Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What About "Credibility" Nik?

A new Nanos poll seems to conclude that, to date, the torture issue isn't hurting the Conservatives. A picture of confusion on the issue, and a propensity to believe the military. None of that is surprising, but I must quibble with the Nanos conclusion. If you look at the results, there is actually a significant difference between the principle parties on the "credibility" front, and I'm surprised this findings goes unnoticed.

When voters are asked to rate the credibility of the parties on the torture question, one numbers stands out. The Conservatives score 43.3% "low credibility", only 18.6% "high credibility". When you contrast that with the Liberals, you see a noticeable gap, Libs 31.1% low, 17.8%. This means that far more people don't see the government as credible, relative to the Liberals, or other opposition parties for that matter. If it's basically a wash, as the Nanos thesis presents, you wouldn't see this sort of sizeable difference, basically all parties should be in line. The fact they're not is noteworthy, and provides an underlying concern for the government. Last time I checked, if people don't think you're credible on an issue, you have a potential problem.


rob said...

I understand what you're arguing, and I think you're right. However, "Less People Think we have Low Credibility" may not be the most inspirational battle cry.

Steve V said...

Agreed. All I'm saying, they have a credibility problem on this issue, so I wouldn't conclude there is no vulnerability. Nothing more, nothing less.

rob said...

Yep. Agreed.

Steve V said...

I suppose one other noteworthy finding, it explains why the government messaging hides behind the military.

Gayle said...

It's all in the question. Even I have a hard time saying the conservative govenment turned prisoners knowing they would be tortured.

I would say they were willing to turn them over knowing there is a risk of torture, or they did not take enough steps to protect them from torture. It is hard to reach the conclusion they knew they would (or might) be tortured.

It is all sematics I know, but then again, it is all sematics.

In any event, my guess is we will se the CPC continue with the Big Lie in the new year.

Steve V said...

Wasn't a fan of that question either, very strange wording.

Gayle said...

Not sure I think there is anything wrong with the question - it just sets it out in starker terms than most people are comfortable with. It is hard for people to view their government as one that knowingly allows torture, even though that is really what is being alleged.

In that light, I am surprised so many people believe they are guilty of this.

Steve V said...

I was referring to the stark wording :)

ottlib said...

Who sponsored the poll?

Steve V said...

Don't know?

Tomm said...

This is not an issue with legs. I know you expect a comment like that from me, but let's delve into it a bit.

Nobody is accusing Canadian military people of torturing anyone. Nobody is disagreeing with the changes made in 2007.

The two fundamental sticking points are:

1. Did the government lie to us about what they knew and when?
2. Why did it take them 18 months to change the procedure from their first election date?

I would suggest that neither question has legs. The first would require a smoking gun. The PM will continue to refuse a public inquiry and continue to redact documents. Where do you expect the smoking gun to come from and what must it contain to be harmful to the government? There is just no expectation that someone will find an e-mail from O'Connor or McKay that confirms a cover-up given the above.

The second is a big yawn. 18 months is too long. Would 12 months have been too long? 6? What about the previous government setting this fiasco up this way in the first place?

Just some thoughts.

Steve V said...

"This is not an issue with legs."

Considering we've been talking about it for TWO months Tomm, your comment is bizarre.