Poll for CBC not "viewer-inspired", but Liberal-inspired
If anyone in Canada still had questions about whether or not Frank Graves is using his work at EKOS to further the culture war that he recommended to the Liberal Party, a recent poll presented on the CBC should have the answer.
Graves and the CBC described the poll as "viewer inspired". The individual who proposed the question, a woman by the name of Mary Pynenburg, is in actuality a former Liberal Party candidate.
The abstract describing the results of the "viewer-inspired" poll is entitled "Women See It Differently". It suggests that Canadians want to see more women involved in politics, and that women are even more likely to think so than men.
The results aren't all that surprising. Moreover, on their own the results would be entirely controversial. There's good reason to want more women involved in politics.
But when one compares the poll results to figures related to women's participation in politics, the matter becomes more transparent.
Currently, the Conservatives have 23 women in their Parliamentary caucus. It's the most women of any caucus in the House of Commons, but the smallest proportion, at 16%. The Liberal Party has 19 women in its caucus, accounting for 25% of its MPs. The NDP caucus is 32% women with 12, and the Bloc Quebecois 31% with 15.
These numbers improve slightly for the Tories when the matter becomes the question of women candidates. In the 2008 election, the Conservatives fielded 63 female candidates (20% of their total). The Liberals fielded more women with 113 (31%). The NDP fielded 104 (34%), the Bloc 20 (27%).
So while many Canadians would rightly agree that more women could stand to be involved in politics, it becomes clear that the EKOS poll in question was largely devised as a means of aggravating a cultural conflict.
Never mind that in the most recent election the Conservatives were most successful at electing women. Suddenly, poll results like this could be used to justify conservative reluctance to mandate that a certain portion of Tory candidates be women, regardless of whether or not a better a particualr riding has a better candidate to offer.
Graves, for his own part, insists that he had no such thing in mind.
“I had no idea whatsoever who submitted the viewer-inspired question,” Graves explained. “And I didn’t select it. I have never heard of Mary Pynenburg before last night. … The question that we asked was framed according to the best methodological standards and neither the question nor the analysis or reporting revealed any bias.”
The problem for Mr Graves is that, after his cultural warrior fantasies became public knowledge, noone believes him. Nor should they.
Frank Graves is utterly transparent. Until he resigns from EKOS, so will that firm.