We love to scrutinize the pols to see who is telling the truth and who, shall we say, is not telling the truth. The media has ‘fact check’ initiatives. The parties accuse each other of falsehoods.
I accuse us of telling little, white lies.
The latest poll out today (from the TJ online):
Job creation and the economy are by far the top issues in the campaign, according to the poll. A wide margin of respondents, 39 per cent, cited jobs/employment/unemployment as the dominant issue while an additional 18 per cent cited the economy. Health care came next among issues at 13 per cent while natural gas development and fracking was indicated by five per cent of voters. The debt and deficit also garnered five per cent of the mentions. Pensions were mentioned by only one per cent of respondents.
I’ve written about this before. How many people do you know that will vote for the party that they think will be best on the jobs/employment/unemployment front? Will you?
I think we tell pollsters the economy is our biggest issue and then we vote based on anything but.
It’s just a theory. I have no real proof other than anecdote and hunch.
I may be wrong. Maybe New Brunswickers really do care that the number of employed in the province was the same in July 2014 as way back in July 2004.
My colleague Richard Saillant will be bummed debt and deficit only got 5% of the mentions.
One of the problems is that jobs/employment/unemployment is an abstract concept. Politician A says “we will create jobs”. Politician B says “we will create more jobs” and Politician C says “we will create even more jobs”.
Tangible things that make voters angry? Wait times. Lack of nursing home beds. Fracking. Moving high schools 11 kms down the road. Or how about I just don’t like that gal/guy?
I would be very, very surprised if more than a few voters actually sat around the kitchen table and said “which politician has the best economic development plan”?
In a historical context, the economy was never stronger than in 2003 and 2006 and Old Bernie nearly got creamed in 2003 and did get creamed in 2006. If the economy was the most important issue, why?