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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics February 18, 2008
  Feb 18, 2008

A random telephone sample of 517 British Columbians within the region of Metro Vancouver between February 12-17, 2008. Polling questions relate in general to the 2010 Vancouver Whistler Winter Olympic Games. This poll is accurate 6.65% plus or minus, @95% confidence level (owing to high ‘Undecided’ rate in some questions) 19 times out of 20. This poll was sponsored by Jim Van Rassel, businessman and citizen advocate- (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
In your opinion is the Vancouver 2010 Olympics more- for younger people?
Yes    54 %
No    46 %
Undecided/Can't Answer    17 %
Question #2
Do you intend to volunteer to work without pay or compensation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics?
Yes    01 %
No    99 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer    09 %
Question #3
What is your impression of political leaders in BC in terms of their age?
Politicians are too old    65.5 %
Politicians are too young    00 %
Politician’s ages look just right    06 %
No comment/No opinion    31 %
Question #4
What is a good average age for a politician?
20-30 years old    09 %
30-40 years old    34.5 %
40-50 years old    29 %
50-60 years old    22.5 %
Over 60    04 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer    24 %
Question #5
Are you a member of a visible minority?
Yes    14 %
No    85 %
Question #6
Do you or anyone in your immediate family ski regularly?
Yes    05 %
No    95 %
Question #7
Does anyone in your immediate family skate regularly?
Yes    13 %
No    87 %
Question #8
It is BC’s Anniversary this year. How old are we?
Could Answer    68 %
Could Not Answer    32 %
Question #9
What is your least favourite month of the year?
February    34 %
November    30 %
January    29 %
Other month/Undecided/Had not thought about it?    27 %
Question #10
Which of the following leaders likely has the most “overall” impact on the lives of Canadians?
The President of the United States    44 %
The Prime Minister of Canada    31 %
The Premier of the Province    23.5 %
Other    17.5 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer    08 %
Question #11
Since Vancouver was awarded the February 2010 Olympic Winter Games, would you say your impression of the management of the Games including preparation, costs, as well as your overall perception of the value of the Games as an International promotional event and catalyst for international goodwill is?
More favourable    58.5 %
Less favourable    37.5 %
Undecided    04 %
Question #12
In August 2008 the Democratic National Convention in Denver Colorado featuring Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will take place. Also in August 2008 the Summer Olympics in China will take place. Which would you be more likely to watch to if they were on television at the same time?
2008 Summer Olympics in China    12 %
Democratic National Convention featuring Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton    37 %
Neither    54 %
Undecided    07 %
Question #13
In your opinion which of the following statements BEST describes why you support the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games?
They will help promote BC to the world    37 %
They will increase the value of our homes, property and business in BC    06 %
Frankly, I don’t support the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games because of anticipated cost overruns, expected tax increases, and the negative impact on social programs for all British Columbians    31 %
Undecided    26 %
Question #14
If you were the owner of the television rights to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and you had the opportunity to ‘spread the risk of your investment’ with other television networks, would you?
Keep the television rights for yourself    39 %
Spread the risk around to other broadcasters    61 %
Undecided    10 %
Question #15
How important is it to you to see current BC Premier Gordon Campbell remain as Premier after the 2009 British Columbia general election in order to represent the province of BC at the 2010 Olympic Games?
Very Important    04 %
Important    20 %
Unimportant    32 %
Very Unimportant    44 %
Observations etc.
There is no particular affection for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games among respondents in Metro Vancouver. They know its coming, but it isn’t something they are longing or even eager for.
The responses to question #1 have two interpretations as I see it. First, the more obvious is the fact that nearly (60%) of decided respondents have a “more favorable” impression of the 2010 Olympic Games.
The other perception could be that one third of respondents who have followed the progress of the 2010 Olympics Games- since Vancouver was selected as host city react less favourably than they once did.
The U.S. Democratic Party saga featuring Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain continues to threaten to draw the attention of a conspicuous chunk of TV watchers (newspaper readers, Internet Bloggers, and frankly anyone else who can type and think well at the same time).
The Olympic label has its own quarter of loyalists that can keep the energy percolating through Valentines’ Day when many people may be more inclined to make love not war with the 2010 Olympics, but Olympic officials do not have the wind at their back in terms of any particular excitement for either China’s Summer Games (08) or Vancouver’s Olympics Games (10).
With every major network in BC this week talking about and promoting the Games only (40%) of respondents bought into our saccharine enriched question #3 and option one. There was enough push in this question and options available that mid-60’s-70% should have been the outcome total for question #3, option 1 and 2. (16%) of these apparent ‘supporters’ of the Games- of a total a decided (38%) total support (if the second choice is included in the calculation), is simply not where Olympic organizers want to be at this time.
More work is definitely needed.
It is interesting that so many respondents answered our question about sharing the broadcast of the 2010 Olympics.
One woman respondent (aged 63) in response to question #4 quipped “How does one now it’s in fact a risk”. Another respondent a male aged (43) said “It would be nice to see all of the television media working together, sharing in the Olympic broadcast, maybe that would make it better yet.”
The Vancouver 2010 Olympics promotion is still an uphill grind.
Other issues like global warming, shortage of food, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, problems in Africa, an economy that lurches forward in the U.S., and fears of economic slow down in Canada have British Columbians concerned. Confidence in the government isn’t high; confidence in the Opposition may be not much higher as a consequence. There isn’t a large attentive audience for the Olympics. The U.S. will likely over shadow many promotions.
Skiing isn’t that popular unless you ski regularly, and people get enough hockey from the NHL and other tournaments. The other Winter Sports are interesting and may attract fans, but unless Canada appears to be set to win everything, the Olympic label right now is not in demand beyond the investment of direct promotion.
The promotion and communications of the Olympics to date has been frankly abysmal. So much so that this was a more difficult poll to interest people in when we first ask them to be respondents. Some real change is required somewhere. The Olympic Committee members always make me think of Nixon and Watergate-I’m not sure why?
Lastly, people are a little sick of athletes. Big salaries, steroids, other entertainers messed up-the Olympics is not immune from controversy, and the reputations of a lot of innocent hard working athletes is suffering right now.
Glen P. Robbins (604) 942-3757
STOP-Read this piece entitled “As it Were”-re-read it until you understand it for yourself.
*As It Were • 27.09.06 by Brad Pasanek
Must we mean what we say? In the case of metaphor, meaning is underspecified, patently false, or—according to some theorists—somehow transmuted. Somehow changed.
Words must mean just what they mean.1 But what of speakers? What of writers? We say one thing but mean, as it were, another.
“As it were”—a curious, parenthetic phrase. As if it were so. A phrase used “to indicate that a word or statement is perhaps not formally exact though practically right” (OED). The mood is subjunctive. One would say it, if only he could mean it.
The philosopher is much given to hedging claims with an “as it were.” So Descartes writes, “I am not merely present in my body as a sailor is present in a ship, but [...] I am very closely joined and, as it were, intermingled with it” (56). The intermingling or permixing (the Latin is permixtio) is indeed “perhaps not formally right.” I am not the sailor, not the ship, not even the voyage. In the Cartesian account, I am more like the tar, pitch, and tallow—the sealant, as it were.
Oh unfortunate dualist, betrayed by a philosophy of language. There are not two kinds of meaning, literal and figurative. Nor are there two substances, matter and mind. Still we let the one dualism structure the other and are held captive by false distinctions.
James Beattie makes a pun of a kind: “when the senses have nothing to employ them, the mind is left (if I may so speak) a prey to its own thoughts” (I.ii, p. 92). In a moment of parenthesis, literal turns figurative: caged animal spirits turn predator.2
In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke uses an “as it were” to bracket the metaphor of his opponents: “It is an established Opinion amongst some Men, That there are in the Understanding certain innate principles; some primary Notions, koinai ennoiai, Characters, as it were stamped upon the Mind of Man; which the Soul receives in its very first Being; and brings into the World with it” (I.ii.1).
But Locke marks out his own metaphors as well: memory is “as it were the Store-house of our Ideas” (II.x.2) and “The Mind very often sets it self on work in search of some hidden Idea, and turns, as it were, the Eye of the Soul upon it” (II.x.7).3
“As it were” has its equivalents. There is the Latin tanquam, the alliterative “so to speak,” and the polite pair “if I may so say” and “if I may be so bold.” A character in Henry Fielding’s Amelia begs leave: “So many tender Ideas crowded at once into my Mind, that, if I may use the Expression, they almost dissolved my Heart” (I.iii.3).
Andrew Marvell uses a parenthetic phrase in his “Dialogue Between the Soul and Body.” The imprisoned Soul complains that it is “hung up, as ‘twere, in Chains / Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins” (ll. 7-8).
Marvell’s parenthetic is paradigmatic. As in Marvell, the qualification “as it were” often marks imprisonment of the mind or soul in the body. The believer believes that the soul will go free. The prison is only a prison as it were.
The subjunctive “as it were” is an incantation or an amulet. The philosopher produces it to protect himself from his own terminology. A metaphor is meant to open a space to mean something else. The dualist would stage a prison break and repeats—incants—the parenthetic in hopes of navigating some impossible distinction.
I quote Ludwig Wittgenstein: “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside of it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably” (§115).

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