Friday, June 17, 2011

Why Frank Graves Was Wrong

On election day 2011 the Conservative party beat EKOS pollster Frank Graves final prediction by 6%, giving EKOS the distinction of being the most inaccurate Canadian polling firm at forecasting the May 2nd result. Frank was devastated and wanted to figure out what went wrong and what he discovered "raises worrying questions about the nature and future management of Canadian democracy" (in the words of Michael Valpy at the Globe and Mail). Why was he so wrong? Because Frank's methodology is so advanced that it is a more accurate reflection of voter preference than actual election results. Yes, Frank being wrong proves our democracy is broken, and he was wrong because he was too accurate.

Here's an idea, why even bother holding elections? Instead we can hire EKOS to poll a "random" sample of the population to decide who sits in our Parliament. We should trust Frank Graves more than the voting public, because some of the voting age public don't vote; and if the people who don't vote had decided to vote, it would hurt the Tories. That's the explanation anyway in quite a flattering piece by Mr Valpy.

"Mr. Graves has made a practice of going beyond other pollsters to tell the country's story, tracking Canadians' values, attitudes, generational conflicts and thoughts on everything from nationalism and the state to the role of emotion in politics, and class and age dispositions toward knowledge and morality."


  1. Reminds me of Frank Grimes,, (good ole Grimey) from The Simpsons.. LOL

  2. The fact that this asshole woudl stretch that far to maintain his delusion shows just how out of touch the media elitists are with the average Canadian.

    I think that's terrific. The farther out they go - the less readership/viewers they'll have - the farther they'll sink. - Super.

    Keep up the good work Valpy - you cocktail sipping shitstain.

  3. All our family voted - two generations these days, but I remember well the days when we had three generations voting. The offsprings were encouraged to become engaged and vote from an early age. When necessary, we would refuse a ballot (as opposed to spoil same) when there was not a candidate we could support. But vote we always have.

  4. See, we just don't understand Frank Graves,therefore, he must be a genius!

    He simply screwed up,and looked the idiot,but is too egotistical to admit it,so falls back on bafflegab.

    Someone above called Mr.Graves an "asshole". He'll get no argument from me.

  5. Isn't there a word for someone who knows that a particular segment of the population generally doesn't vote but does everything he can to include them in the sample of an election poll anyways?

    Arrogant jerk? Dumb ass? Asshole?

    Nope, I got it. Unemployed. It's too bad that he's self-employed, but I would hope that many outlets would think twice about contracting him in the future.

  6. Not to mention that a lot of seniors also have cellphones. There's even a section in the local shops - designated 'grandparents' if I'm not mistaken - not iPhones or smartphones, but enough to get Granny up to speed.

  7. My favourite part of the fawning article was this quote: "From having been the most accurate in 2008, he had gone to being the farthest off-base in 2011." Where did they get that one from? My memory from 2008 had Angus Reid being the most accurate...and is confirmed at this link:

    Apparently Frank Graves not only can't forecast the future, he can't get the past right either! Look elsewhere for a pollster than EKOS. This whole article is to recover Frank's lost reputation. It didn't work.

  8. Is this vapid Valpy twit aware of Frank (gravy) Graves other genius musings... like advising the Liberals that the way back to power was to start a "culture war" among Canadians? Graves is a fraud, a snake oil salesman and a propagandist for the CBC and their polarizing agenda. I'm not entirely sure that Valpy and Gravy aren't a colossal pair of A-holes.

  9. Maybe Graves, by understating Conservative support, was engaging in vote suppression.
    Wasn't that the liberal meme during the waning days of the campaign?

    The author of that article fretted about the overbearing influence of the baby boomer generation on the vote.
    Did it bother him when that same generation was voting for Trudeau and Chretien?
    It seems to me that the people of my parents generation have finally grown up.

    He also says that younger voters are disengaged because Harper is not inspiring like an Obama.
    He offers no great new visions of the future, implying that they are ripe for the plucking should an able liar appear.

    That boils it down to the two competing visions of the politics of this country.
    Statists have messianic yearnings.
    The rest of us believe in the quiet life.
    (Thanks to David Sylvian.)

  10. Graves messed up; Pure and simple. It is my view that people who vote Conservative are more likely to tell a pollster to F**k off when they ask personal questions about voter intentions or breakfast cereals for that matter. Why engage these assholes?

    My second point is that there was obviously a move to prevent a coaliton disaster led by Layton. This was probably mostly a GTA phenomemon and was unpredictable. People decided at the last instant to vote Cons. to prevent Jacko from grabbing the keys to 24 Sussex. By now the orange curtains would be gaudy with a weed infested lawn greeting visitors to the residantial property had Layton won.

    In fairness some pollsters predicted quite early that the NDP would get 100 seats and they were ridiculed by the media and pundits.

  11. According to Graves if the young people had voted then the results would have been different. Right. The fact is it is a well known fact that young people do not vote. That's been the case for years. Did he think mob voting, twitter and facebook were going to tilt the election? The fact is his bias and Liberal partisanship got in the way and he tried to tilt the story in favour of the Libs. What he missed was that the Libs were going down. Like the Libs he is an arrogant elitist who thinks he knows it all.

  12. Does Graves hold a PhD in mathematics? Is he a statistician? No. He's a plain-old BS artist. That's why he was wrong.