Friday, April 27, 2012

It's a feature

"Why did Alberta election pollsters get it wrong?":
"For days leading up to the Alberta election, every public opinion poll suggested the upstart Wildrose Party was poised to end the Progressive Conservatives' 41-year rule in the province.

. . .

Journalist and blogger David Climenhaga, on the other hand, argued that "pollsters, as a group, really blew it."

He told Power Play that Albertans were inundated with pollsters' robocalls during the campaign, and many voters were averse to answering the phone.

"The only people who bothered to answer those questionnaires were committed people and I believe that skewed the result in favour of ideological parties," Climenhaga said.

A University of Lethbridge professor said he believes "a combination of all of the above" resulted in Monday's stunning election results.

Geoffrey Hale, who teaches political science, told Power Play that at least one last-minute election poll picked up the shift in favour of the PCs.

Whatever led the Tories to an unexpected victory, de Clercy said it's important to remember that polls' sample sizes and methodology can have serious limitations.

For example, if pollsters are only calling landlines, they won't be catching younger voters who are more likely to only use cellphones, she said. Depending on the time of the day and the geographic area, pollsters may be capturing a segment of voters that doesn't represent a wider public opinion or reflect the nuances of voting habits.

"Pollsters are trying to keep up with the trends," de Clercy said, but they don't always succeed."
This was no mistake. It was a conspiracy to radically change Canada. Pollsters know their methods lead their polls to skew right (the fact that they polled using landlines is the key). It's not a bug, it's a feature. They sold this feature to the ultra right. The idea was to convince Albertans that a libertarian victory was inevitable. Conservative voters would be disheartened and stay away from the polls.  Undecideds would vote for the party they they perceived would be the sure winner. Nobody wants to waste a vote, and nobody wants to be associated with the loser.  The pollsters were able to sell their services simply because the results were pre-cooked, and they could assure their customers that faulty methodology across the industry would mean all results - even those sold to impartial purchasers - would be pre-cooked.

This fraud on the people of Alberta is bad enough, but we head into conspiracy with the role of the mainstream media.  The story never waivered - the libertarians were sure to win.  Even better, what did this mean for Canada?  Libertarian wins across the country.  No sense putting up a fight.  It is inevitable.  The voters in Alberta actually foiled an ultra-right-wing coup d'état.

Watch for more of this, at least until it is common knowledge how crooked the polling firms are.  I know they have other methods of polling.  That's great. Use them.  However, given the way unequal access to technology has created - or at least relabeled - these new class divisions, I doubt they can ever really determine voter intentions.  We should stop listening to polls, and stop buying media products that serve polls up to us.
blog comments powered by Disqus