Friday, February 19, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust as Nik Nanos Loses It

Nik Nanos used to be one of the better pollsters. Accurate, fair, on top of his game. But how quickly he has fallen, as he got it so wrong on Canadians' reaction to prorogation. According to the Globe at the time:

But Nik Nanos of Nanos Research says you don’t need a bunch of surveys to tell you that prorogation is unlikely to have a significant influence upon voting behaviour.

“Will this annoy the opposition parties? Absolutely,” Mr. Nanos said in a telephone interview. “Will the opposition parties believe that this is a broader narrative of the government using Parliament to its own political devices? Absolutely.”

But the average Canadian is unlikely to be riled by a two-month break from partisan politics, he said. “Especially since, from the perspective of voters, there really isn’t a big issue that requires the emergency attention of the House of Commons.”

Wow. I don't know if he had quit reading newspapers, but there were several big issues at the time, and even bigger ones since Harper abused his power. The Afghan detainee issue was on the top of our list then and the Buy America/Sell Canada trade agreement, that was signed without input or debate, will be there when the vacationing prime minister returns from his two month hiatus.

Gee Nik. You need to get out more.

But poor man, after screwing up so badly in January, he decided to stick his size 9's into his facial aperture, and try to once again offer up an assessment of the Canadian psyche.

The survey by Ottawa-based Nanos Research offers insight into what weight politicians should give to Facebook sites like Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) which in a matter of days in early January attracted a quarter
of a million members.

Not much, in pollster Nik Nanos's assessment. Canadians in the 18-to-29 cohort - who use Facebook the most - were little different from Canadians of other age groups in their thoughts about Facebook groups influencing government: They weren't keen on it. "They see it as an enabler of political discussion, and a kind of low-entry political transaction," said Mr. Nanos.

Now obviously Nanos has never been on CAPP, because we have very few in the 18-29 'cohort'; and as Murray Dobbin points out:

"...despite the perception that CAPP members are university and college students or recent graduates with active social lives, half of the respondents are 45 years of age or older. Thirty-four per cent of the respondents are 31-44 years of age and 16 per cent are aged 18-30. ...the respondents are politically engaged people: 88 per cent described themselves as either somewhat or very engaged in federal politics. In addition to this, 96 per cent of the participants indicated that they voted in the last federal election."

So Nik Nanos is dismissing on-line activism based on a mere 16% of 225,000 people. Brilliant.

But what our former pollster doesn't understand is that CAPP has become much more than just a single issue group. We are motivated and organized. Several spin off groups have emerged, including Canadians Rallying to Unseat Harper and Catch 22 Harper Conservatives; dedicated to getting our country back.

Mr. Harper should indeed pay attention to this. We are all voters and we are all mad. A lethal combination I can assure you.

So stick around Nik. Maybe you'll learn something.

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