AND THEN THE POLLS CAME
AND THEN THE POLLS CAME
If it wasn't bad enough that citizens are being bombarded with how many members that various Mayoral hopefuls have signed up, now we are about to be presented with skewed polls commissioned by various Mayoral hopefuls. As Charlie Smith, esteemed editor of the Straight accurately presents, these polls are purely propaganda and depending who has commissioned the poll, the results favor that particular candidate. Mr. Smith went on to charge that poor people cannot often afford telephones, therefore they are not included in these polls, hence, only a certain segment of the population are responding to the polls and this provides a completely distorted analysis of what the electorate is really thinking.
The latest poll released today by Mayor Sam Sullivan clumsily attempts to portray, Mayor Sullivan as being a stronger leader than his competitor for the NPA nomination, Councillor Peter Ladner. Mr. Sullivan, obviously is worried that he may quite possibly lose the NPA nomination so he has put out this poll just before NPA members vote on June 8, 2008.
The poll as spinned by the Sullivan spin-masters is full of inaccuracies, however, the objective here is not to present the truth, the game is to try and fool NPA members into believing that the NPA has the best chance of beating Vision and COPE, that is, only if the NPA chooses Mayor Sullivan to lead the NPA team.
The poll contacted 300 individuals and this is a very small sample size as far as polls go. Because a sampling size this small has a higher degree of error. In fact, Mayor Sullivan claims the poll shows him ahead of Councillor Ladner in support but already Simon Fraser University political scientist, Professor Kennedy Stewart today on Frances Bula's blog has commented on the poll and relayed that the poll shows Mr. Ladner in a dead heat with Mr. Sullivan among those responding to the poll. Mr. Stewart also articulates that the poll showed that 70% of respondents claimed to have voted in the last municipal election, yet voter turnout was only 30%.
In any event, as I have always projected COPE's obituary is far from being written, contrary to what Alex Tsakumis, 24 Hours commentator continually purports and if you believe in polls, the Sullivan poll shows COPE still being a significant factor in Vancouver municipal politics. Much of that support I believe is a direct result of Vancouver citizens having an immense respect for COPE leader, former Councillor Tim Louis.
So if COPE is foolish enough not to run a Mayoral candidate this time around, they will significantly squander their opportunities as they did in the 2005 election when they played second fiddle to Vision and bowed to outside influences, not to run a Mayoral candidate. The result--they wound up with one Councillor.
Back to the Sullivan poll. As Charlie Smith said, polls are pure propaganda and I tend to concur.
To NPA members though who tend to take some stock in polls than you must consider that the Sullivan initiated poll, shows under his leadership, the NPA lagging far behind Vision and COPE who have a combined 31% level of support compared to the Sullivan-led NPA at 17%.
Watch for more propaganda, I mean polls to come.
Jamie Lee Hamilton