Those ‘bleepin’ polls

The T&T is running a poll today about the top election issues:

Health care has not played a central theme in any of the party leaders’ electoral strategies but a copyrighted Times & Transcript-Omnifacts Bristol Research poll shows that 42 per cent of New Brunswickers feel it is the most pressing issue in campaign 2006. Education is a distant second with 27 per cent, followed by the economy and gas prices at 22 per cent, seniors issues at 19 per cent and the cost of electricity at 10 per cent.

In the Metro Moncton area health care is by the far the most pressing subject. According to the survey, 92 per cent of respondents indicated it was a very important issue, well above the 83 per cent for education, 79 per cent for the economy and 72 per cent for the price of gas.

Now, if you read this blog with any regularity, I hate polls like this.

Firstly, “copyrighted Times & Transcript-Omnifacts Bristol Research” poll means, literally, Al-Hogan-Bernard-Lord’s copyrighted poll. Bristol has received more gravy under Lord than any other company.

Secondly, they lead the friggin’ voters. Either a) they have a set list of things to rank or b) they don’t set a proper context. People are conditioned – and have been for years – to automatically respond to these polls with the automatic ‘health care’, ‘education’, ‘seniors’, and increasingly ‘electricity’.

So, here’s my poll questions for the people of New Brunswick. This poll will never be done because it serves no one’s political agenda but you can take it:

1. Your government is running the province into the ground. The population is in decline for the first time since the Great Depression. Our youth are leaving at a record pace. Many of our bedrock industries are in decline. We invest the least amount of money in Canada in the types of investments that would change this. Do you want your government to spend almost every new dime of revenue on health care or would you like a few dollars spent to try and fix our province before it’s too late?

2. Since 1999, the government has become increasingly dependant on Equalization and other Federal transfer programs. What this means is that when we have another recession, New Brunswick may not be able to recover. Do you want your government to spend a few dollars trying to generate more ‘own-source’ revenue or do you want us (as we have for the past seven years) to continue begging Ottawa for more welfare?

3. If you were put in charge of a large organization with a complex mandate and tens of thousands of employees and a six billion dollar budget would you:

a) hire your buddies and old time political cronies to run things?
b) find the best talent you could find anywhere in the world to run things?

4. Which vision do you think we should follow:

a) Turn New Brunswick into an old folks home fully funded by taxpayers in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia? (the current Tory approach)

b) A dynamic an vibrant society where folks can come back to retire and to start a career in one of the many growth sectors? (a faint and slipping vision)

5. What is your definition of leadership?

a) confusing people with misleading spin using words like ‘record’, ‘prosperity for all’, etc.

b) being honest with voters about the state of their province. About the record levels of obesity and sickness. About the 14 straight years of net out-migration. About the decline in bedrock industries.