(Politics again, at least to start things off. You have been warned)
I made a mistake and spent the last 10 minutes of my evening on Wednesday watching the political analysts on CBC discussing the upcoming election. They are all certain that the Conservatives are going to walk into a majority on May 2, and that sent me into a teeth-grinding fit of frustration as I was trying to get to sleep.
But finally, after tossing back and forth for almost an hour, I realized something about the nature of polling and the alchemy of elections. No matter what a particular poll might say, the election isn’t final until the votes have been counted. What a tiny sample group may have said to a phone pollster is a poor indicator of the actual mood of the country’s millions of voters.
But creating this illusion of certainty and inevitability works in the Conservative’s favour. It is the laziest way to court the undecided voter. I suspect that a lot of these voters are the people who want to go with the flow and they will vote the way that the country expects them to vote. The party puts forth the assumption ‘we are going to win a majority’ and the media starts to repeat it, strengthening the claim. A few selectively chosen poll results are tossed into the mix, and voila! The people of the fence vote blue, and democracy gets a kick in the throat. And, by giving in to the despair myself, I was adding strength to this version of the political reality.
So what does that mean for anyone who is passionate about getting rid of Harper? It means we have to stop accepting the failure narrative. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. We have to make our voices heard as we spread the message to the undecided in the middle: There is hope. Everything is not yet lost. WE CAN WIN.
I mean, c’mon, we’re up against a pudgy white bread of a man who’s afraid of reporters and one-on-one debates. He’s hoping that most of us stay quiet and stop asking the questions that make him look bad. Because when we ask questions, the decent people in his party start to ask too, and the answers might just make those sensible Conservatives stay home.