Friday, January 11, 2013

EKOS Ideology Poll: 48% Liberal, 25% Conservative, 22% Hipsters

And by hipsters, I mean whatever the heck the NDP are calling themselves these days.

Its an interesting poll, with certain parts best represented in graphical form:

In every province, at least a plurality say they're "liberal." Even Alberta, which definitely has the most "conservatives," has a plurality of ideological liberals. That isn't as surprising however, given the recent election provincial election results, where the conservatives were crushed by a decidedly liberal Conservative party.

The question is, of course, what people actually mean when they say they're "liberal" or "conservative" or "neither." Ideology is a funny thing, to say the least, and there is no easy way to square every peg you have. No one is completely "liberal" or "conservative," and even if they are, what subset of those grander ideologies do they fit into? Are they social or classical liberals? Do they fit more with European Christian democratic thought, or American neo-conservative movements? Are they democratic socialists or social democrats?

You can see where this gets way off track. Narrowing it down to "liberal" and "conservative" is easy and useful for broad generalization, but it isn't accurate. Add in the general lack of knowledge people have about what ideologies go where, and it becomes almost unreliable at times.

Anyways, we do have the data here, so lets figure it out. Why would so many people say they are "liberal"? Is it simply because most generations currently alive grew up with Liberal governments? Or are Canadians just that much nicer than Americans?

Actually, on that last point, a somewhat similar poll done showed that 41% of Americans are moderates, compared to 35% conservative and 25% liberal. Obviously we didn't have the "moderate" option in the EKOS poll, but it goes to show that not all Americans may not be as nutty as usually assumed - though they're up there.

Anyways, this poll actually has quite a lot of other data that may explain why so many people consider themselves "liberal." I've created a specific graph, however, to demonstrate some more data:

The coloured outlines sort of represent what I feel the standard Canadian ideologies - in the flavour of the liberal, conservative, and social democratic tones - cover, in EKOS "values" polling. It isn't a surprise, given the previous data, that what I'd call the core "conservative" values are among the least important to people, while the three values between all three ideologies - Freedom, Integrity and Ethics, and Healthy Population - are among the most important, because all three ideologies place value on those things (to some degree).

Its important to note that the one "core" value for the social democrats, the "sharing of wealth," barely gets as much support as some of the conservative values. We may be a left-leaning nation, but we aren't socialists either. All three parties recognise this, hence all three crowd the middle.

Anyways, as I said, very interesting poll, there is a lot more data there that you should look into. It doesn't confirm anything we didn't already know, of course, but it is nice to know that Harper's supposed actions to change Canada forever, have barely made a dent.

1 comment:

  1. I note very different things.

    First, Quebec is the only province with so many people (59%) saying their national ancestry is a 'very strong' sense of belonging, compared to the #2 area, the Atlantic, where the number was 49%, and the 3rd strongest, "Immigrant Ontario", with 40%.

    How many people call themselves an Albertan before a Canadian? We can't be sure from this survey, but what is clear is that only Ontario is below 50% in terms of an "Extremely Strong" sense of belonging (to a province) compare that with the second lowest, BC, at 59%, and the third lowest, Manitoba, at 64%

    Also, consider the above values graphic and compare this to provincial levels. Quebec comes out low on "government intrusions" yet votes NDP. Despite that, it is the highest for "Sharing the Wealth", an NDP issue. Quebec is also the least tolerant (74, compared to the most tolerant at 80) but also has the highest threshold for low integrity (81 to 91)

    Note also how different things break down. Social media for example is seen as good for democracy in all provinces, and despite some push back among Conservatives, also among all parties. Where the different really shows is with education levels and age.

    Another interesting question is if the government focuses too much on those over 42, under 42, or neither. Those under 42 day those over 42 get better treatment, while those over 42 say not the opposite, but rather, that both are treated equally.

    Back to politics, consider this:
    7% of Liberals identify as conservative
    10% of Conservatives identify as liberal

    One of the most puzzling results is that Conservatives are the only group to say things are better now than they were 25 years ago (1988) despite normally being thought of as the party of the past. Perhaps, though, it should be noted that Conservatives have been in government for half that time; as have the Liberals.

    What is really striking is how Conservatives are the only group who think that the middle-class is better off now than in 1988. This may be a cause-and-effect, in that, those who have truly gotten better off in that time now are Conservatives to protect their status.

    What's most interesting is how different parties seem to live in different realities.

    What is not interesting, to me, is that it is the Liberals who have the most support from the so-called "upper class" (self defined). This is actually in line with history in Canada, where our Liberals have been far more successful in getting the "1%" to support them than other non-conservative parties in other countries.