Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another poll in need of a dog

Global BC reports a poll has Mayor Gregor Robinson ahead of NPA candidate Suzanne Anton by a margin of 2 to 1. The broadcaster's analysis is that Robinson is in trouble because "Vancouver could be headed for a divided council."

Is that a logical conclusion or a product of Global TV's wishful thinking? We consider their report along with the full Justason Market Intelligence survey, provided by Frances Bula at The Globe and Mail.

Global says, for example,
"...a new public opinion poll shows the City 'could' be headed for a divided council."
Yes, and the City 'could' be headed for quiet times during bar closing hours on Granville Street. Note Global's quotation marks surrounding the word 'could'; the punctuation probably indicates irony understood by the segment's writer.
"... the poll says Mayor Gregor Robertson is still on the right track for re-election. But the news might not be as good for his vision Vancouver councillors."
It might not be as good for Vision but there is nothing here suggesting that progressive voices will be quieted in the coming election. The only centre-right party in Vancouver civic politics is in decline, according to Justason.  The party of business, the NPA, dropped from 32% to 29% during the last three months, a time of aggressive NPA advertising. Strangely, Justason pegs the Greens at 19% although they were unmeasured throughout the preceding year. Since Adriane Carr, unsuccessful candidate in numerous federal, provincial and municipal elections since 1983, is the only Green candidate for City Council, it is disingenuous to call Greens a threat to the ruling civic party.

To be honest, there is little reason for the Justason poll to be reported as meaningful research. The organization identifies itself as an affiliate of the Vancouver Board of Trade so that raises immediate questions of partiality toward the Board of Trade's favoured NPA. Justason, like the NPA site City Caucus, has released a stream of claims of how Robertson, despite good polling numbers, is in trouble, either because of homelessness, Stanley Cup riots, the Olympic Village, failure to include Greens in his coalition,  or an excessively damp spring.

We have higher expectations of Global TV because they owe duties as journalists. Instead, they are unprofessional, engaged in incompetent news reporting. Here, a poor quality story omits important detail such as that shown in this press April 28, 2011 press release:
"COPE and Vision Vancouver Reach Agreement

"The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) and Vision Vancouver have reached an agreement in principle to once again cooperate on election efforts and run a common slate of candidates...”
The Justason poll, even if it were reliable, shows no risk is faced by the Vision/Cope coalition. The prospect of a "divided council" is a fabrication. The Justason research suggests instead that Vancouver voters are generally quite pleased about the activities of civic government:

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  1. This is Ms Anton and the NPA searching,again,for something,anything,that they think will resonate with vancouver voters. But Norm you're quite right.Folks in the Big Smoke are quite content with the way things are. Another win for COPE/Vision.

  2. When about only 25% of taxpayers vote in municipal elections, polls tend to be a waste of time.

    Mayor moonbeam will win, but hopefully a few more non Vision(less) councilors are elected. Lopsided governments tend to be very bad governments.

  3. Actually the other 4 million British Columbians who don't live in Vancouver proper really aren't concerned with Vancouver city council. Whoever wins will screw it up anyway.

  4. Here is a bit of the OWS stuff that makes our BCFS look like chump change, but it's all part of the same picture.

    It came from the latest issue of Orion Magazine (great comment and exposition on items of social and environmental import):

    Thus foreign exchange currency gambling has skyrocketed to seventy-three times the actual goods and services of the planet, up from eleven times in 1980. Thus the “value” of oil futures has risen from 20 percent of actual physi- cal production in 1980 to 1,000 percent today. Thus interest rate derivatives have gone from nil in 1980 to $390 trillion in 2009. The trading schemes float disembodied above the real economy, related to it only because without the real economy there would be nothing to exploit.



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