09.05.2012 07:54 AM

In case they try to send it down the memory hole

Like they did in this case.


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    David says:

    Hee hee Good catch Mr.K

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    Paul says:

    Once upon a time I had lots of pollsters call me. For fun I would alternate between being a Dipper, Lib or Tory when I wasn’t screening their calls. Since only Mom and pollsters called our house, our family cancelled the home phone and is only using cell phones. (we have given our numbers to mom but not the pollsters.)

    Wanna bet there are many more Canadians like me that are tired of the bullshit circus politics has become???? We will vote on election night the way we choose and the pundits can shove it.

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    Dan says:

    The stats just aren’t that good.

    First, Canada isn’t as populated as America, but just as geographically diverse. There are entire regions of the country (I’m looking at the Maritimes, on a federal level) that have a huge asterisk beside them because they can’t get a statistical sample size reliable enough to filter out the noise.

    Second, polling organizations all over the world are applying these “likely voter” screens that don’t line up with reality. In one election they’ll say “those voters will show up for sure because they’re angry”. In another election they’ll say “those voters won’t show up because they’re too angry”. They’re completely inconsistent. They overestimate the protest wave in some elections (Alberta, Quebec), and they underestimate it in other elections (Federal, Toronto).

    Which brings me to my last point. Politics are entering a more unpredictable age. If you created a new political party called “Coalition of Unaffiliated New Things” virtually anywhere in the country, it would immediately start polling at 20%, have a shot at forming the official opposition within a year, and the government in 5. Why? People are largely sick of two-party rule, and the political machines that shield them from every effort to throw them out of power. Corruption sets in and doesn’t go away — it just takes a few years off while they’re the official opposition. And then the two main parties do things so similarly that it’s hard to see what all the inflamed rhetoric is about.

    All of this wouldn’t be so much of a problem if they didn’t report the polls as facts. All polls are speculative. And with Canadian pollsters having the track record that they have, their next headline might as well say “Four of out Five Crystal Balls Point to PQ Majority”.

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      Dan says:

      And I forgot to mention undecided voters. You’re seeing 20-30% undecideds when you get to the raw numbers, which they conveniently filter out, and assume will all break down evenly, or not vote at all. But these people are still engaged. They’re not confused. They’re not idiots. They’re just completely frustrated with their options.

      Did anyone take the CBC “Vote Compass” for Quebec? It shows how the voters are facing an impossible choice, between parties who all suck, or are fundamentally flawed in some way.


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        Dan F says:

        I’m a slightly left-leaning Ontario & Federal Lib with no stake in the Quebec election. I took the CBC Quebec vote compass just for kicks. I agree most (over 80%) with the Quebec Greens. Weird.

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          Dan says:

          See what I mean?!

          For all the outside-Quebec talk about rising separatists… I don’t think this election was about separatism at all. I think a lot of people were just tired of the Liberals.

          I suspect that if Marois starts to overreach on a referendum, she’ll lose her minority extremely fast.

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      Ryan says:

      It’s not that pollsters CAN’T get a sound sample out of Atlantic Canada.

      It’s that they WON’T.

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        Dan says:

        Fair point. I think they could get more accurate data with a bigger sample, and some honest to God hard work to weight the samples properly. But they’re already making money off the shoddy work they’re doing. Why bother to improve?

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    TimL says:

    In an age when everyone screens their calls and people can self select whether they take part in online poll groups, how can polling be considered legitimate anymore?

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    frazworth says:

    Why does she always look like she’s frightening the person she’s engaging with?

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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    I totally discounted the poll numbers when I saw that the pollsters did not publish undecideds, or strength of voting intention. They were obviously fishing for headlines, not conveying actual information to their readership. It is nonesensical not to include that data when there are not one, but two ‘new’ party’s in the mix, and especially in Quebec where a very high proportion of voters hold their nose when they vote for the least worst option.

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