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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Announce it forward #nlpoli

November is polling month in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Corporate Research Associates goes to the field for its quarterly omnibus and marketing poll.

Historically, the Conservatives have skewed their public communications to the four times a year when CRA was collecting data for public opinion polls that the company will release publicly.

The goal was simple:  the Conservatives wanted to manipulate the poll results.  By and large, it worked.  Then the Conservatives plummeted in the polls.  In order to get out of their hole, the Conservatives have been on a relentless campaign to do what they have always done, but more intensely.

So it’s a little odd that people wondered what was going on when the Conservatives announced a hike in minimum wage last Friday.  Look at the calendar.

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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: One poll to rule them all… #nlpoli

The way things go in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can sometimes think that some things only go on here. 

Not so. 

Take a short trip, if you can spare a second,  to Manitoba and the riding of Brandon-Souris.  The editor of the Brandon Sun published an e-mail last week that went from a federal Conservative political staffer out to thousands of people on a series of distribution lists.

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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Tories below 30 #nlpoli

By now you’d be living in a cave if you hadn’t heard any news of the latest Corporate Research Associates poll.

The NDP are slightly ahead of the Tories and both are about 10 percentage points ahead of the Liberals.  More people want Lorraine Michael as Premier than want Kathy Dunderdale.  And a majority are unsatisfied with the government.

Now this is an historic set of poll results as Don Martin tweeted to tease people about the release on Monday morning.  The release doesn’t make any reference to that, preferring instead just reporting the results blandly.  By contrast, Mills hyped the living crap out of poll results a few years ago that hit historic highs. 

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Tories below 30 #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Influence and Manipulation #nlpoli

Public opinion changes.

Individuals don’t hold exactly the same attitudes about things throughout their entire lives.

That’s true of how the typical man or woman feels about clothing styles, cars, movies, books, politics, or just about anything else.

Not surprisingly in a society like ours, there are people who want to try and change opinions and attitudes.  They want to persuade people to buy a product, support a political decision or stop doing something like smoking.

Also not surprisingly, we have some basic ideas about how people should do that.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Influence and Manipulation #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A Record of Manipulation #nlpoli

With a tip of the hat to Gerry Rogers and Andrew Parsons, here are some posts from the SRBP archive that all bear on the current political mess in which the provincial Conservatives find themselves.

“Playing the Numbers”  (August 2006) One element of the program involves aggressively pushing out their own message, especially when their pollster is in the field.   The first of the original three-part series that described the Conservative media strategy.  There’s a lot more to it than just online polls. Follow the links for the other two.

Freedom from Information  (Various)  Bill

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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Who knows the mind of a squid? #nlpoli

[Almost Immediate Update at the bottom]

Why do they do it?

People keep asking why the provincial Conservatives spend so much time and tons of public money goosing the VOCM question of the day in the way that supports whatever the Tories are supporting at the moment.

It is a mystery, gentle readers.

It is inscrutable.

Like the ways of the Lord, it passeth all understanding by those of us who have not touched the hem of Hisself’s garment or who don’t hang around churches chowing down on breakfast, lunch or dinner, like current poll goosing ring-master Paul Lane apparently does.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Who knows the mind of a squid? #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Talking Point Politics #nlpoli

The Telegram’s Saturday front page story on Tory efforts to manipulate online polls and comments garnered two equal and opposite reactions over the weekend in that political echo chamber called Twitter.  [The story isn’t free.  it’s in the online subscriber edition]

Some people got into a lather over it.

Some other people tried to blow it off as something we’ve known all along, something everyone does everywhere, and no big thing.

Equal and opposite, if you will, but the big issue here is in the middle of these two opinion poles.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Talking Point Politics #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Radio Free Nalcor #nlpoli

Talk about putting on the full court press to try and squeeze out every favourable bit of commentary for a project that remains mired in controversy and doubt.

Nalcor is running a couple of days of media trips – free of charge – to the falls itself where Nalcor has already started working on a project it claims they haven’t got approval to start work on yet.

And if that wasn’t enough, and surely purely by total coincidence Conservative strategist Tim Powers is a co-host on VOCM’s Back Talk.  The station is owned by Steele Communications, incidentally, whose boss

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Radio Free Nalcor #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Gander at the goosing #nlpoli

Apparently, your humble e-scribbler got on Steve Kent’s nerves.

The Conservative politician and his friends have been bombarding Twitter and Open Line shows since the middle of July will all sorts of their old poll-goosing tactics.  So yours truly has been re-tweeting some of the little comments with an added remark like “Gee, you’d swear a poll was coming.”

Small stuff.

But apparently enough to go right up Kent’s nose in a bad way.

He replied on Wednesday:

Okay.

The fact he commented at all is a gigantic tell:  if the poll comments were wrong, he could just

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Gander at the goosing #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Don’t remind her, Tommy #nlpoli

The townie Tories are all a-twitter over federal Dipper leader Thomas Mulcair’s endorsement of Sheilagh O’Leary for mayor of Sin Jawns in the next municipal election.

On Monday, reporters asked Premier Kathy Dunderdale about Mulcair’s comments.  Here’s a bit of what she said, via CBC:

"I don’t know how somebody who doesn’t live here, is not on the ground, doesn’t appreciate the demographics to start with and the particular issues, could be offering advice on who is best suited," said Dunderdale outside the House of Assembly Monday. [capitalization corrected]

“So the frig what?” would seem like a

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Don’t remind her, Tommy #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: $#*! the Premier says, Open Line edition #nlpoli

I suggest that the members opposite do the same and they encourage our representatives in Ottawa to do the same, because the only time we hear from them is on Open Line shows here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale, Hansard, March 22, 2012

Kathy Dunderdale was making fun of politicians who call Open Line shows.

Seriously.

Maybe she was making fun because they weren’t participating in an organized program of Open Line show stacking like Kathy and her colleagues have done since 2003.

Sure.

That would have to be it.

Because otherwise, she’d be like, ah, well,

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: They who lived by the bullshit… #nlpoli

Regular readers of these e-scribbles will know that the quarterly Corporate Research Associates poll is cause for nothing if not a fair bit of derision.

They aren’t polls anyone should use to judge anything serious.  They are just a marketing device for CRA.

Nonetheless and despite seven years of solid evidence they are crap, the local media eat them up.  The local pols put great stock in them too.

Anyway, those who lived by the bullshit are now getting sliced up by it.  CBC, in particular, is pushing hard at the idea that Kathy Dunderdale’s numbers have

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: They who lived by the bullshit… #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Release the budget now! #nlpoli

Headline on a news release issued on Wednesday by the provincial government:

Budget 2012 Investments Will …

And in the first paragraph, you get this line:

Budget 2012 will allocate $1.4 million…

So if they can announce some budget details in February, they can release the rest of it, too.

No excuses.

Let’s have it.

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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Seven Habits of Spectacularly Ineffective Politicians #nlpoli #cdnpoli

“Run government like a business” is an old line. 

Some people use it as a rallying cry for success and innovation. 

Others think of it as a recipe for disaster.

Regardless of which side of that argument you come down on, you can sometimes find value in applying ideas from one sector to the other. 

Take, for example, a list of seven habits attributed to business leaders who screw up published online at forbes.com recently.  It’s a variation on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People except you learn positive lessons from the negative experiences

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Seven Habits of Spectacularly Ineffective Politicians #nlpoli #cdnpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Margin of error defined #nlpoli

Corporate Research Associates November 2011 omnibus:

If a provincial election were held today in Newfoundland and Labrador, for which party would you vote?

Progressive Conservative Party  60%

CRA August 2011 omnibus:

If a provincial election were held today in Newfoundland and Labrador, for which party would you vote?

Progressive Conservative Party 54%

Provincial General Election, October 2011:

Progressive Conservative Party:  32%

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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: PPM: Controversy, Accountability and Disclosure #nlpoli

On October 3, Liberal leader Kevin Aylward issued a news release in which he claimed that the second MQO poll released the Friday before had been “bought and paid for by the Tories.” In the release, the Liberals also claimed that “[t]he Dunderda… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: PPM: Controversy, Accountability and Disclosure #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: An excess of chutzpah: pollster attacks colleagues over methods, accuracy #nlpoli

Corporate Research Associates president Don Mills is criticising his professional colleagues for their use of online surveys to conduct opinion polling. CRA uses telephone surveys. In two election polls released in September, MQO reportedly used a comb… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: An excess of chutzpah: pollster attacks colleagues over methods, accuracy #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: CBC torques poll coverage #nlpoli #nlvotes

Think of it as another form of poll goosing. As an example of how news media can take a piece of information and make a false statement out it, consider CBC’s online version of the story about a poll released Friday by the same company that polls fo… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: CBC torques poll coverage #nlpoli #nlvotes

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: New Poll. New Result #nlpoli

Quick. Where’s Kathy Dunderdale today? A new poll by advertising agency M5’s opinion research firm will give you a clue. The poll replicates the actual numbers for CRA’s August omnibus when both are adjusted to remove the distortion of reporting … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: New Poll. New Result #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Looking beyond normal

labradore wasted no time in converting the numbers from Friday’s editorial in the Telegram into a chart to show the number of money announcements issued by the provincial government in each week in August for the past four years. The Telegram edit… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Looking beyond normal

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Old Blue Goose

When the three posts on the provincial Conservatives’ communications strategy first appeared here in August and September 2006,  people who had never heard of it thought the ideas were preposterous. The relatively small number of people in the … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Old Blue Goose

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dead Robots in Heat

So the old poll goosing habit dies hard. There’s the robot poll goosing of the Question of the Day at Voice of the Cabinet Minister. Think about it:  such a habit, they’ve now automated the process. And in its editorial on the last Monday in… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dead Robots in Heat

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Robots in Dead Heat

As labradore notes, the latest question of the day online poll at Voice of the Cabinet Minister comes close to setting a record for vote totals. It is second to another question about Muskrat Falls from last December. Just so everyone is clear: B… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Robots in Dead Heat

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The secret of life, comedy, and politics

Timing. The ever watchful labradore notes that after Danny Williams mucked around with the appointments for the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, they have taken place in November. No one would be surprised to find out that this is a month when the… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The secret of life, comedy, and politics

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Summer of Love 2011

Five years after your humble e-scribbler first wrote about it, the world pretty much accepts the notion that the governing Conservatives time their communications to coincide with polling done by their contract pollster. A couple of university professo… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Summer of Love 2011