In the midst of running what seems to be an endless sequence of statistics demonstrating persistent gender differences in political engagement in Europe (read: what dissertation research will do to you), I must admit to deliberately avoiding local Canadian stats on women’s involvement in the current federal election.
Today, I went to a talk given by Dr. Stuart Soroka entitled, "I know what’s going to happen five days from now." Soroka, one of the founding members of the Media Observatory at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and his research team investigate how news media affects poll results. He argues that there’s about a four to six day lag between when a story breaks in the news and when it shows up in public opinion polls. Based on data from the current election campaign, Soroka’s willing to bet that both the Liberals’ and Conservatives’ polling numbers go up over the weekend.
Has anyone else noticed that the Liberals released their full platform yesterday, and hardly anyone has said a word about it? It’s as though the collective response has been *crickets chirping*.
I did see on CBC Newsworld this morning that the English and French political bureau chiefs indicated that Dion’s performance "wasn’t bad" … specifically, it wasn’t as bad as John Turner’s in 1988.
I don’t remember the 1988 Liberal platform announcement, but based on what was relayed about it, particularly the child care portion, the fact that the media is comparing Dion’s announcement yesterday to Turner in 1988 is not good.
What I appreciate most about the West Wing in general and Jed Bartlett’s character in particular is the no-nonsense way in which things are called for what they are. I think this assessment of recent events in the US election cycle is spot on.
After reading this, I thought (not for the first time) that what I really wanted to see south of the border was Barlett for America.
I’ll make no bones about this one: this proposed policy change isn’t about making anyone more safe. It is very unclear to me how naming a child who’s done something terrible increases public safety or provides deterrence. It seems more likely to me that this feeds society’s darker penchants for voyeurism and vengence.