Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trudeau at 40%? Guffhaw.

Some days, I curse whoever started the polling firm Angus Reid - a guy named Angus Reid, oddly enough.

Whether it was the mind-numbingly obvious bias their methodology somehow gave the then-third-party NDP, or the sometimes inane questions they put out there for consideration, AR just irks me like no other polling company other than Campaign Research can. But that's just my opinion.

This, however, is not.
There is nothing wrong with the usuals of AR's polling, which shows topline numbers of 35-34-19 in favour of the NDP. But that bit above asking people how they would vote based on who could possibly be Liberal leader just disturbs me, for one major reason: there is no way Justin Trudeau is getting 40% support from Canadians.

There are minor reasons, such as the fact that AR spent the other previous tables telling us that the other candidates listed, except for maybe Garneau, are all little-known losers.... yet in each situation they poll above the topline numbers, and in each situation the New Democrats have dropped  at least four percentage points. To me, it doesn't make a lot of sense that Kennedy, McGuinty, LeBlanc, and Goodale can all apparently boost the Liberal's numbers when in each case over two-thirds of Canadians aren't sure if they're a good or bad choice. That isn't very consistent. And I'm not willing to suggest that Rae, who has a fairly respectable approval-disapproval rating (yes it is negative, but it isn't that bad for a Liberal leader with his baggage), falls behind those guys, who apparently have such an effect on the NDP and Bloc that the Conservatives end up back in first.

But back to Trudeau. I just covered Forum's poll on this before, and it showed a completely different electorate, so we at least have conflicting polls here which should tell you something. At the same time, we should use common sense, which is: Trudeau's name, which is really the only thing that buoys him above the other candidates, is a very polarizing one. A lot of people, especially the older crowd, either love him or hate him. He is the Hillary of Canadian politics, in a sense - but what has he actually done to distinguish himself from someone like Goodale, a former Finance Minister, or even from Kennedy, a former provincial minister with some good policy background? Nothing. He's not really done anything to catch the spotlight yet, except his name.

So for this poll to suggest that Trudeau jumps the party from zero to hero is incredulous to me, simply from a common-sense standpoint. Trudeau has a polarizing name, but he has no substantial background that would account for a 21-point jump. I like Justin a lot, but he's not done anything significant as of yet (and making Ezra Levant nearly cry on TV doesn't count). That is just a fact. And I refuse to believe it his simply his name that gets us this result - and if it is, then I will weep for our country.

So I call shenanigans on this bit from Angus Reid. While a regional breakdown could help explain why we see this jump, I doubt there is any reasoning behind it. It is just bad polling - somewhere, something broke down in the question or the methodology. Forum's poll, even the faux-pollster Robbins SCE's poll, seems more reasonable.

And don't tell me "Quebec did it," because that is a hilariously quick transition for Quebeckers who seem in love with Mulcair. Plausible, I suppose, but again, nothing to support it.


  1. I understand your skepticism. However, on the other hand, if we are really honest about the political climate of toady I don't think the fact that Trudeau has not "distinguished" himself is really that relavant. Most people have poor analysis skills, particularly where politics are concerned. Most people don't know history (even when that history exists in living memory), and most people understand little about relations of power in their own lives let alone in political systems. In light of this, name and style/image can mean a lot more than anything else. Furthermore, the fact that Mr. Trudeau has done so little is what actually scares the hell out of the Conservatives. Because their entire political strategy has always been pure negativity under Harper the conservatives need someone to demonize and marginalize, rather than face the electorate with their own policies. This gives Trudeau a remarkable advantage - I suspect he will be very hard for the Cons to fight against.

    Whether the polls are correct or not, I am never sure. However, if anyone has a chance of reinvigorating the Liberal Party I suspect it is Trudeau.

    1. You make a good point, though it remains to be seen. After all, we've yet to give them the chance to! I suspect they're cooking up those attack ads right now.

      Is Trudeau, "the One," so to speak? I'm not sure I agree with your suspicions, because we have no idea where he'd lead the party. I like Trudeau a lot, and I could see him as leader, but I have no idea as of yet whether that is a good idea or a bad idea. I just think it is an interesting idea.

  2. Good points, yes. He's nowhere near ready for leadership, though. One day, perhaps...but not yet.