Everybody wants to know the easy way. The Greeks had their oracles, Etruscans used to consult animal entrails, the Turks read coffee grounds and Zulus would roll the bones.
Some people still consult their zodiac charts hoping for a glimpse into what may come to pass in their near future.
Opinion pollsters, pundits and the like would likely not be too chuffed at being lumped in with the above, but given the monumental misreading of the last provincial election’s outcome – which did not turn into an NDP victory as widely predicted but rather the re-affirmation of BC Liberal Party’s rule – you’ve got to wonder about the veracity.
We’ve been hearing a lot about political polls lately in the Surrey civic election. It’s quite the horse race. Mainstreet Technologies had mayoral candidate Doug McCallum enjoying the support of 22 per cent of decided voters, and Linda Hepner with 20 per cent and Barinder Rasode with eight. The undecided were 45 per cent, while five per cent indicated they’ll vote for somebody else.
Conversely, Innovative Research had 27 per cent of voters leaning Hepner’s way, with 22 per cent for McCallum and 15 for Rasode. Then again, Insights West had McCallum at 40 per cent, Hepner with 32 and Rasode with 21.
There will undoubtedly be more survey results to ponder as the election campaigning continues. It’s fun candy for political junkies.
But intriguing as survey results can be, it’s most important that we as voters keep our own counsel as we reflect upon who deserves our vote, and who does not.
And we determine that not by consulting oracles, astrologers, coffee grounds, entrails, bones and what not. Rather, we arrive at our answer by paying attention, learning what each candidate has to offer – particularly concerning issues near and dear to ourselves – and then hopefully making well-reasoned choices.
The Now Newspaper