (accuracy) just the reason for these types of polls to begin with. To give you an exaggerated example:

    If you were the captain of the Titanic and you were just informed by your chief engineer that you were about to hit an iceberg so you decide to do a survey of the passengers and you say:

    Would you like the steak, fish or chicken for tonight’s meal?

    You would get varied opinions. Some would like the steak, some would argue vehemently that the fish was the best and some would even want chicken.

    But in the end, don’t you think there would have been a few different answers (even if you only gave them three options) if you told them in the start that the ship was about to sink?

    Survey question:
    Would you like the steak, fish or chicken for tonight’s meal?

    By the cripes, man. How do we get off this boat?

    100% of the responses.

  5. scott says:

    LOL!! Good analogy David. However, I have an inkling that because of excessive rates of outmigration and the type of “individual” that we are left with here in NB, on average, there is little chance that they even feel the severity of a fledgling economy let alone try to do something about it to fix it. That’s why we keep getting the same outcome over and over again. You know what they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. IMHO, that is how “the majority” of New Brunswickers think it should work (I don’t even think they know that cycle of insanity [politically] is going on!). At least, I think it is or there would have been hell to pay by now as our province is in a crisis situation.

    Not only that, an uninformed and uneducated electorate is an electorate that tends to suffer from serious dupability. LOL

    What do you think??

    Also, why not hire ex-pats who have been successful in the business community and political community. At least we wouldn’t get that uprising from New Brunswickers whereas they get an instant inferiority complex. You know, “we are not smart enough” therefore they have to hire people from away to run the government’s day to day business. Just a thought.