Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Survey Results And Surprises

The results are in and frankly there are a lot of surprises to me.

First off, I decided to close down the survey early. I noticed that the number of hits towards the end of last night were declining pretty rapidly and therefore assumed that the likelihood of a lot of new participants was low. I did not want people deciding towards the end to "pack" the results.

I followed the polling fairly carefully and only noticed an oddity with respect to results right after the Council meeting on Monday.

Are the results scientific? Well if the Mayor's Greenlink poll was "scientific," then this one is unimpeachable and the results more than "overwhelming." Of course, my universe is not the City of Windsor but my numbers are much more statistically impressive than that of the Greenlink poll at least with respect to my readers. And probably extremely accurate.

If my readership is actually representative of the City, and it would not surprise me if it was relatively close given the Ward distribution, then I believe that the results that I have obtained may well be representative of the City as a whole. My readers may well be considered more "business types" but I do know that I have fairly wide distribution in non-business environments. The results interestingly enough certainly are consistent with other polls that have been done recently.

I'm sure that you will draw your own conclusions from the results but here are some comments that I will make.

In general, the results of the survey were consistent throughout the entire time. The first results were very similar to the last ones. There were no big changes from start to finish. The location of respondents seems very consistent throughout the City. When I did one quite some time ago, most of the respondents came from one or two Wards.

If there is a war going on between Councillors Halberstadt and Lewenza, then Councillor Halberstadt should declare victory and Councillor Lewenza better learn to hold his tongue. The poor showing of both of the Ward 2 Councillors is probably not unexpected given that the CKLW polls show a great deal of support for the Ambassador Bridge Company across the City as well.

Finally, if I was a Councillor, I would start thinking again about supporting the efforts of a lame-duck Mayor whose numbers are horrible. Sure, sure, his Term is only about a quarter finished and we should expect a number of announcements in his last year in order for him to go out of his job with a bang and to create a legacy. However, it may well be that his unpopularity will become so intense that nothing will save him. Just take a look at some of the comments on the Windsor Star forums on almost any subject to see the animosity. If nothing will save him, then the Councillors who support him may have a tough time being re-elected.

The two examples that come to mind of politicians that really could never overcome the feelings about them are Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney. You either loved them or hated them. There was no inbetween. In my view, it will be the same thing about Eddie. Right now, haters amongst my readers outnumber dramatically the lovers!

Frankly, it is not a surprise that most of my respondents believe that the Mayor is doing a very poor job. The results can be dismissed easily if one wants to do so by saying that if you are a reader of my BLOG then naturally you are against the Mayor.

That is the answer to give if you want to try and justify a negative result and I'm sure that is going to be part of the spin. What I have found however is that many of my readers do not necessarily agree with everything that I write but come here to find out what is really going on behind the scenes and to get an alternative point of view.

I find the percentage surprisingly high given the fact that the Mayor was re-elected with about 78% of the votes cast only over a year ago. 80% of respondents effectively believe now that the Mayor is doing a horrible job. That is in unbelievable and shocking result in my opinion. Even the 78% number is relatively low considering that the Mayor was really running against a "Chicken Suit" with no real competition whatsoever. The results also seem to be consistent with the CKLW polls which were really a contest between the Bridge Company and the Mayor with the Mayor losing badly again.

The Mayor received many of his "Excellent" votes right after the Council meeting so he may have received a bump from the Cable TV broadcast.

For those who want to become mayor, it is no longer necessary to worry about Eddie from these results or frankly from the Windsor Star. Even with all of the support on the Editorial and Henderson side, Eddie's results are dismal.

For those Councillors who are nervous about linking up with Councillor Halberstadt, stop worrying. By far and away, my readers felt that he was doing the best job amongst all of the Councillors. Even with all of the recent attacks on him.

I'm surprised, given his experience and his name recognition, that Councillor Marra's numbers were not higher. However, my expectation is that the first year of his comeback was designed to be low-key so that he would not offend people who merely think that he was campaigning for the next mayoral election. His first year was designed to be a team player year rather than getting a lot of publicity for itself. Given the popularity of Councillor Halberstadt, the unpopularity of the Mayor and the fact that I believe that Dave Cooke is being promoted as Windsor's next Mayor, Bill had better start developing a reputation for getting things done before it is too late. People expect things of him and the results show he is not delivering so far.

The big shock of this whole survey to me was how low Councillor Gignac's numbers were. She was one that Gord Henderson always seem to like. There is no doubt that she is bright but my big complaint about her, and it still is the same, is that I really have no idea what she stands for. Sure she asks good questions but clearly that is not enough for the respondents of this poll. If she has ambitions for the Mayor's job or perhaps at a Senior Level, then she needs to do a lot of work

For a rookie, Councillor Dilkens did fairly well but then again he is in the newspaper quite a bit so he will have name recognition. Plus he positions himself very nicely on some of the issues that he has supported. He is almost in a no lose a position on most of them. The other rookie, Councillor Hatfield had much better numbers than I would have guessed . Again, to be direct, I expected a lot more from him given his experience on CBC news on the City Hall beat for so many years. I wonder if it is still the glow from his previous career that has not worn off yet. Or perhaps he is a much better Ward Councillor than he is on Cogeco so that he makes his constituents happy.

For Councillor Brister, my suggestion is that he keep his "Brister for Councillor" signs since his Mayoral credibility after this poll is minimal.

No big surprise with Councillor Lewenza being at the top of the list of the Councillor doing the worst job. In my opinion. the surprise is that his numbers are not worse.

I think he was helped by the very poor showing of the Ward 2 Councillors, Jones and Postma. Jones especially surprised me because in the previous poll that I did his numbers were quite good. It is very clear to me that the Ward 2 Councillors are being viewed as stumbling blocks for development of both their Ward and of the Enhancement Bridge project given their support of the Interim Control Bylaw.

Councillors Dilkens and Marra received very few negative votes. Given his high visibility and the attacks on him from his colleagues and the media, Councillor Halberstadt had very few negative votes as well. I found it interesting that the Three Blind Mice did extremely well comparatively speaking.

The numbers for Councillor Valentinis should be disappointing to him. I would have expected them to be higher given his longevity on Council and his experience. I suspect that his attack on his Wardmate and his strong support for the Mayor have hurt him.

What a big surprise that the border is the main issue in Windsor. Still. Will this issue ever go away? If you look at the various economic matters and add up all their numbers together, then clearly respondents are very concerned about the economic future of this City.

My guess is that it was a tough choice to decide which is the most important issue. I would think that those who voted for the Border believe that if it is solved, a lot of the other issues would go away. Especially from an economic perspective with thousands of new jobs created.

I'm very surprised at the number of people who voted for open and transparent government being the #1 issue. I assume therefore that there are more than two or three out of 200,000 people who have a concern about all of the in camera goings-on with this Mayor and Council.

The lack of votes for the arena did not make a lot of sense to me considering that the City will be unable to undertake certain activities for years because there is no money due to the arena construction. However, the results are what the results are. Just wait to see what the reaction will be if there is a cost over-run.

The good part about the respondents this time compared with other polls that I have done is that there is a fairly even distribution across the entire City. What has happened before is that the number of respondents were predominately from one or two Wards. We even got a sprinkling from those who live outside of Windsor, some of whom probably are from the County.

So there you have it. Not really an awful lot new. But it is nice to know that my personal hunches about what is going on in the City have been confirmed.

I believe that this poll can be a wake-up call for a number of the Councillors who are very upset at what is going on from what I've heard but who are still concerned about taking action for fear of what the results might be to them personally .

As for the Mayor and his Eminence Greasie, the results will be "dismissed" out of hand. After all, it comes from a Blogger and you know what those types are like don't you. If that is the Mayor's reaction, I feel very sorry for him. He should be learning that what he's done for the last few years as Mayor has not worked and the voters know it. Even though he is not going to run again for Mayor, or so it seems now, he needs to produce results if he hopes to have another career.

Windsorites want results not speeches. The Mayor cannot point to anyone else except himself for the failures that have been achieved to date since on most of the key issues he is the lead and on the border, the Voice of Council. It is very clear that Windsorites believe that he and those that follow him on Council are not deserving of their support at this time.