Survey Says…?

A recent bullshit survey by Nanos Research asked a thousand or so random people online to describe the “personality” of the five federal parties using a single word.

Just for fun, let’s pretend this ridiculous poll is meaningful in some way and compare the primary responses given, shall we?

Conservatives were described most frequently as “untrustworthy”; Liberals were most often considered “bad/incompetent”; and the NDP were viewed as… wait for it, “socialist.” Oh, and for the record, the Greens were described as being “green” (shock!) and the Bloc as “useless.”

At the second tier, the Conservatives were described as “conservative” (duh); the Liberals as “untrustworthy”; and the NDP as “caring.” Following that, Conservatives were “bad/incompetent”; Liberals “Good”; and the NDP “bad/incompetent.” And on it goes with increasingly smaller percentages of idiotic respondents ascribing all manner of contradictory descriptions to the various parties. By the way, “bad/incompetent” was the artful term applied by Nanos to those responding with undefined expletives such as (one imagines) “fucktards,” “twats” etc.

So, what are we to make of this “survey”? Personally, I’d suggest absolutely nothing at all other than the utterly unsurprising fact that a predominant number of people think all of the parties are complete rubbish for the most part. Curiously however, Liberal activist, lawyer and ursine fetishist James Morton derives this brilliant conclusion from the poll: “We have to figure out how to be seen as trustworthy and competent again. I say review the shift to ‘New Labour’ in the UK — Tony Blair made Labour seem to be something it hadn’t been before.”

Well, perhaps… although I’m not certain what specific lessons Blair’s “third way” re-boot of the Labour Party has to offer the Liberals at this juncture.

Should the Greens be in the Leaders’ “Debate”?

Not that the measly two debates that the consortium of broadcasters reluctantly deign to offer up to the citizenry of Canada in a federal election are ever particularly edifying, but once again the question arises as to whether the Green Party leader should be allowed to participate…

Given the collusion between the major parties and the broadcasters to exclude her, it seems highly unlikely that Elizabeth May will be present, but she’s hoping that public support will change the minds of the organizers. Good luck with that.

Some have suggested that an independent, non-partisan “debate commission” needs to replace the current arrangement. Maybe that would be an improvement… or not, I don’t really know.

Looking at the American experience where there is no end of so-called debates, all the way from the primaries right through to the final phase of the election where the two (or sometimes three) presidential candidates face off, doesn’t offer much encouragement. Unfortunately, they’re so painfully staged by everyone involved that the resulting “debate” produces neither heat nor light. Basically, these affairs are just an exchange of talking points, or as some wag once put it, duelling press conferences.

Bottom line, I don’t think it’s a huge loss for Elizabeth May and the Greens to be excluded from the “debates” even though it hardly seems fair that someone representing a significant percentage of voters (albeit with no elected members) shouldn’t have a voice at the table. Perhaps the biggest downside for May and the Greens is that it serve to delegitimize them in eyes of some people.

So, what do you think?

Carbon Tax vs. Cap-and-Trade

Too bad that Dion can’t explain his “Green Shift” plan as clearly as Elizabeth May seems able to when discussing the Greens’ own proposed carbon tax. If you missed this face-off between her and Jack Layton over their respective plans on CTV’s Question Period earlier this summer, here it is again.

Contrary to Jack’s glowing assessment of the European experience with cap-and-trade, the reality is quite different as this article from last year that appeared in the Washington Post details. Another report from Business Week indicates that despite creating a massive new level of bureaucracy, the EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has little to show for itself in terms of environmental benefits. In fact, Europe’s carbon dioxide output actually rose 1.1 percent last year.

First Green Party TV Ad

Good catchphrase: “Restore, repair, and regenerate…”

This is from Claude William Genest, the Green candidate running in the riding of Westmount-Ville Marie, who talks briefly (but forcefully) about PCBs being dumped into the St. Lawrence River. More info on his website.