With all due credit to Matt Groening & Co.

03May10

As a wise man once said, “You can use statistics to prove anything — 14 per cent of all people know that.”

That sage man was Homer J. Simpson and as fun and absurd as it is to use quotes from the longest running animated series in television history to relate to Canadian political poll data, there is a great deal of validity in the words of our favourite corpulent t.v. father.

As noted by Jane Taber, of The Globe and Mail, in her blog today, the federal Conservative Party is sitting pretty in the latest Angus Reid online survey of Canadian voters.

Harper and Crew came in at 36 per cent in the poll — a tidy eight points ahead of the Liberals, who sit at 28 per cent.

As Taber points out, the Angus Reid pollsters noted that the survey was conducted in late-April — hot on the heels of the Guergis/Jaffer scandal and the Afghan detainee document fracas.

Clearly, Taber says, this is evidence that Canadians like the Harper government.

Right. Sure it is, Jane.

Frankly, news that the Tories are still performing strongly in Angus Reid polls is about as shocking as saying the sky is blue. We know they are, and we know it is. But the polls prove nothing. How about some context to go with those poll figures?

A Leger poll, released Friday, shows Michael Ignatieff with an approval rating of 16 per cent amongst 1,505 Canadians polled. Just for the record, that number trails Jack Layton of the third-place NDP by seven per cent.

Does this mean Canadians don’t like Ignatieff? Well, likely, yes. But do we get a blanket statement about this from Taber? Of course not. Clearly, Canadians like Harper enough to put up with the embarrassing and contemptuous actions of he and his government. Right?

Nonsense. Canadians want a viable alternative. And Michael Ignatieff is not such.  It’s that simple.

Eleven per cent of all people know that.

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