Friday, October 19, 2007

Will we see a change in the media narrative soon?

As we all know the media has been pretty relentless with the current narrative that the Liberals are in trouble and that Mr. Dion is a weak leader. Yet despite this we continue to see polls that show the Conservatives are mired in the low to mid-30 range with the Liberals either tied with them or rarely more than a half-a-dozen points behind. The latest poll and some pretty good analysis of it can be found here.

So when are the media going to begin asking why the Conservatives cannot sustain a rise in support, particularly when they are up against a political opponent that is apparently a dead party walking?

I would argue that the MSM will eventually have to change the narrative in order to maintain its own credibility. You can only say that a party consistently maintaining a support level below what they acheived in the last election, and only a few points ahead of an apparently moribund opposition, as being in a good political position, for so long, before someone begins to ask them some embarrassing questions.


There have been a few voices out there who have begun to wonder about this situation but they are still few and far between. Are they voices in the wilderness or are they the vanguard to change?

If they are the vanguard, the Conservatives are in deep trouble. The narrative that Paul Martin could not open up a substantial lead on Mr. Harper in 2005 was one contributing factor to the Liberal loss in 2006. Stay tuned.

On a somewhat related note it was revealed that the Conservatives were building a brand new "Shoe Box Media Centre" with the intention of further controlling the government's message, even to the point of having the media use footage shot by operatives of the PMO.

What was interesting is as a story broke that indicated that the government wanted to make the media just a propaganda arm of the government that media still lavished praise on that very same government when it used Parliamentary protocol to arrange to have its election platform read by the Governor General.

When is the media in the country going to grow a pair?

Update: I guess when the media narrative does not fit the facts you can always change the facts. A good example of that is here. You have to wonder about a poll that is so out of whack with every other one do you not? Then you just have to see that the poll was commissioned by the very same news chain that is one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Conservatives and the news chain that almost single handedly created the Canadian Alliance to understand.

4 Comments:

Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

Then there's the Ipsos poll...

October 19, 2007 9:17 PM  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

The Ipsos poll is the only one out of the 4 this past week that show numbers like that Joanne. It always has skewed better for the Conservatives when polls are taken. So, when you have 3 other polls where the difference is about the same - 3 -5 points - it's a pretty good bet the Ipsos poll is the outlier.

Another point: If Harper believed that poll to be the real deal above the others, or what his internal polling said, he'd have made his Throne Speech a lot uglier and harder to swallow then he did.

October 19, 2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Scott:

Exactly.

News organizations commission polls to advance a narrative. Political parties commission polls to assist with decision making.

As a result, the polls that are taken by political parties are very much like the SES tracking polls. A small sample taken on a nightly basis with only two or three very basic questions.

This methodology has the twin advantage of low cost and estimates not cluttered up with extraneous information to muddle up decision making.

My guess is the Conservatives began their polling September 1 and they have consistently shown them to be well below majority level and too close to the Liberals for comfort.

Speculation I know, but everything we know about Stephen Harper says that he becomes more belligerent and adversarial when he believes he is dealing from a position of strength.

His throne speech was surprisingly neither.

October 19, 2007 9:52 PM  
Blogger knb said...

ottlib: When is the media in the country going to grow a pair?

I can't relate to that particularly and with respect...that may be part of the problem.

On both sides, it seems to be a battle of ball's. Silly no?

That said, overall I agree with your comment.

October 19, 2007 11:12 PM  

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