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The Bubble and the Oct. 4 provincial vote

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Two things seemingly unrelated, but not in my mind.

On CBC’s At Issue finale Thursday night Kathleen Petty of CBC Radio said something that had to be said. I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but in a nutshell she essentially said the media blew it in its coverage of the recent federal election.

You can watch it here at 8:09.

Despite all its power and expertise, media and most pundits and pollsters completely missed what was happening out there in voter land in the days leading up to the May 2 vote. A Harper majority and the complete evisceration of the Bloc and Liberals came as a great shock as the results rolled in. The only thing that was picked up earlier was the NDP’s momentum in Quebec.

The At Issue panel also discussed the role of Twitter in the election. Basically, Twitter discussions about the federal campaign only reflected the thoughts and words of those already engaged in the political process, and that’s it, nothing more.

Which brings me to Oct. 4.

There’s some chatter on Twitter, on blogs and certainly, by far, on the Free Press website about the coming election.

Does this reflect anything other than the thoughts of mostly anonymous posters? Should I or the paper or the political parties put any stock in it?

I don’t know. You tell me.

Then there’s Probe’s most recent poll on provincial part support.

I’m not going to get into its results; you can see them here.

Based on what we saw during the federal election, should we put any stock in it?

I don’t know. You tell me.

The outcome of the federal election surprised almost everyone in the media, including those who should have known better.

Based on that, the only predication I can safely make for Oct. 4 is that there will be an election on Oct. 4.

 

-- Bruce Owen / Under the Dome

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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