Unfortunately, we can't help ourselves.
Today we are informed of more topics from last month's Probe survey that queried a portion of the decreasing number of Manitobans who answer their phones these days. Apparently, it not only asked people on subjects ranging from investments to provincial party preference to favourite tissue paper to most important public issue, but also inquired about how well Sam Katz was doing as mayor.
We are told he is doing a little less well than a year ago -- though going from 76-69% in approval is generally nothing to have much of a cry about.
But then, on the completely hypothetical question seemingly raised by Freep scribe Bart Kives about whether Sam would be in trouble if some unnamed high-profile challenger had entered the ring, Probe poo-bah Lloyd Fridfinnson opined, "That goes without saying. If there was another 'name' out there, he'd have been vulnerable." (We guess McKay was prognosticating elsewhere yesterday.)
"That goes without saying"? "Vulnerable"? Really?
So, that's the state of polling in Manitoba these days -- tautology?
Certainly that just 17% of Katz's supposed 69% support is "very well" as opposed to 52% "fairly well" is not all one would hope if you were a Sam booster. But we doubt it would be something Sam and his Tory strategists are getting all that worked up about.
Not to mention you have to go to the sidebar and notice that Katz is almost exactly where he was two years ago, shortly after being elected. Back then, Probe assessed his approval at 71% compared to today's 69%. A statistically insignificant difference.
This was right after he defeated heavy-hitter (literally and figuratively) Dan Vandal.
In a by-election.
Without the advantage of incumbancy.
It goes without saying he would be vulnerable? Really?
Perhaps. Just maybe. But as we state again neither the Probe nor the Free Press has an iota of information to back up this truism.
Apart from being an excuse for the Free Press to strongly imply its frustration that there is not really a race on for the mayor's chair, the story and the information about the poll is virtually meaningless.
However, the OTHER poll story in today's paper is interesting. Sam is reportedly polling to find out if he has enough royal jelly to share with his preferred council candidates. In other words, if he came out of the closet and declared there was a Sam slate would it help or not? Good question. We suspect not, but we suppose we will find out what answer they get soon.
And to poor Mark Lubosch who seemingly thought that there was perhaps honour at city hall and took Sam at his word that he wouldn't run anyone against him -- hopefully the scales have finally fallen from Mark's eyes. Assuming he's re-elected, he may want to reevaluate his relationship with the mayor's office. (Hint: They're not your friends. They don't like you.)
And further to the item about Shelly Glover...
We received several emails from people apparently in the know who say Shelly had long ago abandoned the thought of running provincially and was far more engaged on federal issues, like the Young Offenders Act, or whatever it's called now.
Also, they say the Harperites think St. B is a potential steal next time around, even more in the target window than Wpg South Centre.
Well, these points are remotely plausible, we suppose. And in the last election both St. B and South Centre showed margins between the Libs and Conservatives of only 5 or 6 points.
(Though a repeat of the near-perfect anti-Liberal storm, we would submit, seems unlikely. If Harper wins a majority, it will likely be on general performance approval and the Liberals not providing a real alternative, not on anger against the Libs. So we think their chances of growing their margins in either St. B or South Centre to the point of victory is not very high.)
But the most interesting point about the "in the know" emails we received were the definitive statements about when Glover made this choice to forget provincial politics and go federal. These definitive statements ranged anywhere from a year ago to just last spring.
Hmm. We are still willing to bet that if Shelly thought she had a good shot at being a cabinet minister in an a Huey government in Manitoba, she'd take that over the remote prospect of being a backbencher in Ottawa.