Are the pollsters and the media misleading Canadians? Well, I don’t think they are intentionally misleading Canadians, but the public does focus on the issues the pollsters and media bring to the forefront. The issues are the environment, health care, the war in Afghanistan and the economy and about in that order according to Canadians if we believe the pollsters.
I am not sure it is that simple, but these are about the only issues we hear about coming out of Ottawa. The Stephen Harper government is not fairing very well on any of these issues, which accounts for why his government is sitting at about the same support as they did at the last federal election. The manufacturing sector is hurting in Ontario and increased government spending and a weakening Canadian economy, due in large part to the floundering US economy, does not allow the federal government to bail Ontario out of their failing economy.
The federal conservatives need to win vote rich Ontario if they are to win a majority government, but the pollsters have them trailing the liberals in Ontario. The liberals have wisely refrained from defeating the government on votes of non-confidence, which would trigger an election. Canadian voters are not eager for an election and there is more in their wisdom on this point than the media and pollsters seem to understand.
The clear expression of the hearts and minds of Canadian voters is only heard and understood during and after an election. It is only when millions of Canadian voters express their political feelings at the polls do we ever really understand what they are feeling and thinking on all the issues.
If the Stephen Harper federal conservative government simply gets on with providing sound government and leaves the election call to opposition parties or the four year rule Harper introduced then Canadian voters may just hand them a majority government. The media and pollsters, along with the political parties, may attempt to manipulate the issues they want Canadian voters to focus on, but at a federal election the voters may prove them wrong. In the end, Canadian voters will clearly define the issues at the next federal election.