Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Gore-ing Martin?

Some out there have noted one of the EKOS poll's most interesting findings, as it shows that "Canadians believe social issues [52%], not 'ethics and accountability,' [17%] are by far the most important things going into the next election. Least important are 'fiscal issues' [12%]." (Here's the EKOS backgrounder, in PDF format.)

I can't decide how revealing that finding is. With the dismal showing for the Liberals overall, you have to think that the accountability issue is playing a big part. Do Canadians really buy the Conservative social agenda? Depends what you mean by 'social issues,' which is about as vague as it gets. The whole thing reminds me of the 2000 US election, when the economy was on pretty sound footing (or so it seemed at the time), and the financially sated public defied the expectation that "it's the economy, stupid" by voting the Clinton regime out of the White House. In a sense, it was a sort of moral purge, as nobody believed a change of presidential administrations would presage a substantial change of economic fortunes.

Other interesting findings to chew on: 75% in Alberta (the most of any province by far) and 62% overall say an election should wait until the Gomery commission has issued its final report; 60% believe Paul Martin "has been an essential part of the Liberal government since 1993 and now as Leader of the Liberal Party should be held accountable for the sponsorship mess".


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