Thursday, November 04, 2010

On issue management

It's certainly problematic that the Cons are doing as well as they are when it comes to perceived issue management. But while that may be relatively easily explained as the normal advantage held by a governing party, the positioning of the opposition parties looks to make for a noteworthy story as well:
Forty per cent of Canadians said the Tories are the best choice to manage the economy, compared to 28% for the Liberals; and 40% also said the Tories can best manage the country’s finances, compared to 29% who chose the Liberals.

The NDP was at 18% on both those questions. The Bloc had eight per cent support and the Green party was chosen by six per cent on the question of managing the economy, while the Bloc was at seven per cent and Greens at six per cent on the question of managing the country’s finances.

The Conservatives were also favoured ahead of all the other parties to find the right balance between taxation and providing government services, the poll found. The Conservatives led the pack with 35%, followed by the Liberals at 28%, the NDP at 23% and the Bloc Quebecois and Green party each at seven per cent.
The Conservatives were the first choice of 31% of Canadians who were asked which party would best ensure the sustainability of the health-care system. Twenty-eight per cent said the NDP, while 25% said the Liberal party. The Bloc garnered nine per cent support while the Greens had the backing of seven per cent of those questioned.
The NDP was ahead of all parties, but just barely, on the question of which one is best able to provide the social and government services that are important to Canadians and their families. Thirty-one per cent chose Jack Layton’s party, compared to 30 % for the Conservatives and 24% for the Liberals. Eight per cent of those surveyed selected the Bloc while seven per cent sided with the Green party.
To start off with, it's worth noting that even the NDP's perceived issue weaknesses don't appear to be serving as drags on the party's popularity. For all the Con and Lib efforts to tell fabricated horror stories about how the NDP would manage the economy and the budget, the NDP's score on those issues lands in the middle of the party's normal polling range. And in what can only serve as a reminder that Canadians are by and large willing to pay for the services they expect from the public sector, it does even better in finding the balance between taxes and spending.

And the picture is even more striking on the party's stronger issues. The NDP ranks in the top position when it comes to providing government services and second when it comes to health care, in both cases beating out the Libs - all despite having never run those operations on a national scale, and being perpetually dismissed by its competitors and much of the media as a contender for government.

Of course, the fact that both the NDP's issue perceptions and its leader are apparently polling well above the party does raise questions about what can be done to close the gap. But I don't think there's much doubt that the party would rather go into a campaign looking to build on those strengths as opposed to trying to prop up a party number that isn't backed by issue or leadership support - and the NDP has set itself up to tap into plenty of public trust when the next campaign gets underway.

1 comment:

  1. Issues management functionality helps you manage issues that are important to your organization. Issues that are false positives or that have been resolved can be excluded from future views of a particular report.