Last week I was resigned to a Tory majority. Now the Liberals, power hungry zombies that they are, have risen from the dead. What gives?
Someone put it to me this way the other day: what would we be saying about this campaign right now if there were no poll numbers, if we hadn’t seen a single numerical survey of the parties’ respective standings this month? Who would we say is winning? Why? And how would we know?
Previous to this week, were the Liberals running that bad a campaign? Were the Conservatives doing that well? Two weeks ago we were talking about a Conservative majority government? Now we’re looking at the possibility of a Liberal minority? What changed?
If the answer to the last question is the economy, why? Didn’t the polls tell us that Harper was seen as the man best suited to handle that issue? Wasn’t he considered the better leader? And didn’t he “win” the English debate?
Have the Liberals run that much better a campaign over the last week? (Nope.) Are the Conservatives having that many problems? (Not really.) So is this really because the Prime Minister hasn’t appeared sufficiently emotionally distraught at the plight of the stock market? (Maybe, but that seems rather ridiculous.)
Above all else, this should be taken as an argument for proportional representation. Only in our nineteenth-century FPTP system can a change of a few percent be interpreted as a fundamental shift in the momentum of the election.
The confusion might be helped if there were fewer rolling polls and more proper polls. I’d like to see where the support is flowing; it doesn’t hurt the Tories to lose voters in Toronto.
Here is the latest poll I could get my hands on without too much trouble. It is, unfortunately, rolling, but they provide lots of breakdown graphs for your edification.
But who am I to complain? If this keeps up, real Canadians might get their country back.
(P.S. Do you like what I did there at the end? It’s a specious argument that there’s such a thing as a “real” Canadian, but statistically speaking the left outnumbers the right.)