09.11.2015 07:44 AM

KCCCC Day 40: my advice for today, in 140 characters or less


  • Look, I don’t know about you.  But, personally, I am fed up to the teeth with a pile of polls that are completely contradictory, and obviously flawed, and are being offered up to us like they were the gospel.  Fed up.
  • So here’s my advice for the day.  Have a good one.


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    MississaugaPeter says:

    You mean you don’t wake up extra early to assess, and suggest to others that they assess as well, Nanos daily 6:00 a.m. poll results for National Ballot and Voter Consider?

    Or make sure your afternoon break corresponds with Nanos daily 2:00 p.m. poll results for Preferred PM?

    And don’t feel complete unless one of the networks introduces another poll in the evening news and another at the nightly news?

    I guess you have Lisa and we don’t.

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    Matt says:


    Nanos – CPC 31, Lib 31, NDP 30

    Forum – NDP 36, Libs 29, CPC 28.

    One says NDP WAY out front in BC. Others say statistical tie in BC.

    Three difderent polls have three different paties leading in Ontario.

    One has a massive CPC lead in Man and Sack, another has the Libs way out front in Manitoba and yet another says the NDP are just a few points behind the CPC in Sask.

    Translation – NOBODY HAS A FUCKING CLUE what’s going to happen.

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    Matt says:

    I propose an experiment.

    Take an election, doesn’t matter federal or provincial, and BAN polling during the election. Maybe even a few months before the writ is dropped too.

    My hunch is there would be a significant increase in voter turnout.

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      doconnor says:

      I’ve noticed the most important factor in voter turnout is whether the polls show a clear winner, so not publishing polls would boost turnout.

      However a poll ban would probably not survive a Charter challenge or work for Canadian polls published outside of Canada.

      PR is a better solution since eliminates most of the reason polls influence people. There is no need for strategic voting and your vote always counts.

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    Alex says:

    +100 Warren. I think the overreliance by the press on polls is borderline irresponsible. While I do think the Tories are getting frustrated, (see their recent decision to hire Aussie campaign advisor Lynton Crosby), and that Harper will eventually lose, the truth of the matter is that any of the three major parties can still win this election.

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    Christian says:

    Sound advice. Agree with Matt – BAN polling during elections. I think it does more harm then good.

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    Jon Powers says:


    He’s being reasonable! GET HIM!

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    Al in Cranbrook says:


    Will say, when I saw the CPC bump from 26% to 29% post Harper interview, I thought, “Hmmm….”

    Now to 31%.

    To affect that turn around in two cycles of 400 interviews, would seem to indicate a significant shift.

    Harper certainly looked and sounded the most prime ministerial of the three.


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      Jason says:

      I’ll give you that he’s the most skilled at message control, but he came off to me as a condescending bully. Too much “frankly” and “there’s really no debate” statements on issues where there is debate. My guess is his typical supporters will like his style there but not much other than alienation for anyone else in the group I watched with.

      My guess is his tone will change soon, because it has to.

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      Doug says:

      I think the CPC “rise” has more to do with the fact the polls who had them in the mid 20’s were conducted over the long weekend. They were near 30 before that weekend and are back around 30 afterword. I don’t think there has been much movement at all during this campaign between any of the three parties. It’s still logjammed.

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      Brad says:

      Al, I think you may have completely missed the message of this thread, so I’ll bring you up date…

      Polls are not reliable.

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      ottlib says:

      It would appear Al is not taking Mr. Kinsella’s advice.

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    JonT says:

    But Warren, if we don’t have piles of polls what will the media have to slobber over? Policy? Economics? Security? Taxation? Governance?

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    Matt says:

    Even worse than the inconsistencies in the data is the obvious bias in the analysis by the pollsters. Case in point: Today’s Forum asked who has rhe best plan for the refugee situation

    CPC 24%
    Libs 19%
    NDP 18%
    No One 16%
    Don’t know 23%

    But check out Bozonoff’s biased anti CPC analysis:
    “Even though the Conservatives’ plan for handling the Syrian refugee issue drew more support than any other party’s, a majority of respondents were either not in sync with Stephen Harper or didn’t know who had the best plan.”

    What Bozonoff ignores is even FEWER Canadians are “in sync” with the Liberal and NDP plans for refugees.

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      JPSD says:

      It’s a Forum poll…

      Licking my finger and sticking it in the air would get me a more accurate indication of voter intentions in Canada.

      Its a wonder to as to how they still exist as a polling firm given that no one respects them (expect maybe the NDP because Forum consistently has them in majority territory)

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      Derek Pearce says:

      19+18=37, which is more than 24 the last time I had a math class.

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        Matt says:

        Uh, las I checked the NDP and Liberals actually have DIFFERENT plans to deal with the refugees, so:

        24% like the CPC plan, 76% don’t/don’t know

        19% like the Lib plan, 81% don’t/don’t know

        18% like the NDP plan, 82% don’t/don’t know.

        Around here, 81 and 82 are both more than 76, which means, as I said, fewer Canadians like the Lib and NDP plans.

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    Lyndon Dunkley says:

    It surprises me greatly that two commentators on one of the most intelligent political discussion forums around think banning information is sound policy. What’s next? Banning any commentary on the election during the writ period all together? We all love the full Warren menu here but 80 days of Hot Nasties updates would get a little trying.

    Besides, the history of banning has not been that great. “Hey man, you want some polls? Sure what do you got? I’ve got some Alberta and a little bit of southern Ontario but next week I’m getting some Maritimes and some province-wide Quebec that will blow your mind.”

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      Warren says:


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    Taco says:

    Question: back say 1993 when cell phones weren’t the norm, and a phone book provided a reliable source of random sample to poll from, did you get daily fluctuations like this?

    I am asking because you likely had access to daily internal polling data. even the pollster who is using a 3 day rolling average seems a bit much for daily shift.

    Was this normal?

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      Warren says:

      Nope. In those days, we had reliable lists.

      Now, they have millions of potential voters with no land line, and no reliable means to get to them. So, they kind of wing it, with Internet pools, IVR and the like.

      And with the media polls, you get what you pay for. Namely, nothing.

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    cassandra says:

    Best Advice ever!

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    Houland Wolfe says:

    For those of you who think Harper is in the crapper, think again.

    On the campaign trail today, Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, announced a tax credit for toilet paper users. The Canadian Righteous Ablutions Program (CRAP) will take effect as soon as the federal budget is balanced.
    He pronounced “cleanliness is next to godliness. Unlike the other guys, we believe in God and we believe in keeping clean. People need to pull up their socks so that when the rubber hits the road at the end of the day, they are ready for the innovative opportunities springing from living in the best country in the world”.

    Harper noted the ease with which to receive the credit. “We already monitor the nation’s toilets, so flush once and come on board.”
    Justin Trudeau immediately denounced Harper for adding to the already endless list of tax credits. “Mr. Harper cannot see a human activity without dumping a tax credit on it. His toilet paper tax credit isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.” The twitter-verse immediately shat on Trudeau for using the most obvious reference.

    Tom Mulcair was even more scatological. “Harper has been caught with his pants down, papering over the cracks in his economic policies which have taken us to the very bottom. There is no discretion in excretion.” The twitter-verse gave somewhat higher marks to Mulcair’s triplet, but wondered about his last sentence.
    Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, noted that her party already has a bidet tax credit. “Clearly Stephen Harper is getting desperate. The Green Party is a large movement and we are going to wipe his sorry, pimpled, white ass.” Ms May immediately issued a retraction, stating she was sorry about using the term “sorry”, stating she was exhausted and not drunk, just like that other time.

    Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) refused to confirm or deny whether Harper’s arse was pimpled or white. “I just do as I am told”, said one, “I have never seen his butt. I just hold my nose and close my eyes. A kiss is just a kiss.”
    The Puffster, otherwise known as the Senator, from possibly PEI, maybe, discharged this comment: “For all the BS the PM drops on the unsuspecting public, it’s a wonder if he ever sits on his duff.”

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    Harvey Bushell says:

    I would like to add that anyone who takes Eric Grenier’s CBC poll analyses seriously should re-examine his past predictions vs results. At best he’s been moderately close (but still no cigar) about 1/2 the time. That’s a coin toss away from being right or wrong each time.

    He’s a Nate Silver wannabe without the ability to actually analyze data. Like clockwork after every election he spends most of his time explaining why he was wrong and blaming the pollsters.

    Silver’s predictions were eerily accurate, Grenier’s should be thrown in Lake Erie.

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      Matt says:

      Well, Eric has a built in excuse when his predictions go down in flames.

      He does none of his own polling.

      So when the big boys release flawed data, given he relies on said data, it naturally follows his analysis is going to be wrong.

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      Alex says:

      I take your point Harvey. However, we also need to recognize that Canada’s political system is much harder to handicap than the U.S. one. One of the reason Nate Silver is so good at predicting U.S. elections is because they are essentially a binary choice. Things get a lot harder when you add more parties to the mix like in Canada. This helps explain why Silver’s prediction of the 2015 U.K. election was so poor. That being said, I agree with you that Eric Grenier’s blog should not be taken too seriously.

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    Ridiculosity says:

    Statistics beat polls every time.

    So much for Harper’s ongoing sound bite that Canadians have been better off under his leadership: http://huff.to/1F1BIxj

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    So, there you have it. Both Mulcair and Trudeau are going to pull our F-18s out of the region, and Muclair aims to pull everyone else, too.

    IOW, leave all the heavy lifting up to someone else. “Yes, ISIS are a bunch murderous, genocidal bastards, with a lust for raping, butchering, young women into sex slavery, pillaging, mass executions, you name it…but that’s not our problem.”

    …and they have the gall to bitch about Conservatives ruining Canada’s international reputation??? Just disgraceful!!!

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