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ROBBINS calls Province's Michael Smyth article on BC Liberals 'mainstream pandering'
  May 20, 2007

Commentary
I take exception to Michael Smyth's article in the Vancouver Province dated May 20, 2007 that suggests that "Despite scandals Campbell would win a majority."
First of all, I don't believe Mustel's polling numbers. An ex partner of Mustel BC Liberal Joan McIntyre is 'in the room' with BC Liberal top decision-makers. In my sense of what perception is, this puts this person in a potential conflict in terms of communicating 'needs' to her old partner, who than is set if need be to 'swizz' the public with numbers more favourable to the BC Liberals potentially. Joan McIntyre says she has been in the business for twenty-five years. I say "Is thing a good or bad thing?" Perhaps the public wasn't aware they were being swizzed 'back in the day'.
Who sponsored the Mustel poll? Isn't that what the journalists are taught to ask at journalism school? Guess what? Most of these polls are commissioned by mainstream news media. CTV/Globe and Mail sponsor Decima Research which is owned by a Toronto Lobbying firm is a good example. Where are the 'basketweavers' interests in the haze of this corporate concoction? Where does news media receive their income? Advertisers, of course. This makes the news media in a conflict, and thus the commissioned polls as worthless as the last panel commissioned to provide a report on MLA pensions and pay raises. So why would journalists who are operating in an obvious conflict, permit themselves the overstated luxery of passing judgement on polls which they have an investment in? It's ridiculous.
In essence, I suppose what I am saying is that any attempt from the news media to keep score on public opinion ranges in credibility from soft, very soft, to downright 'dogshit'.
For his part, Michael Smyth appears to be doing his bi-monthly duty to make some money for those folks who write his cheques. Admittedly, I personally read Mr. Smyth's column when I am able, and I spend some time listening and participating on his CKNW Talkshow Nightline BC. My daughter tells me that her Grade 12 journalism class, and she personally "love Michael Smyth's articles". ROBBINS reason for being is to despin--spin. We're good at it and we don't apologize. ROBBINS is the baseline for a new poltical medium. "We power ourselves on direct democracy and perceive representative democracy in its present condition with a very jaundiced eye". Nuff said.
BC's economy is good, not great as Smyth suggests. In fact there are an awful lot of people out there 'in the economy' who remain pleased but with a little concern underlying that pleasure.
The economies strength, when measured against the cash demands for the 2010 Olympics (with only instrinsic future gains to compare with), the high commodity prices (which bring in higher taxes but squeeze middle class consumers),and the pronounced difficulties with cash flow problems by developers (which is gettng worse not better), witnessed by the recent Riverbend swindle in Coquitlam (where cash was needed for another project on Vancouver Island not the bogus story we were told about higher values of properties), the continued dependence on lower slave wages against labour shortfalls (when we consider that labour as an element of the economy is 'mobile') suggest to those of us who actually get our information from the ground level (and are permitted to print it), that Gordon Campbell's government has significantly more liabilities than they have assets (going forward as the new lingo suggests).
These more negative factors will become more clear to the public over the subsequent months, and will eat away at the support that Gordon Campbell has, which ROBBINS says is closer to 40% than 50%. The Mustel poll (and others) will help the Campbell government make it through spring fundraisers and permit the BC Liberals the delusion that Campbell will be 'all that' by the time the fall of 2009 arrives, nearly 2 and one half years away. Good Luck. Once the ROBBINS political jaws on 'non-life' sink into that pencil neck, it is only a matter of time before the bad dog dies. It is only a matter of time. That is simply how it is, and printing one million, two million, three million papers, talking every day on the radio, and pushing propaganda through the TV won't change the inevitable reality. This government and this Premier cannot make it for another 2.5 years. Whomsoever ROBBINS the embodiment of public opinion determines is best suited to represent the province as government will ultimately become government. That isn't arrogant, it's simply a fact of life. A pay raise will only keep those BC Liberal MLA's around, who prefer working for Gordon Campbell as opposed to working Kingsway Street. The pay, safety and dental are better. The requirement for integrity all things considered, is far less.
Between than and now, the Campbell government will have more fully realized the BC Rail criminal case at the legislature, the Olympic costs including the Canada Line and Sea-to-Sky will come more clearly into focus, and given the attempts at stalling to provide the bona fides relating to costs of the Olympics, this is surely an early indicator that the BC Liberals are doing everything they can to control information regarding the true costs of the Olympics. The near desperate attempts to privatize all projects is another effort (very well documented by ROBBINS) to ensure that taxpayer's monies being spent will not be as transparent as they ought to be). When this happens, you can bet your bottom dollar the government has something to hide, and are stalling for time. Two and one half years is a long long time to bottle up and contain a lot of big and small size secrets. Eventually the mainstream news will be forced to come clean will reporting fully on the BC Liberal government, or run the risk of denigrating the relative values of their news medium and once again making ROBBINS look like Nostradamus. With most polling firms worth in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and newspapers worth tens of millions facing declining readership and more questions about their own responsibility for pollution,and with political news followers evaporating overnight, the mainstream may have to reconsider the way they 'manufacture consent' as it were.
Prior to the most recent provincial election, ROBBINS was THE ONLY pollster to declare the huge increase in the BC NDP seats accurately.
All the mainstream got that wrong.
In fact, Gordon Campbell nearly lost that election. Most of us who are telling it like it really is, would say that save for the last minute revelation of a teachers writing about strike possibilities, the BC NDP might have won that election.
(In terms of polling numbers anyway), one must remember that if one 'smooths' BC Liberal numbers, that is takes away the large excess of support they have in their most favourable ridings, their provincial numbers should be reduced by about 2 to 2.5% relative to efficiencies relating to seat totals. The BC NDP on the other hand should be 'smoothed' about 1/4 to 1/2% using the same methodology).
Mainstream pollsters have a tendency to proliferate assumptions surrounding political events for longer periods of time than are realistically valid. For instance, mainstream pollsters might give the BC NDP 40% or thereabouts (a depiction which is fair), and than provide 10% for the Green Party. All of the remainder they statistically ascribe to the BC Liberals which is not a fair depiction of true public opinion. It suggests a majority which is an incorrect interpretation. It is (pathetically) presumed that Campbell may have some share in the Green Plan simply because he says so. This is so stupid, Most of the voters today see action as speaking much louder than words. It isn't a secret that politicians don't always keep promises. To wit: Blacktop politics still works.
Our most recent ROBBINS poll during the same time (or thereabouts) as the Mustel poll Michael Smyth is selling, suggests that while the BC NDP are at (37%), the BC Liberals are at (39%). Beyond the BC Green Party (5-10%-with presently no leader and former leader Adriane Carr having moved to the federal scene), there are a large number of voters who are undecided. These voters cannot be donated to the BC Liberal column without creating an artificial poll. These are voters who are not interested in either the BC Liberals or BC NDP, and given Michael Smyth's admission that according to the Mustel poll many voters don't know Carole James, this is to the BC NDP leaders advantage (if we accept this information and reject the rest), as Campbell has been around since 1994 and his lifespan as a newsworthy political leader will more quickly depreciate as each month goes by. Those who don't like Campbell are solid, while those who don't know James, are not as solid and are less likely to dislike her.
As a consequence, those voters who allegedly 'don't know' Carole James are statistically slightly more likely (against Campbell's unfavourability) in a two party race to vote for James and the BC NDP (based in part on the BC Green's incrementally declining voter outcomes for the last two provincial elections). Given the fact that the Green Party is leaderless, (and considering how the mainstream is supposed to determine polling validity), the Green Party of BC should not be included in mainstream polls. To do so means that the Conservative Party of BC or Democratic Reform Party should be included in the polls. Last I heard, they had a leader, a party structure including Executive and Directors, and only slightly less money than the Green. Or is this like the floating (heretofore Mr. Floatie) criteria for leaders debates under Writ period. Soon it will be only leaders of other parties with red hair (if the leader of the Green Party has red hair) who can participate in the leaders debate. There is a Monty Python skit in here someplace.
Further evidence as to the greater liklihood of a Campbell/BC Liberal decline in support would be the numbers ascribed to that party preceding the most recent provincial election, and the actual numbers they received, relative to numbers ascribed to the BC NDP over the same period and the numbers they received. Moreover, statistically speaking there is a much better chance (given the amount of time the BC Liberals have been in power, and the odds of an uncharismatic leader winning three times), that the BC Liberals will receive less in voter support than they did in the last provincial election (46%). The BC NDP will not receive less support than they did last time (43%), because voters don't penalize a party in Opposition, and there are no other factors that would diminish this. In fact the Green Party of BC is more likely to diminish than not, simply because they have allocated nominal resources and manpower to an emerging federal campaign. The longer in the delay of the next general federal election, the more of an impact downward on provincial BC Green support unless the Green Party can elect a less ideologically predisposed leader from their ranks, which isn't going to happen. I think you may see the Greens go with the NDP. They won't in good conscience sit around and give Campbell another term. Those voters who are satisfied with Campbell's Green Plan are Campbell voters anyhow. Can't you just see the environmentalists now. 'Gee whiz, that Campbell sure got religion on the environment, I hear he actually recycled something in his own home, I'm certainly impressed and will vote for Gordon Campbell now, he clearly gets it.'
The BC NDP is much better on the ground during election time. (37%) for the BC NDP now will be (45%) by election time. All of the shortcomings that the BC Liberals produce on the social side of the political equation are more likely to benefit the BC NDP who may get the voters nod, simply because the economy is 'booming', whe it isn't. All of this simply means that the BC NDP et al have to provoke the real Gordon Campbell, he of the heavy hand, which ultimately will remind many voters of the Gordon Campbell BC Liberals ROBBINS exposed between 2001 and 2005. Mean and ruthless.
Big Corporations are less popular than Big Unions.
BC doesn't have the cash for the Olympics and for other projects desperately needed throughout the province. The Campbell BC Liberals are running the entire province resources for the benefit of the Premier's home city, Vancouver and for his developer friends and associates.
So desperate are the BC Liberals to support their Howe Street masters that when confronted with the reality of the Premier's advisor Ken Dobell being caught running Vancouver city hall, they exchanged him with Geoff (Who?) Plant. The Liberals didn't say 'god we were caught', they know Ted Hughes is too busy hobnobbing to to anything materially relevant to dealing with real conflict issues, and he is too old anyhow. So the media has moved Grandpappy to the Entertainment pages, and devised a whole new position by placing Campbell's old roommate Plant in a whole new Vancouver role as Commissioner of something or other, and likely taken steps to mickey finn Sammy's Scotch to make sure he remains as impotent as Campbell/Dobell (and my forefathers) did with the Indians. From Sammy on Plant "He certainly has an excellent CV". Take a hike Sammy.
Take a drive up to the Sea-to-Sky and tell me how much work has actually been done there. Man are we behind. Is this because the BC Liberals don't want the expenditure on the books, or as I have suggested, is this because they intend to keep the cost representation up, diminish the actual work on that highway, and use the difference to cover ever increasing shortfalls on the Olympics.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Smyth, the jig is up, its only a matter of time before the 'decks of cards' implodes, and just as ROBBINS has done so deliberately for many years now, we will be here to document the fall.
As Mrs. Robbins (she of the apolitical crowd) says whenever she sees Gordon Campbell on television "God does he ever look defensive". Anecdotally or not, this type of au natural commentary tells a 'killer' like ROBBINS 'boatloads'.
Oh yea, cause he knows what ROBBINS knows! The next two years are going to be awful for the BC Liberals. There are too many landmines and not enough countermoves to arrest their damage and spin forward with new good news. (Not the same old-same old recycled propaganda). The secrets will come out, the press has already recycled the same stories five and six times, and with ROBBINS framing the true poison of papparazzi at the speed of light, the slow deliberate trance of the mainstream news will slowly but surely become nothing more than a small bit of noise in people's lives, as the rest of the public gets on collecting their own experiences and ignoring the pathetic pandering and influence of outdated headlines and recycled news.
Bear in mind, the last Auditor General was a BC Liberal partisan choice and even he couldn't stomach the BC Liberal tactics.
There is a conspicuous attempt to deny the public true accountability with this BC Liberal government. The problem is shamefully exacerbated by an equally bias and unaccountable mainstream media.
There is nothing but absolute proof that Campbell doesn't know a thing about the environment. The California governor will make Campbell a BC "B" movie star, and try to get a little Mr. Olympics glory, but rumour has it Gordon Campbell had to cut Arnie's lawn before he could get a meeting with him. By the time Campbell's real Green agenda emerges his Hydrogen Highway may more appropriately be renamed Hershey Lane by the time all the numbers are in. Our piece on BURKE Mountain (beside this one under "Canada Polls") was sent to every conceivable person or office of power in the Free World (and beyond) by the great Jim Van Rassel (no we don't like ourselves much). This piece provides an example of what a phoney bunch of hypocrites this government is on the Green file. How can you clean up the environment when you are unable to clean up your own life? (Now we're being told by another "CV" that the shit flowing from Victoria to the United States is A OK. Some CV's have a cash surrender value known as 'any time'.
The entire First Nations exercise is a loser. One billion dollars later and we're no further ahead. Oh sure, Mike Harcourt, Geoff Plant other 'insiders' all got nice jobs and spoke the language, wore feathers etc. but this file remains in the eyes of voters a failure, absolute and unequivocal.
There are more voters now using the 'conquered nation' rationale than every before. Sorry for busting the lie guys but that's just how this story really goes. It saddens me, but it isn't my fault, it isn't the public's fault. It is the government's fault and the establishment media for running interference while a bunch of white people try placing a square peg in a round hole. Gordon Campbell's attention to the aboriginals is born out of his ability to ignore voter demands for another centre right party in the province, and the press has been there to assist him. It happened in the last provincial election, but if ROBBINS can have anything to do about it, it won't happen again.
Some housing announcements have been made, but there is no tangible proof of evidence of actual work being done to ensure this problem is being resolved.
ROBBINS has documented that the Campbell government is dishonest, manipulative, deceitful and in absolute terms honours profit (at any cost) over people.
The press who panders to this nuisance is no better, and thankfully we are in a position to document this decline as well. (ROBBINS will commence monthly polling of television, newspaper and radio viewers and listeners).
Michael, I love most of your work but can you answer ROBBINS this: Why would such a 'popular' government initiate between the Solicitor General John Les, the Attorney General Walter Oprah, and a backbencher from the area, a Conference on Crime and Punishment at Coquitlam city hall WHICH IS INVITE ONLY? I said, "Pardon?" Where is Mike Farnworth the critic for the Solicitor General from Burke Mountain Port Coquitlam at this invite only meeting of elites, control freaks etc? How does the Rotary factor into the invite classification over the general public? Because they can sing the national anthem more loudly?
Crime and Punishment is one of the most fundamental voter constructs in the political tool bag, and it's invite only? Why is this even being held at the Coquitlam Municipal Hall? With Plant in Vancouver and a takeover of Coquitlam city hall, the 'people's building', and the provincial government is using it for their benefit of their own friends and associates and to the exclusion of the public, for what, to showcase how much the people adore them? These moves look more like fascism than a party thriving under democracy.
People, really, sell crazy somewhere's else!
Michael Smyth might say he is being provocative, he might say he is doing a lot of things, but ROBBINS sees this for what it truly is: pandering for a better position in the circus. Whose replacing Any Orr, Gordon Campbell's communications director and sometimes 'fly', and how much breathing room should ROBBINS give them before we reduce them to rubble TOO?

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