M998.48.40 | Summer Polls
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1990, 20th century
Ink, felt pen and opaque pigment on paper mounted on paper
23.5 x 23.9 cm
Gift of Mr. Terry Mosher
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (general) (2228)
Keys to History
"Poking fun at the pretentiousness around us is at the heart of all good cartooning. No one escapes this scrutiny, not even the prognosticators in our own business!
The media are constantly publishing studies and polls in an earnest effort to explain exactly who and what we are. Canadians seem particularly prone to this preoccupation. Endless surveys attempt to define us as a people. So, one summer day when yet another dreary poll appeared in the newspaper, the question occurred to me: Would Canadians rather be reading this survey, or...?"
Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)
During summer, when federal and provincial politicians are on vacation, there isn't much news being generated. The same is true for financial and cultural news. It's rare that business or arts groups announce a new program in summer; they usually wait until the fall. Still, daily newspapers must fill their pages with something. So what do they do? Sponsor a poll, of course!
In Canada, for the past thirty years, polls have been as much a part of the news as are actual news events. Do Canadians outdo their American or European counterparts in wanting to analyze the heart and soul of their communities? It's a moot question.
In the weeks before elections or other important events, polling firms are out testing the mood of voters. Polls, like marketing studies, are often used to determine consumer preferences before a political party or business revamps its image.
The most important polling firms in Canada when this cartoon was published were Angus Reid, CROP (Centre de recherche sur l'opinion publique), Decima Research, Environics Research Group, Léger Marketing (a member of Gallup International Association) and Sorecom.