29 November 2006

Poll: Ignatieff name recognition strongest in Quebec

Carleton University published a poll of 500 Quebeckers (or Quebecois - they weren't specific) that basically resembles game of family feud and provides similar measures of usefulness and entertainment.

First, those polled said that "winnability" was the most important thing. They want a winner to win. Wow.

Second, when asked who was best to lead the Liberals and who was most likely to beat Harper, the answers were statistically identical. They shouldn't be, and there's a reason they are. That reason is name recognition - they believe what the newspapers and the liberal insiders have been telling them since February, that the guy who has been in Maclean's magazine umpteen times this year, who has had 15,000 word laudatory essays printed in otherwise reputable "news"papers is the right guy for the job.

Frankly, this is like taking a poll of 500 Quebeckers to find out who will win the Superbowl. What do you want to bet the runaway winner would be "the Cowboys," America's team? Because everyone knows the Cowboys. Everyone knows they're good. But the real question is whether that name recognition makes any difference on the field (it doesn't), and whether or not the other teams are not just good but better (several are).

Same goes here. I have no doubt if they had asked "which candidate is the most divisive?" or "which candidate makes the most gaffes?" or "which candidate more likely eats eggs for breakfast?" the answers would have been the same. It's name recognition, nothing more.

Will that make any difference in the spring, assuming we have an election then? Of course not. Whichever candidate is picked will have the party behind them. They will be front and centre, in the house or getting a seat, being the voice of the party and the conscience of Canada. We will build on their strengths where they are strong, and work to overcome their difficulties where they are weak.

So all this poll tells us is what we already know, that Iggy has been the 'presumed frontrunner' , that, Bob has spent enough money to put himself in second, and that Dion is famous (both loved and hated) in his home province. When we elect Gerard as the leader of the party, the people of Quebec will get to know him, they will admire his accomplishments, his integrity, his conviction, and they will respect his plan for making Canada a great place. They will want to be part of that Canada, and we will win more seats in Quebec under Kennedy than we did last winter.

Too bad that just doesn't fit in a polling question, 19 times out of 20.

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