Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blowing in the Polls

The use of CRA polling to dismiss the need to defend the budget did not go unnoticed by CTV.

Not exactly a bastion of radical journalism, CTV noted: Kennedy dismissed concerns that the Tory government isn't doing enough to diversify the province's economy beyond oil, citing the government's popularity as proof that the public supports its fiscal vision. "With all due respect to our critics, I don't think we have to convince the public that what we're doing is right," he said. Here's the link:

What's also interesting about CTV's story is that it ends on the issue of unemployment: Unemployment is also expected to rise by one percentage point to 14.2 per cent. By leaving it to the end of the story, CTV gave it heavier emphasis than most other news agencies. In the aftermath of the budget fallout, questions such as unemployment have been largely lost in the public discussion. Ironically, the press coverage has focused less on employment and economic diversification (a word hardly heard these days) than the budget itself.

This is due in no small measure to Dangovt's idées fixe: "have" status and autonomy. The mantra in provincial politics used to be jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Now it's have, shaft, autonomy, destiny. In the midst of all the boldness and brilliance, it's useful to keep in mind the actual rate of unemployment relative to the rest of Canada:

If the ABC jihad and the celebration of "have" status did not cure the economy of high unemployment, why are they so uniquely important? What ills did they magically cure?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the polls. The answer is blowing in the polls.

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