Monday, June 11, 2012

Liberal pollapalooza

Are you enjoying the headlines of the past few days? An Ipsos-Reid online poll of 1,000 respondents taken from June 5-7 seems to be generating a fair bit of content for Postmedia. A casual reader would likely have the impression that multiple polls had been taken given the multiple platforms and varying headlines we're seeing.

Headline example 1: "Liberals a ‘party of the past’: poll." Appears on the Global news site.

Headline example 2: "Most Liberal, NDP supporters back party merger: poll." Appears on a Saskatchewan Postmedia newspaper outlet.

Merger, party of the past, nothing too suggestive about those headlines as the alert Postmedia crew want their news pages to be read as the Liberals gear up for a week in which the executive meets to set ground rules on leadership.

Good too that Ipsos was kind and conscientious enough to poll on the state of the Liberal party right about now. They also seem to have helpfully included such options as "pretty much written off the Liberals" as choices. That sounds eminently fair, don't you think? To their credit, however, they did mention this result, although it is not getting as much play as the ominous takeaways: "The other half believes the party will once again be a force to be reckoned with."

It's not to say that there aren't nuggets of truth in both headlines that people would feel. You could put me down as well as one of the 21% who think the party can be characterized as a party of the past. I don't take that as a death sentence, however, as many Conservative and NDP partisans do as they tout it across Twitter as a proud new headline to disseminate. It's an opportunity to vanquish such considerations.

Take the nuggets but don't be dismayed by the presentation.

Update (7:00 p.m.): Knew I forgot something...there was a third headline generated out of the above-referenced Ipsos poll: "Justin Trudeau more popular choice than Rae for Liberal leadership: Poll." Even more mileage to throw on the barbie with that one.