Thursday, September 4, 2008

Canadians almost as dumb as Americans: poll

Many years ago, a friend of mine was running for the presidency of our university's students' association. He ended his campaign speech with a statement to the effect that he was "counting on the intelligence of the electorate". He soon got a slap in the face from reality, finishing at or near the bottom of a fair-sized field of candidates. It seems that at the national level, betting on stupidity is a good bet as well:

Canadians would vote for the Conservatives in a federal election and believe Stephen Harper and Jack Layton would make better prime ministers than Stéphane Dion, according to a new poll sponsored by CBC News.

The survey, conducted by Environics between Friday and Tuesday, found that 38 per cent of Canadians would vote for the Conservative party if an election were held immediately.

By comparison, 28 per cent would vote for the Liberal party, 19 for the NDP, eight for the Bloc Québécois and seven for the Green party.

Even when undecided voters were asked to reveal whom they were inclined to vote for, the Conservatives still kept the lead: Conservatives (33 per cent), Liberals (24), NDP (16), Bloc (7), Green (6).

From the CBC. And this is dangerously close to majority territory for the Tories. Particularly puzzling is this:
The NDP, along with the Greens, were also considered strong when it came to the environment — Liberals got 21 per cent of the vote, with the NDP, Greens and Conservatives tied with 20 per cent.
Go figure -- people see the Cons as equal to the NDP and Greens on the environment. What the hell are they thinking? Oh yeah, I forgot -- they're thinking about what's happening on Canadian Idol.

On the other hand, the campaign hasn't actually started yet, and it's possible that these numbers will start to shift once things get going and people are forced to notice what's going on, even if on a superficial level. Let's hope so, anyway.

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