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BLAKE DOYLE: A pause for polls

Blake Doyle.
Blake Doyle. - Contributed

In a province where business and politics are inexplicitly linked, the results from the latest political poll will have an impact in P.E.I.’s business community

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – A week in politics is a lifetime, and this week may be an interesting span. Most politicians will suggest that polls are irrelevant, and stock should not be placed in their results. After this week’s Corporate Research Associates political poll, I am quite certain many politicians will either be boisterous or silent.

In a province where business and politics are inexplicitly, if not inappropriately, linked the maneuvering of industry, donor support and civic engagement will become an interesting sport of barometer observation.

Business likes certainty and predictability. In a fractured environment, nothing is stable. Time honored rules may change as the landscape shifts underfoot.

Robert F Bradford suggested “(The businessman) knows that ‘politics’ has been a bad word for a long time – so bad, in fact, that no executive worthy of the name has wanted any part of it. As for ‘pressure groups’ that phrase smacks of ‘radicals’ or, perhaps, even worse, of ‘intellectuals’. Taken together, the combination of ‘politics’ and ‘pressure groups’ is a very sour dish, and no self-respecting businessman would touch it.”

While true in many progressive regions, the #mightygovernment is pervasive as function of our economy.

Political polls or business surveys have intended and unintended consequences. Leveraging the results to your advantage is the art of both arenas. Results can create opportunity or restrict options.

Barack Obama stated, “If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on the polls, then I must not be doing very good at reading them.” By contrast, Donald Trump said, “I’m a believer in the polls, by the way. Rarely do you see a poll that's very far off”.

I will leave others to comment on the current polls but as our methods of communication are disrupted certainly the validity of the poll process can be contested. With fewer numbers listed, mobile devices being the most predominate point of interaction, how reliable can poll inferences be? Would a Facebook poll, or barbershop questionnaire offer similar observational value?

Trends over time are telling. Trends and impacts of saturated fats, trends and impacts of reluctance to use aerosols, and trends and impacts of political preferences over several polling periods across different sources.

Politics is big business, in the local scheme of things. Battle axes and long swords are being readied. Where business is reliant on the favor of government the stakes are high. Transitions are anticipated but dramatic change is discouraged.

With time until the next election this could be the most entertaining ticket to watch over the next few quarters as political, business and cultural forces collide.

Blake Doyle is The Guardian's small business columnist. He can be reached at

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