The Abacus Data poll that migrated to the front page of many newspapers across the country earlier this week — the one that showed many Canadians digging in their heels over new powers for Quebec — is precisely the kind of story news editors love.
It was national in scope and recent in terms of data. Its purported findings were clear and stark enough — even somewhat counter-intuitive. And the implications, should the results prove accurate and durable over the long term, are important to the future of the country.
Sure, there are some problems with drawing too many conclusions from the survey, conducted among 1,795 respondents from outside Quebec last weekend. For one thing, a margin of error couldn’t be calculated, due to the fact that the survey was conducted online from a larger pool of about 150,000 Canadians. For another, the wording of the survey had its own problems.