“Get at it, boys,” said Mr. Smith, “vote and keep on voting till they make you quit.”
Canadians go to the polls today, from coast to coast to coast.
This is a limited offer: one vote per customer.
The next time the man on the white horse comes in, he may not be so benign. He could be a real racial hater or a divider of people.
Jim Squires, one-time spokesperson for Ross Perot.
Squires made the comment after the 1992 U.S. election, which showed that millions of Americans were ready to go crazy for a thin-skinned, TV-adept billionaire who promised to shake things up in Washington, D.C.
Quoted in The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism,
by Steve Kornacki (p. 209)
The Tyee has published a handy pdf version of our look at the record of the British Columbia Liberal government.
You can download it here.
The Tyee has posted the final version of our look at 15 years of Liberal rule in British Columbia.
You can read the full story here.
The second part of the Tyee’s look at the British Columbia Liberal party in power is up.
The Tyee has just published the story below, which lists some of the more dubious elements of the British Columbia Liberal government’s record. I played a small part in creating it, along with David Beers and a bunch of other Tyee folks.
It’s a key question, given the swarm of public opinion reports on the horizon.
By Tom Barrett
In recent weeks, pollsters have asked us questions about UFOs, cyberscams, the coming federal election and Metro Vancouver’s transit plebiscite. But there’s one question many of us are asking the pollsters: Why should we believe you?
The 2013 B.C. election fail did for the polling industry what the Hindenburg did for the dirigible as the last word in air safety. Since then, pollsters have been struggling to find ways to better measure what we’re thinking.
For pollsters, there’s no money in asking questions about elections and releasing the numbers to the media. They do it as a marketing tool to attract clients who want to know what people think about, say, shampoo.
Because the numbers in marketing surveys are difficult to verify, calling elections correctly is one of the few ways pollsters can show they know their stuff. Calling elections correctly, however, is becoming increasingly difficult. And bum results don’t attract clients.
University of British Columbia political science professor Richard Johnston said he understands their plight. “If I were in the firms I would almost ask myself, ‘Is it worth it to be in the prediction business?'” he said.
But if pollsters quit doing public polls, voters are left with less information, said Johnston. Voters have a valid interest in knowing how their fellow citizens are going to vote because it allows them to decide how to vote most effectively, he said. “If you can’t make sense of the polling information, then what do you do?” Continue reading
‘Show me the numbers,’ demands Insights West president, who says voters simply changed their minds.
By Tom Barrett
A veteran pollster is calling BS on BC Liberal claims that the party’s internal polls predicted the May 14 provincial election result.
On the eve of the election, polls published in the media suggested a comfortable majority for the New Democratic Party. Instead, the Liberals won by more than four percentage points.
After the election, Liberal sources said their own polls had indicated they would win 48 seats. The party ended up winning 49 seats.
Steve Mossop, president of Insights West, says he doesn’t believe the stories.
During a recent panel discussion at Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre, Mossop was asked by an audience member about media reports that contrasted public pollsters’ embarrassing failures with the Liberals’ own polls.
“I knew the question would come up and my answer to that is, ‘I cry BS,'” he said. “There’s no way. I have never seen the data…
“Show me the numbers.”
Added Mossop: “Every insider that I’ve ever talked to, both in the NDP and in the Liberals, said they all thought they were doomed to fail that night. It’s very easy after the fact, once you’ve won, to say, ‘We knew it all along.'” Continue reading
May election results reveal a surprising new voter bloc for the BC NDP.
By Tom Barrett
As the B.C. New Democratic Party racks its neural tissues to discover how it blew a 20-point lead in the polls on May 14, it might be happy to learn that the news isn’t all bad.
Sure, the NDP was thumped in an election that everybody expected it to win. But it did make gains in some unexpected places.
Among the very rich, for example.
Final election results show the NDP made some of its biggest gains in some of B.C.’s wealthiest ridings. Ridings like Vancouver-False Creek, where the NDP increased its total by a healthy 3,479 votes over its 2009 showing. Ditto for Vancouver-Fairview (up 2,768 votes) and North Vancouver-Seymour (up 2,343 votes).
All three of those ridings are among the 10 constituencies with the highest median after-tax incomes, according to BC Stats. In fact, six of the 10 ridings where the NDP made its biggest gains May 14 are on that top 10 income list. (The figures, while the latest available for income by constituency, come from the 2006 census and are a bit dated. But heck, a riding that was wealthy in 2006 is probably still doing pretty well today.)
The table below shows the wealthy ridings where the NDP vote increased the most. The margin columns show who won the riding in the last two elections and the winner’s margin as a percentage of the total vote.
|Riding||09 Margin||13 Margin|
|Vancouver-False Creek||Lib 28.9||Lib 15.5|
|Vancouver-Fairview||Lib 4.9||NDP 5.1|
|North Vancouver-Seymour||Lib 31.8||Lib 18.0|
|Vancouver-Point Grey||Lib 10.1||NDP 4.4|
|Surrey-Cloverdale||Lib 32.9||Lib 30.5|
|West Vancouver-Capilano||Lib 53.0||Lib 44.7|
As shown, two of these wealthy ridings, Vancouver-Fairview and Vancouver-Point Grey, abandoned the Liberals for the NDP. And the Liberals’ victory margins fell in all of the other four. Clearly, in B.C. the class war is riddled with quislings. Continue reading
Many flubbed their May 14 election calls. Here’s one who thinks he knows why.
By Tom Barrett
June 21, 2013
Pollster Kyle Braid thinks he’s figured out how he missed so badly in the May 14 election.
Like almost every other pollster, Braid, a vice-president at Ipsos Reid, came up with results on the eve of the election that suggested a healthy victory for the New Democratic Party. When that turned into a healthy victory for the BC Liberals, Braid and the other pollsters were left with egg dripping from their faces.
The last Ipsos poll, taken May 13, suggested the NDP had the support of 45 per cent of decided voters, compared to 37 per cent for the BC Liberals. The final results were NDP 40 per cent, Liberals 44.
Braid told an audience at the Spur Festival in Vancouver this week that he thinks he adjusted his data when he shouldn’t have and failed to adjust it when he should have.
Every polling company adjusts, or weights, its samples. That’s because samples rarely look like the general population. They may, to take a simple example, contain more women than the electorate as a whole. Continue reading