Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is downplaying recent poll results that see his party well behind the governing Conservatives.Sorry Iggy, I support ya, but the fact is, polls do matter - otherwise we wouldn't be discussing the matter, and there wouldn't be a CBC article on it.
"Polls don't matter," Ignatieff told reporters in St. John's Monday. "What matters is what we're doing in this room, talking to seniors about issues that concern them."
Whether or not a poll is inaccurate or an outlier or whatever you may think, they do drive a certain narrative. If Party A starts consistently losing to Party B in poll results, then the media - always hovering behind you, waiting for blood - will pounce on those polls, saying "Party A is going to slide into oblivion!!" Which, of course, just drives a narrative either against Party A or Party B, depending on how an individual looks at those results.
So when polls coming up stating that we're losing to the Conservatives by at least 10%, there's a certain narrative being driven/drawn by the media that will start to affect your campaign, to the point where you have to start denying that effect (denial of the effect is in fact an effect itself!). And that narrative that the Liberals are trying to build about being the only party able to take on Harper? Well, get more polls like this and it'll fly over everyone's head, since you're we're doing a lot of taking on, are we?
I hate to say it but they're something of self-fulfilling prophecies, these polls. They may in the end all be statistical noise, but when you start to lose steam in polls, the fact is, you're going to feel that among your supporters, most likely in the form of a loss of motivation. Denying that won't make it any less true - you may just have to end up working with it.
Also, did anyone else notice the CBC point about the Conservative numbers going higher because of the West? It's not true - they're higher because of better numbers in Ontario. If anything, the Conservatives could stand to do a little better in the West.