Monday, July 12, 2010

Canada: Plus ça change

Michael IgnatieffImage via Wikipedia

I know I've got two unfinished articles hanging about but... sigh. Well, that's what it's like sometimes.

Anyway, a quick one. I was looking at Angus Reid's current poll, and while I don't necessarily cleave to the accuracy of Angus Reid above and beyond any of the others (and I accede I'm too dependent on EKOS), I was struck by one thing in particular this time out.

Stasis? Angus Reid doesn't talk about it, but it's almost shocking just how static our political scene is. Current opinion poll results are as follows
  • Conservatives: 36%
  • Liberals: 27%
  • NDP: 20%
  • BQ: 10%
  • Greens: 7%
  • others: 1%
That contrasts significantly with the actual results of the most recent general election, held in 2008, which returned the following voting percentages:
  • Conservatives: 37.6%
  • Liberals: 26.2%
  • NDP: 18.2%
  • BQ: 10.0%
  • Greens: 6.8%
  • others: 1.2%
To call this astounding is to say too little. Our electoral field is so incredibly static that the biggest change is a 1.8% increase to the NDP. The Liberals are up 0.8%, the Greens up 0.2%, the BQ polling the same to the nearest tenth of a percentage point, the 'other' vote down 0.2%, and the Conservatives down 1.6%. Almost two years of high drama in Ottawa, and no party hasbeen able to change their fortunes by even as much as 2%. At the risk of potificating, it seems all five parties ought to be disturbed by the extent to which voters appear to have drawn lines in the sand: it certainly does nothing for Canada's international position, or for any of the parties, if such a political landscape solidifies itself - at least not in our current culture of single-party minority rule.
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