Monday, May 30, 2011

Harris-Decima Rears Its Ugly Head - as does Bruce Anderson

Showing the NDP at 33%, the Conservatives at 38%, and the Liberals at 15% (!). This would be groundbreaking... if Abacus didn't beat them to the punch already.

The further boost things for the Dippers, they currently sit at 49% in Quebec, and 32% in Ontario. Not really sure about other regionals, since HD has yet to release the full results. The Globe and Mail releases interesting tidbits though, giving the Liberals at 16% among women and 14% among men, while the NDP sit with 37% of women's vote, but only 30% of men's vote (Conservatives sit with a 33-42 split).

Here's where it becomes clear that Bruce Anderson annoys me, however:
The message to the Liberals could not be much clearer. Waiting for the old order of things to reassert itself could prove futile. Not rushing to mend the hole in the hull could be disastrous. The Liberal brand needed to put its strongest leadership forward, and convey a renewed sense of purpose and vitality – now, not some time off into the future. Disappearing into a haze of structural introspection (what about TPA’s, etc.) for a couple of years, just as public funding is drying up, could lock in this new “downward spiral” in the party’s fortunes.
Punditry is fun, but this is the sort of stupid assumption that got us here in the first place. I'm not a fan of Mr. Anderson, and this sort of fallacy is why.

Because how exactly can you gather such insight into the electorate from one poll done before Parliament has even begun to sit, which shows results similar to what we saw during the election itself? Even with Abacus it's not a trend - these are results that are a picture of the time, but not of the trend. If Anderson had a clue, he'd know that jumping on this sort of short-term thinking and poll-based reactions is probably not going to help the Liberals in any meaningful way. If we reacted to every single poll as the death knell, we should have ended as a party back in the 1980's.

Believe me, Liberals - don't fall for Anderson's clever little trap, or his utter stupidity, here. If we are going to rebuild we need to ignore most polls. They're fun to look at and if you start seeing a trend, you need to react - but one poll does not justify that kind of reaction. Slow down, keep calm, and let's keep this ship orderly. We've got four years to change that poll result around, we don't need to have it done by tomorrow.

Also, if anyone wants Anderson fired, I'm totally with you.


  1. In my opinion, polling was bad enough during the election period. You're absolutely right: the notion that it should be even more relevant now is ridiculous. No party can build a solid new foundation based on what any poll is saying right now.

  2. My philosophy is this: singular polls are fun to look at and ponder over, but mean nothing by themselves. But the larger trend of polling does, in general, tell the correct story.

    Maybe in time, we'll see if this trend stays true; but it's foolish to assume this one poll is the reason why any party should do anything.

  3. Preston Manning never cared about polls. Harper used to downplay polls all the time. No-one ever gave Harper a chance of forming government - even immediately after the merger. Now he has a nice majority.

    The public will respect our sticking to our principles more than anything else. We just need to find a better marketing tool/system. Our old system sucketh. We failed to get our message out. We failed to engage the public with ideas which were significantly different from the other parties. Sliding into a policy "grey zone" doesn't help us. Bold vision is needed - but it won't sell itself. WE need to market effectively. Not having as much cash will be an issue - but not monumental. We can find ways to communicate more effectively with the masses.

    The traditional media has a 30 second attention span. Learn to play that - BUT more importantly, learn to use our new technologies better. Avoid the media - build viral messaging. Utilize the web - we are the most online party.

  4. Good points, WG - I don't agree with everything in practice, but I agree with it all in principle.