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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Damned lies and statistics

Last night on CTV News' 11:00 o'clock newscast, there was a story about the effect of Stephen Harper's pro-Israel stance on the polling numbers for the CPC. Host Ravi Baichwal solemnly intoned that Harper's position had resulted in a "dramatic decrease" in support for the Conservative Party, according to a recent Ipsos-Reid poll. I waited for the numbers to see how "dramatic" the drop was, but to no avail, and went to bed thinking the Tories were in serious trouble.

So, here's what CTV considers to be a dramatic drop: national support for the CPC has dropped to 39% from 43% in May. Dramatic? Hardly. Especially if you consider the polling results that CTV didn't report - Harper's personal approval rating stands at 60 (that's sixty) percent, according to the same poll. Furthermore, the CPC is still way ahead of the Liberals, at 27%, and the NDP at 17%. And still furthermore, the 39% support for the CPC is three percent higher than the 36% of the popular vote they got in the last election.

In spite of the moaning and wailing about honest brokers, Harper's position doesn't seem to have hurt him at all, and the CPC only modestly. Dramatic, indeed.

1 comment:

shlemazl said...

That is particularly interesting considering that Canadian supporters of Israeli actions outnumber opponents by almost 2:1: