Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good Reason Not to Trust Ekos Polls

Norman Spector this morning points out good reason why, when you see an EKOS poll, don't trust it. EKOS polls for our taxpayer funded CBC, plus pollster Frank Graves is a Liberal shill.
Still, even a poll skeptic such as myself was surprised to read in The Globe and Mail this morning that Ekos’s Frank Graves is simultaneously polling for the taxpayer-supported CBC and providing partisan political advice to the Liberals: “Frank Graves of Ekos Research … has told the Grits that the wedge politics of the Conservatives provide them with an opportunity to stake out a stark alternative. Stop worrying about the West, he’s told them. No need to fear polarizing the debate. It’s what worked for Mr. Chr├ętien against Preston Manning and Stockwell Day.
In his advice, Mr. Graves could hardly have been more blunt. ‘I told them that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy. If the cranky old men in Alberta don’t like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin.’ The Grits haven’t told him whether they favour this approach or not. But they are keen on projecting a more activist agenda for the party.”
Kudos to Norm Spector and you know it's just as I suspected. Above all we're probably paying this pollster. Still some will argue Graves is non-partisan like Kady O'Malley who religiously reports these polls like they came from on high but then she's a CBC hack.
Don't forget polls can be easily manipulated.
In regards to polling on the Canadian political scene, the EKOS Polling Company, which is the number one supplier of the polling data for the federal government, recently concluded a poll commissioned by the CBC showing that the Alliance has fallen to fourth place among the political parties. Competitors, Ipsos-Reid and Environics, found that the Alliance support was in second place between 19% and 20%. Which is right? Which is pushing an agenda?
Canadians should be forewarned - don't always believe the polls and treat their results with extreme caution.
BTW. Are the Liberals paying Graves for his advice?

Update:Must listen, Dave Rutherford has a good rant on this here. April 22 approx. 10:45 am mark.