About EKOS Politics

We launched this website in order to showcase our election research, and our suite of polling technologies including Probit and IVR. We will be updating this site frequently with new polls, analysis and insight into Canadian politics. EKOS's experience, knowledge and sophisticated research designs have contributed positively to many previous elections.

Other EKOS Products

In addition to current political analysis, EKOS also makes available to the public general research of interest, including research in evaluation, general public domain research, as well as a full history of EKOS press releases.

Media Inquires

For media inquires, please contact: Frank Graves President EKOS Research Associates t: 613.235-7215 [email protected]

WILL IN-AND-OUT BE A REAL FACTOR? (and a note on why reasoned conjectures are okay) – March 3, 2011

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – March 3, 2011] – Given the recent public debate, let me begin with what I would have thought would be a pretty obvious caveat. When I comment as a pollster, my preferred role is to interpret direct empirical data. There are, however, numerous situations such as this question about the potential impacts of the in-and-out issue where the pollster is asked to provide insight without direct evidence. Notably, any attempts at prediction will lack direct evidence of the effects. Perhaps this is why Yogi Berra’s caveat about how “prediction is hard… [More...]

POLITICS OF RESENTMENT – February 3, 2011

FRANK GRAVES DISCUSSES THE ISSUE OF CORPORATE TAX CUTS

[Ottawa – February 3, 2011] – There has been a lot of debate on the issue of the corporate tax cuts lately. Frankly, I find the government’s approach on this quite puzzling. Putting aside the very mixed economic literature on the benefits/costs of corporate tax cuts as a boon to job creation, the public opinion research is remarkably consistent. Corporate tax cuts, when position against virtually all of the plausible alternatives (e.g. individual tax cuts, investment in health and education, even deficit reduction) consistently emerges as a clear loser in… [More...]

LOOKING FOR A BIG BANG: SEEING NOTHING SO FAR – January 31, 2011

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – January 31, 2011] – Over the past two weeks, we saw a number of seemingly dramatic political manoeuvres. The Liberals dug into the historical political tool chest and produced a ballot framing around the question of whether you were better of five years ago than today. When Ronald Reagan asked this of Americans some 31 years ago, things were looking downright gloomy in post-Vietnam, recession-weary America. So how would this framing work in contemporary Canada? Just as the Liberals were launching this framing, Canadians were showing rising confidence in the country… [More...]

NOTES ON INTERPRETING POLL RESULTS – December 8, 2010

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – December 8, 2010] – In reporting on our past couple of polls, our favourite polling blogster, Kady O’Malley, has raised some legitimate questions about the credibility of our next to last poll (released November 11th). The basic argument was that the statistical tie wasn’t credible and that our most recent poll results (November 25th) showing a six point lead was “more like it”. We would like to respectfully respond to the question of whether or not this was a fair assessment.

The main evidence Kady offered was that large and… [More...]

THE NARCISSISM OF GRUMPINESS AND THE 2% SOLUTION – September 27, 2010

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – September 27, 2010] – It is amazing to see the interpretive gyrations that the punditocracy have displayed in “analysing” the gun registry battle. Perhaps the only thing more amazing is how this relatively trivial issue has been a central political focus of the entire country for some time. Such salience suggests that there is the issue itself and much deeper values, symbolism and vested interest clashing under the surface level question of whether we should dismantle this relatively small and unobtrusive program. Research suggests that the actual costs and intrusiveness of… [More...]

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES – September 16, 2010

[Ottawa – September 16, 2010] – Over the last two weeks, we have seen a very stable pattern with the Tories enjoying a scant but statistically significant lead. The numbers are precariously balanced for the parties such that even very modest shifts can profoundly alter the likely outcome of the next election. Perhaps the most notable feature is how elusive a single party majority (or even a stable minority) has become. Stephen Harper came to power with a minority government that the voters thought was the right antidote to the regime fatigue they felt with what had become near chronic… [More...]

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES – September 2, 2010

[Ottawa – September 2, 2010] – For the second time in a month, the Conservatives and the Liberals have moved into a statistical tie. While Michael Ignatieff’s travelling redemption show may have brought him and his party back from life support to fully fledged contenders for the next government, the demographic patterns suggest that the new parity is as much a product of Tory largesse to their competitors as any action on part of the Liberals. Indeed, in a frankly incomprehensible manner, Stephen Harper may very well have resuscitated the Leader of the Opposition with his decision to cancel the… [More...]

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES – August 5, 2010

[Ottawa – August 5, 2010] – First of all, everyone seems to focus on the last week and it is the more interesting but the first week of the two week period was much better for the Conservatives and more consistent with previous weeks. The last week, however, clearly seems to show a significant shift in the voter landscape

As the Conservatives slip below the 30-point margin, it might be time for Stephen Harper to call in. This is really a very bad poll for the Conservatives. They have slipped back into a virtual tie with the Liberals and… [More...]

FRANK GRAVES RESPONDS TO SCRAPPING OF MANDATORY LONG CENSUS FORM – July 16, 2010

This statement was written as a response to “Give Me Back My Compulsory Long Form Census Questionnaire“ by Dr. Alex Himelfarb, Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University.

[Ottawa – July 16, 2010] – As a professional researcher, I am dismayed by this development. But I believe that this latest episode is just a symptom of a broader malaise which is increasingly infecting our society. Ironically, some 50 years after the coining of the term Post Industrial Society, where knowledge and intellectual… [More...]

THE PAST PARLIAMENTARY YEAR IN REVIEW: PUBLIC PERSPECTIVES – June 24, 2010

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – June 24, 2010] – One way of looking at the current political landscape is to compare relative political fortunes today with those at the outset of parliament in the fall. Think of this as a melodrama in several distinct chapters:

CHAPTER ONE: HARPERMANIA!

Stephen Harper delivers a compelling Michael Bublé impersonation at the National Arts Centre and soars to clear majority territory.

Michael Ignatieff tries a Trudeauesque gunslinger showdown with Harper by threatening election but the Trudeau redux manoeuvre leaves him gasping in the dust 15 points down… [More...]

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES – June 17, 2010

[Ottawa – June 17, 2010] – What a mess! An increasingly muddled political landscape has few points of clarity. Perhaps the only clear conclusion we can draw from the most recent poll and the marked patterns of recent trajectory is that Canadians have no party which would come even close to achieving a plausible mandate from an ever more disgruntled and fragmented electorate. It is difficult to imagine how a hobbled 116 seat strong Conservative Party could achieve, let alone sustain, parliamentary confidence (or public confidence). The enfeebled Liberals are even further away from anything resembling a mandate to rule… [More...]

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES – June 10, 2010

[Ottawa – June 10, 2010] – The new poll, and the recent trajectory behind it, suggest a quite different political landscape than even 3 weeks ago. Although the changes have been slight, the strategic implications of the differences are profound. The Conservatives have slipped from being clearly in the driver’s seat to riding shotgun with scant distance between them and their pursuers. Moreover, the recent trajectory has cast them in the new role of a floundering party.

Perhaps the most troubling feature of this poll for the Conservatives are the directional numbers. Confidence in national direction has been steadily… [More...]

Public Perceptions on Politics and Emotion: The Paradox of the Rational Imperative

The following presentation was delivered by Frank Graves to the The 2010 Walter Gordon Massey Symposium on Public Policy on March 17, 2010. [More...]

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL VOTE… CANADIANS SPEAK ON THE IMPACT OF INTERNET VOTING – December 17, 2009

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – December 17, 2009] – Many have commented on the dismal overall rates of voter participation in Canada (the anaemic rates declined to historical nadir in 2008). This lack of participation was particularly pronounced amongst the under-45 population; “Generation X” had weak voting rates, and the younger “Generation Y” stayed home in droves. This was in sharp contrast to the significant spike up in voting rates amongst young Americans in the last Presidential election (a crucial factor which propelled Obama to victory). In Canada, there was and is no current Obama analogue… [More...]

CHECK OUT FRANK GRAVES’ COMMENTARY ON THE ELECTION @ RANDOM INSIGHTS

For more analysis of the 2008 federal election, check out Frank Graves’ “Random Insights”. This site contains Frank’s recent and published commentary and will be updated regularly throughout the remainder of the campaign.

Just follow the link located on the left side of the ekospolitics.com homepage or click here to go there immediately: Random Insights from Frank Graves

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING OR A BUTTERFLY EFFECT?

BY FRANK GRAVES

[OTTAWA – September 28, 2008] In chaos theory we see how very small initial events can produce huge changes to the dynamics of complex systems. While the mathematics for exploring butterfly effects in political systems is generations away we get the feeling that there might be much bigger things afoot than might be immediately apparent from a casual review of