It’s not about the economy, stupid.

I love these Vote Compass reports from CBC Saskatchewan. The respondent pool is huge, which is nice, and even though they’re not pre-selected, respondents are polled from a non-random sample and weighted.

In other words, it’s about as accurate as the next poll.

This particular report cites what we’ve heard over and over again: 2016 Saskatchewan voters are most concerned about the economy and healthcare, in that order.

While I’m sure these results are accurate, the reality is that the economy and healthcare are absolutely not the top two voter concerns.

Hope and happiness are Saskatchewan voters’ top two concerns.

Respondents to this Vote Compass poll, not given the option of either, chose to filter their best possible future hope and happiness through the issue of the Saskatchewan economy. And yeah, it’s tough to feel happy or hopeful when the possibility of waiting for hours in your local Emergency Room looms large in the event of crisis.

In 2007 the SaskParty filtered hope and happiness through the lens of change: “hope beats fear”.

In 2011 they didn’t have to filter hope or happiness, because the issue that defined that election was Dwain Lingenfelter – we may not remember the things he said, but we remember how he made us feel, and it wasn’t happy or hopeful.

If 2016 feels off, it’s because neither party has tapped into that fact. Both are attempting to scare voters into feeling afraid of the what the other guy would do, instead of convincing voters that their own guy will ensure that hope and happiness remains intact.

 

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