Four Years Of Harper: It’s All Your Fault…

… if you’re under 45. So says Frank Graves, president of EKOS research. Remember when all those polls were predicting the last election would end in a Harper minority? Remember how wrong those polls were? (I even posted about pollster prognostications here, here and here.)

Well, I remember how one of the big critiques of election polling that came up here and on other sites was that pollsters weren’t polling people who use cell phones; and, seeing as young people mostly use cell phones, their opinions weren’t being tallied and thus the polls were invalid.

Turns out, according Graves, the pollsters were polling cell phone users and that was their big mistake. Cell phone users — the majority being youngishy people — tend not to vote. Even the ones who, when polled, say they’re planning to.

Meanwhile, people over 45, many of whom still think a land line is a nifty invention, do vote. And lots of them like to vote Conservative.

By weighting a cell-phone response the same as a land-line response, EKOS and all the other polling firms wound up with massively skewed predictions. From the Globe and Mail article:

The proportion of Canadians who vote has always increased with age, but the differential has never been as great as it is now. In addition, the values gulf between young and old probably has never been greater. And the demographic skewing of the population – proportionately so many older people – is almost certainly unprecedented.

When Mr. Graves retraced his steps, he found that if under-45 Canadians had voted in the same proportion as over-45 Canadians, there would have been no Conservative majority but more likely an NDP-led coalition.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I voted. (I tried to vote twice. But apparently, in real life, when you take off your hat and glasses you can’t pass for a different person.) So where were the rest of you on election night, my under-45 peeps? Hunh? Whitworth can blame whoever it is he’s prone to blame. But looks like oldsters and dyed-in-the-wool Tories were voting the way they’ve always voted — and, more importantly, actually fucking voting. Nothing surprising or disappointing in any of that. Personally, I’m thinking that stern and reproachful gaze would be better directed towards my own damn demographic.

Thanks my cell-phone-using peers! Thanks for Harper! You didn’t vote for the government you deserve.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

6 thoughts on “Four Years Of Harper: It’s All Your Fault…”

  1. Hey! Don’t look at me. I voted. Now I’m going back to my special happy place where I’m planning to live for four years.

  2. Me either, I voted and so did my partner. We went together. Doesn’t make it suck less tho.

  3. Hilary: There wouldn’t happen to be a spare room and HBO in your special happy place?

  4. No time to hide: the provincial election is this November and Regina’s municipal election is in 2012. (And, a week later, we get to watch the Obama/Palin matchup.)

    The under-40s are and have always been highly educated, politically aware, and fiercely motivated before and after elections but not on Election Day itself. This has always baffled me.

    My only watery thesis on this is we mimic our parents. If, when we reached voting age, our parents voted and pressured us into voting, then we became life-long voters.

  5. Or, it could be, that this crazy statistical thing called “margin of error” came into play. They don’t poll everyone…. lots of people hang up the phone as soon as they find out it’s not someone they know.
    And don’t forget that we elect via First-Past-the-Post. Did more people vote Tory than they thought would? Maybe, but not that much. Did enough vote that way to make the difference in at least a dozen ridings? Yep, absolutely.
    Also let’s no forget that this was one of the craziest election campaigns we’ve ever seen, where the Liberals started out well in the polls but ended up getting decimated, as the NDP vote increased. Polls are fun but don’t tell the real story…. in fact I almost think they are held to manipulate the vote. “Nobody’s voting your way, better change your vote”.

Comments are closed.