Monday, November 7, 2011

Polls, Sovereignty and Confusion

I didn't get the Montreal Gazette until late in the day, so I was surprised to see a fun poll to dissect.  And a classic case where the headlines and the story do not quite match.  The big story splashed across the front page was a new survey on sovereignty, breaking down support by age group from 18-24 year olds at 32% in favor to 55-64 at 38% and everyone else in between.   So the reactions:
  • The story focuses on how low support for sovereignty is among the youth, but I am struck by how consistent it is among the various groups with it being only slightly more favorable among the older folks.  So, the article emphasizes the youth result, but I find the consistency more striking.
  • The support among the youth fell off a cliff recently--it had been around 46% last spring, but the NDP's rise, the Bloc's collapse, the PQ's self-destruction all helped to suggest that sovereignty really might not be the solution (of course, it is not).  But then, given how recent this collapse, the poll results seem pretty fragile.
  • Uh oh.  The words "internet survey" were used.  Um, we have no clue about how this poll was conducted.  Given the sources of the poll are Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, I am actually not too concerned.  Probably the newspaper screwed it up.  Anyhow, do not take these results as being perfect or definitive but merely suggestive. 
So, color me confused.  Sovereignty is not that popular, despite a Harper government making a series of Quebec faux pas, like appointing an Auditor-General who cannot read/speak French.  Why?  Because there are heaps of other problems in Quebec that have little to do with Canada or only indirectly.

And that is what really confuses me.  The other big political story is that the Mayor Gerald Tremblay indicated how wonderfully out of touch he is, proclaiming "you ain't seen nothing yet" as he laid the markers for running again in 2013.  Oy.  He won the last election because the anti-corruption vote was split between two other parties, so he garnered a mighty plurality just north of 30%.  And since then?  The city seems to have been spying on its auditor-general and more corruption news has emerged. 

I ain't seen nothing yet?  How more corrupt can Montreal get?  How more WWI-battlefield-like can the roads get?  

Oy. Squared.

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