Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

And they’re off — Way off

Posted by JJ in Federal Elections, Doubletake/Doubletalk (Tuesday November 29, 2005 at 12:57 am)

They’re off to the hustings, with a vote of non-confidence. But you must be wondering: what kind of difference will it make?

Probably none, if this report is to be believed. Canadians just aren’t convinced that this election will shake things up.

But what’s really interesting is this section:

Almost two-thirds of those asked said when it comes to honesty and integrity, all parties are pretty much the same. Yet 94 per cent said honesty and integrity in government are either somewhat or very important in determining how they plan to vote.

Donna Dasko, senior vice-president of Environics Research, says what strikes her about the poll is that no one party rises above the fray when it comes to honesty.

Funny that. What strikes me is how at least 60% of Canadians believe that their options cannot be distinguished on a basis which they claim is a major part of their choice.

Could this mean:

  • Canadians can’t focus long enough to know what they’re saying to pollsters?
  • Canadians are lying when they say that they see no difference in the parties’ honesty and integrity?
  • Canadians are lying when they say that honesty and integrity are important to their decisions?
  • Canadians will respond to polls so as to appear thoughtful and critical (holding honesty and integrity important and believing that political parties are all the same) without thinking critically about what their answers mean?

If so, would this explain why Canadians end up with politicians who:

  • Don’t answer questions properly?
  • Misrepresent options and policies?
  • Lie about their choices?
  • Worry more about looking thoughtful than thinking?

This is simple: we get what we demand, and it’s not worth a politician’s time rise to low expectations.

It’s election time, everyone. It’s time to demand more.

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