Questions about Frank Graves

There’s a bit of chatter about today’s Ekos poll, but a lot of it has been about its pollster Frank Graves. As with anything in politics, there’s a problem when the messenger becomes the story rather than the message they are delivering.

A few press gallery flacks were all a-twitter at a new meme they perceived to be emerging from the Liberal benches during Question Period: “The Conservative Culture of Deceit”. Obviously more of a play on Stephen Harper’s “Culture of Defeat” remark about Atlantic Canada than the Justice Gomery’s remarks of a Liberal “Culture of Entitlement”.

The “Culture of Defeat” written for Harper in 2001 posed problems for the Conservative brand in Atlantic Canada and what made it particularly damaging was a bit of history on uncouth remarks about the region by another member of one of the Conservative’s legacy parties, the Canadian Alliance.

Back in 2000, Alliance pollster John Mykytyshyn went adrift in some turbulent seas when he remarked “[Atlantic Canadians] don’t want to do like our ancestors did and work for a living and go where the jobs are. Probably, the Alliance won’t go over as well there.”

Indeed, after these comments, the Alliance did not “go over” well in Atlantic Canada and it has taken years to climb back from these words.

Mykytyshyn told me, “as an unpaid volunteer, I was subjected to 13 days of media coverage on this based on an offhand comment that I apologized for, and the CBC did a 10 minute special on the incident.”

Fast forward to today, where we learn that the CBC’s EKOS pollster is also advising the Liberal Party of Canada giving the party strategic direction on the sentiment of the electorate.

Among Graves’ advice?

“I told them that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy. If the cranky old men in Alberta don’t like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin.”

Start a culture war? I remember years and years of Liberal criticism about Conservatives dividing Canadians, “pitting region against region”. The Liberal Party branded itself as the party that “unites” Canadians rather than divides. The only thing the Liberal Party is not known to divide these days are leadership debts and the cheque at Carmello’s — someone else will pick it up.

But the CBC’s attachment to Graves is particularly conflicted since it erupted when Mykytyshyn made those unfortunate and divisive remarks, driving it home to every east-coaster watching or listening to Canada’s state-funded broadcaster. And now? Our tax dollars pad Graves’ bottom line as he advises the Liberals on how to “stop worrying about the West” as Lawrence Martin reports him saying. Further, the CBC is using him to provide objective, research-driven advice on party politics yet he is giving advice to one party.

Division does work in politics. But when the Conservatives own the right side of the entitled vs. ordinary split what’s left? Demonization of entire constituencies, provinces and regions of people is the politics of desperation. It always fails.

UPDATE: Kory Teneycke unloads on Graves on CBC’s Power & Politics. Teneycke pointed out Graves’ donation record to the Liberal Party. The Sun points out donations totaling $11,042.72 to the Liberal Party including the leadership campaigns of Ignatieff and Rae with just $449.04 going to a Tory candidate in Ottawa-Vanier.

I emailed Richard Stursberg, the executive VP of CBC/Radio Canada about this:

Here is the CBC’s reply,

And my reply to Jeff,

and the subsequent reply,

The Sun story includes comment from Paul Adams, executive director of EKOS:

“EKOS has never polled for any political party or been retained as a client by any political party,” he said in an e-mail Thursday night.

“Mr. Graves did give an interview to Lawrence Martin, the Globe columnist, in which he offered the Liberals hypothetical advice, just as he might to any other political party in the course of an interview.

“To the extent that the Globe article may have implied that Mr. Graves had previously proffered this advice directly to the Liberal Party, it was a mistaken implication.”

From EKOS’ website, we learn about Paul Adams:

Prior to joining EKOS, Mr. Adams had a distinguished career as a journalist. He covered mainly political stories as a correspondent for CBC television’s The National and later as Parliamentary Bureau Chief for CBC Radio. In 1999, he joined the Globe and Mail as senior parliamentary correspondent and later served as the newspaper’s Middle East correspondent.

Small world.

UPDATE 4/23: Graves has apologizes for his remarks and wants to set the record straight:



  • jad

    I don't have a problem with Graves providing advice to the Liberals, especially since it is of sugh great quality. I do have a problem with Graves being paid by the CBC in taxpayer dollars to provide a weekly poll, and passing that informationa along to the Liberals, either wittingly or unwittinly.

    And I really have a problem with the CBC PAYING for a poll – why ????

  • Dirk Gibson

    Perhaps Iggy will be adding another pollster to his team to work alongside Donolo.

  • Mary T

    So, liberals are trying to get culture of defeat to play against PMSH, sorry but I take it that the liberals have admitted that they are defeated on every level, honesty, morals, integrity, and a few other things. They have lost the west forever, and hopefully the Winnipeg votes will realize that they have elected a couple of duds.

  • Liz J

    If Ekos calls, don't answer.

  • batb

    I just watched the video of the Graves/Teneycke interview on Power and Politics with Evan Soloman. 'Very revealing.

    Soloman is a real disappointment. He's an inveterate CBC/l/Liberal cheerleader and a staunch defender of Frank Graves and Ekos, despite his disclaimer at the end of the interview about all of the other pollsters that CBC consults and his protestations that the CBC-sponsored polls are unbiased. Tell me another one, Evan. Your nose just grew an inch or two.… (Track to 44:18)

    If ANY Conservative pollster (and, EXCUSE ME? Frank Graves isn't a Liberal supporter having donated over $11,000 to the LPC and $500 to the CPC in the past few years?) had suggested the incendiary opposites Graves has, the CBC, Evan Soloman, the PPG, etc. would be outraged.

    Evan Soloman wasn't outraged.

    He backed Graves up and suggested that most pollsters say “controversial” things. Graves' words, “cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy,” implying, as Kory Teneycke so succinctly pointed out, that Conservatives are parochial, moralistic, Palin-supporters (hey, aren't we in Canada?), racist, homophobic, and autocratic are more than controversial. They are over the top.

    As for Graves' suggestion that the Liberal$ should “invoke a culture war”: appalling, disgusting, divisive.

  • wilson

    And the CPC has a few questions for CBC!

    ''..Conservative Party of Canada president John Walsh sent a letter Thursday to the CBC’s Ombudsman charging that EKOS pollster Frank Graves’ comments reported in the Globe and Mail that day raise “serious questions about the impartiality of Canada’s publicly funded national broadcaster.”

  • jon

    Saw the interview and agree — Solomon is a piece of work. You'll notice he's quite combative and disruptive with Conservative MPs or those, like Teneyke, who defend their positions. But with Liberal MPs, he's quite cordial, often times feeding them questions like a lawyer does to his own client on the stand. On a previous show from weeks back, he said to a Tory on the panel “aren't you just trying to tork things up?” in reference to the damage done to Iggy's leadership on the defeat of the maternal health motion, accusing the Tory of hyperole and exaggeration. But just yesterday, fmr Liberal strategist Susan Smith said that Harper “dropped kicked Guergis out of cabinet” and not a word was said.

    And I watched The National. Predictably, Mansbridge had no story for it. What a surprise.

  • Hoarfrost

    I dislike this new facebook requirement for commentary. It is insidious and irrelevant to political discussion. Sadly those sites that feature facebook as THE ONLY OPTION FOR COMMENT are off limits to me. I do not need nor want this intermediary between me and your poster.

    Please provide a dislike option or be like an NDP'er and force compliance.

  • Canadiansense

    Looks like a few of us have blogged on this subject.

  • Doug Finley

    I don't have a blog (perhaps I should) – and sometimes find it technically difficult (I spend most of my time on my Blackberry) to respond to the wonderful stuff that the Conservative bloggers do. So I am addressing some comments to you.
    The time, energy, research and passion that Blogging Tories add to the political debate in this country amazes me. I follow as much as I can, and as often as I'm able.
    Off the top, like Kory Teynecke, I will openly admit to being a Conservative.
    If I may, I'd like to offer some personal comments on the major blogging stories over the last few days.
    I note that in the CBC response to you extolling the neutral virtues of their journalists that they seem to have forgotten about Krista Erickson. Perhaps it's selective amnesia. I'd certainly recommend all bloggers to take a look at Lorne Gunter's recent article on CBC. I have done some research on CBC – research that I will share with Canadians soon – on the CBC. CBC, like Aricle 13 of the Human Rights Act was a well-intentioned, now stretched and dated, imperative. The original intent of both has been so widened, and uncontrolled, that they have become parodies of themselves.
    The Grits have become so scared on these and other endeavours that we are exposing that they are becoming almost apopelectic. Witness the Senator Grant Mitchell reply to my request for a reasoned, non-partisan debate on “The Erosion of Freedom of Speech in Canada”. It was offensive, trivialising and overtly political.
    This blends with the Graves advice to Liberals to create a “cultural” war in Canada.
    Let's get nasty, divisive, and ugly. That's the message.
    The leader of the Liberal Party (whoever that is) has determined to whip his caucus on the subject of the Long Gun Registry, knowing that a significant number of his members are rightly opposed to it.
    I see this as the opening salvo in the Liberal campaign plan to create a a divisive war between all parts and segments of Canadian life.
    Anything to get back to power.
    I'd also note the passing of Bill 232 – the requirement to make Bilingualism (to an extreme technical degree) mandatory for Supreme Court Justices. I have been told by Liberal MPs that this was allowed to pass to create mischief for the Conservative Party. This is the ugliest form of divisive politics – and certainly plays to the advice proffered to the Liberal Party by Mr. Graves. There are a number of Liberal Senators who have expressed dismay to me that this now been placed in the hands of the Senate.
    I guess what I am trying to say in short form, is that the Liberal strategy of a “cultural war” with all of its concommitant ugliness doesn't surprise me – we've seen this building for a while. Frank Graves' comments merely underline it.
    I guess that this is the political reality that the Grits want to take power on. I find it extremely disappointing.
    I can assure you that, as always, the Conservative Party will fight the next election openly on what is best for all Canadians. As always.
    I look forward to the the efforts of all Blogging Tories in helping us do that.
    Doug Finley

  • Gayle

    “Let's get nasty, divisive, and ugly. That's the message.”

    I would suggest to you, sir, that a party whose leader endorses, and repeats, allegations the opposition supports the Taliban, and that the opposition does not support the troops, just because they raise legitimate questions about the mission, has already jumped into nasty, divisive and ugly politics.

    A vote on the gun registry pits urban voters against rural. Which party called for a vote on the gun registry again? Perhaps you should get off your high horse and stop pretending it is the opposition that is pitting region against region on this issue.

    A party leader that endorses, and engages in, childish juvenile put downs of the leader of the opposition, is already nasty, divisive and ugly. Why there is an example of such juvenile conduct right here:

    “The leader of the Liberal Party (whoever that is)…”

    Of course, you know perfectly well who is the leader of the Liberal Party. Maybe leave the juvenile comments to the backbenchers in your party.

    “There are a number of Liberal Senators who have expressed dismay to me that this now been placed in the hands of the Senate.”

    I am opposed to legislation that mandates all SCC appointments be bilingual. Fortunately, you conservatives have a plurality in the Senate, so you can subvert the will of the elected representatives of this country and kill it.

    “I can assure you that, as always, the Conservative Party will fight the next election openly on what is best for all Canadians.”

    Unless there happens to be a recession coming, and the country is already in deficit, in which case you will just lie to people about that.

    The Conservative Party of Canada has become a true political party in this country. It is just as opportunistic, self interested and corrupt as the parties that came before it. Lucky for you Canadians are accustomed to that kind of character in their politicians.

  • Mary T

    Have you not been following the news, the leader of the liberal party is Frank Graves, from behind the scenes. And come June we will get another Conservative Senator.

  • batb

    “Of course, you know perfectly well who is the leader of the Liberal Party.”

    We do? If you're thinking of Iggy, where the heck is he most of the time? He seems to spend more time away from the HOC (in the south of France, in Britain on book tours, etc.) than leading his party in Parliament. The leadership of the LPC seems to be more like a revolving door: Let's see, who's round is it today? Bob Rae? Ralphie Badbeer?

    But, it's pretty clear that the “real” leader of the LPC is somewhere behind the curtain. We can't see him/her/them, though we can certainly speculate about who the puppet master/s is/are.

    Ignatieff acts like an accidental tourist between destinations. As “leader” of the Liberal$, he seems to be a character who's found himself in the wrong play: He doesn't know his lines and he's unsure of his place on stage.

  • Gayle

    Mary and BATB show up to prove my point.


  • Mary T

    What point did you attempt to make, and fail miserably. Mr Z is not a leader and his strings are being pulled by possible Graves, Rae, and Mo.

  • jt

    WOW, such vitriol from Gayle!

    I'm not a big fan of the current “Liberal/Conservative party” myself right now, but your vitriol is poorly directed. Look in the mirror. The Cons have out-conned the “Natural Governing Party” at their own game, as you put it “polictics”.

    Quitcherbitchin' and get into the 'game”, then. Aim your anger at your own party, not here. Give Mr ZZZZZ a call, or leave a message.

  • batb

    What point was that, Gayle?

    BTW, no need for the CPC to lie:

    “Canada wins on world stage as bank tax shunned”

    WASHINGTON — After weeks of voicing its disdain for a global bank tax, Canada scored a victory on the international stage Friday after the Group of 20 countries opted against the kind of levy championed by Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

    You can read more about this over at SDA or Blue Like You (via maz2).

  • batb

    The above headline was by way of saying that the CPC have no reason to lie about anything when going into an election.

    The CPC is the Canadian political party with actual policies that work and who have been extremely successful and canny at keeping a minority government in power — though you wouldn't know it by most of the stories in the Canadian media. Their canniness, BTW, has nothing to do with lying and a lot to do with staying the course, being hard-nosed, hard-working, self-disciplined, and common sense politicians, governing for the benefit of all Canadians — not just powerful special interest groups, which have been the Liberal$' concern of choice since Trudeau.

  • Mary T

    And the conservative party of Canada includes the West and Quebec.

  • Liz J

    Seems your slightly out of touch with reality Gayle, calling on your selective memory again and using the same old jargon about people proving your point when there is no point. Could it be you're suffering withdrawal, missing Angry's blog where you could drop off loads using reams of bandwidth?

    It's pretty rich for a Liberal trumpet to be projecting about the possibility of the Conservatives lying about anything. When it comes to lying, we can come up with more than a few whoppers from the party you are currently shilling for on Conservative blogs. Remember da liddle gay from Shawinigan? Didn't he say something about scrapping the GST? Did he do it?

    Are you trying to tell us the Liberal Senate never went against the wishes of the elected HOC?

  • Liz J

    Correction, that should be da liddle “GARS” from Shawinigan !

  • batb

    Liz: ” … da liddle gay from Shawinigan” …

    Freudian slip, Liz? LOL!

  • paulsstuff

    “I am opposed to legislation that mandates all SCC appointments be bilingual. Fortunately, you conservatives have a plurality in the Senate, so you can subvert the will of the elected representatives of this country and kill it.”

    Isn’t that what the Liberal dominated senate was doing since 2004? Bills that have recieved unamimous support from all parties in the HoC were stymied by a Liberal dominated senate. And hey, I t6hought the Left said the senate was free to squash or change legislation becuse it was of ssecond and sober thought.

    “Unless there happens to be a recession coming, and the country is already in deficit, in which case you will just lie to people about that.”

    Sorry Gayle, but we were not in deficit during the 2008 election.

    November 2008: budgetary surplus of $15 million
    There was a budgetary surplus of $15 million in November 2008, compared to a surplus of $0.5 billion
    in November 2007. Budgetary revenues were down $0.8 billion, or 3.9 per cent, from November 2007,
    reflecting lower corporate income tax, goods and services tax (GST) and sales and excise tax revenues.
    Program expenses decreased by $38 million, or 0.2 per cent, compared to November 2007, reflecting
    increases in transfer payments offset by a decrease in other program expenses. Public debt charges
    decreased by $0.2 billion compared to November 2007.
    April to November 2008: budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion
    For the first eight months of the 2008–09 fiscal year, there was a budgetary surplus of $0.2 billion, down
    $6.4 billion from the $6.6-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Revenues increased by
    $0.5 billion, or 0.3 per cent, primarily reflecting growth in personal income tax and other revenues,
    offset by declines in corporate income tax and GST revenues. Program expenses were up $7.7 billion,
    or 6.2 per cent, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies.
    Public debt charges were down $0.9 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting a lower average effective
    interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.

  • Canadiansense

    Anyone remember Ethics, BDC President regarding “negotiating loans as doing work as an MP”

  • Gayle

    That childish conduct like referring to the leader of the opposition as “Mr. Z” is nasty, divisive and ugly.

    Juvenile behaviour is best left to the juveniles.

  • Gayle

    Sure, except that during the last election campaign Harper swore up and down we would not go into a deficit, and we would escape the recession.

    But nice diversionary tactic.

  • Mary T

    P.M. Harper had a choice, the coalition or a deficit. It was the coalition that insisted on a stimulus plan and also insisted that the 1.95/vote not be cancelled. As for Mr Z, he started it with referring to Mrs Jaffers in the HofC. Surely you know that one never mentions an MPs name in the HofC.
    Mr Z is easier than trying to spell his wifes name.

  • Mary T

    And it was your leader that sent out orders that he would be referred to as Mister. So Mr. Z it is.

  • Liz J

    Gayle dahling, who the He** demanded the Conservative government pour out the bucks willy-nilly even before due diligence , then demanded more and faster…. or else? Afraid you're flailing in the wind, no substance to any of your ramblings beyond the diatribe of the desperate . Our Conservative government is handling things magnificently and getting kudos from leaders from around the globe.
    Where else would you rather have been during the global recession?

    “Nice diversionary tactic”, “nice try”, “read my comment again” , ” you just proved my point”, yada, yada……….Gawd, you really should go for some new jargon.

  • Canadiansense

    As the subject matter expert of the Global Economy can you explain how each of the Liberals, NDP promised to spend $ 30-50 Billion vs $ 10-12 Bilion CPC campaign?

    The Financial Meltdown sped up and became much bigger. We call it “adjustments” and new forecasts. See Kevin Page he may have to revisit his Doom and Gloom numbers.
    December G8-G20 meetings, Premier EAP agreeement. ( Gayle is having issues with Canada cooperating with the world in fighting the Global Recession)

    The sexist comments see (Mr. Z Hansard, QP videos, scrums) and juvenile behaviour over 22 sitting day delay (grab a mirror!) Perogies yummy!

    Best of luck…cheering for the secret coalition (Brian Topp) round two in the next campaign.

  • Liz J

    Wow, you must be deep in the Liberal bunker for sure. Were you not aware that your esteemed leader called Helena Guergis, “Mrs Jaffer” in the HOC? What's “divisive” about calling him Mr Z? Where is the divide, he is married to a Ms Zsohar no? Why is that divisive and ugly but calling Helena Guergis by her husband's name is not?

  • Canadiansense

    Anyone remember Canada 150…so many wonderful ideas. Cut the tax cuts for corporations.

    What do we have for a hidden agenda platform so far?

    Raise GST $ 10-15 Billion, Keep Payroll Tax $ 13 Billion, Nannycare V 4.2 $ 5.0 Billion.

    Did any Liberal denounce Frank Graves comments against Albertans?

  • jt

    “Did any Liberal denounce Frank Graves comments against Albertans?”

    No. Maybe that's why Gayle is so ornery – getting all lumped in with the rest of us knuckledraggers out here, by her “pals” from Liberal Central.

    Gayle, in Liberal tradition you should be cheered by the fact that the LPOC is getting their polling done for them for free, all paid for by the taxpayers of Canada via the CBC – the public service broadcaster. Oh, I get all tingly when I say that! I just wanna wave the flag.

    Things haven't changed for the LPOC, as some things stay the same.

  • batb

    Gayle, grow up — and link, please, to Prime Minister Harper's saying Canada wouldn't go into recession. No diversionary tactic attempted, just straightforward facts which, I realize, Liberal$ seem strangers to. (If the Prime Minister tried to play it down so as not to be alarmist, the Opposition and media accused him of obfuscating; when he made it clear that a recession was a reality, he was accused of being alarmist. Frankly, it didn't matter what Prime Minister Harper said about yes, a recession, or no, no recession, he was tarred and feathered.)

    Given that the whole world was going into recession when Stephen Harper became the prime minister, don't you think that the CPC have handled it rather well? Canada is ahead of all of the European nations and doing ever so much better than the U.S. Why can't you or the LPC, or the NDP, or the Bloc, or the media THANK Stephen Harper and his party for steering Canada through these rough seas and away from the worst of the shoals — because, after all, their sure hand at the tiller has been good for all Canadians, including you.

    Gayle, you are an ungrateful wretch and a negative nag.

  • Stephen Taylor

    You don't need Facebook to comment here!

  • Stephen Taylor

    The “trending topics” tags section on Blogging Tories has been very useful for tracking the discussion of hot topics daily and weekly.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Senator, thanks for stopping by. You've always got a forum here to weigh in on whatever you like.

  • Mary T

    Batb: I guess Gayle was not watching the year end interview with Peter M, on cbc when he said there were signs things would get bad, and his govt had taken steps to lessen the danger to Canada. That was a year before all hell broke loose. And he was panned in the media and all economists and experts for scarring us. It wasn't going to happen. But it did, and our PM took many steps to lessen the blow.
    And he said we went into the recession in better shape, later than most countries, and we would come out faster and stronger. If not for the coalition blackmail, those bailouts and stimulus might not have been needed. Funny how those coup planners refuse to take credit for the problems they caused.
    OT, but does anyone know Danny Williams stand on the gun legislation. His liberal mps voted for it before, so I assume Danny is for getting rid of it. Those liberals should pay attention, Danny has a lot of power to start a ABL campaign in the next election.
    I wonder if Gayle knew she was blasting a Senator in her drivel.

  • Gayle

    My goodness, your historical revision is interesting.

    First, as they were entitled to do, the opposition parties based their costing on the financial records produced by the government. Said records, it seems, were not quite accurate.

    Second, the LPC based their campaign on the anticipated revenue from the Green Shift.

    Honestly, was that so long ago that you actually forgot?

    In any event, perhaps you can go back to the subject – you know the one – where Harper said we would not be affected by the recession and would not be in deficit? Can you please try to explain those lies rather than try to change the topic?


  • Gayle

    So, about that whole “the recession will not affect Canada” thing…

  • batb

    Mary T, I like the think tank a bunch of us have going here!

    The Liberal$, Gayle being a typical example, have selective amnesia: They “forget” all the dirty tricks of their party, aided and abetted by their trained chimps in the media, and project their sleazy modus operandi onto a party and its leader who's running the tightest (hey, that means he's “a control freak”, according to the PPG!), most disciplined government and caucus Canada's seen in decades. All Canadians are benefiting from the CPC's policies, not just the Liberal backroom boys and their special interest pals.

    I'll bet Gayle had no idea that “Doug Finley” is a Senator. On the other hand, I don't think it would have made any difference to Gayle. S/he is an equal-opportunity troll when it comes to anyone who is pro-CPC; s/he'll slag us all.

  • Canadiansense

    The disconnect for apologists. Examine the “free votes” of the Bloc. (Don't exist)
    Where do the Bloc get their mandate from? (1 million voters in one province.) The Bloc do not win the majority of the votes but win 65% of the seats in QC.

    The CPC won 143 seats in 2008 with 37.7% popular vote for 46% of the seats in 308 parliament.

    Which mandate is fairer?

    Do the apologists used the same comparisons against them? 62% against the Bloc.(Bloc win 38.1% popular votes) Look familiar?

    Than dig deeper where do the Bloc win, are these ridings unilingual French or cosmopolitian with many different demographics within the riding.
    Examine how Liberals treated dissenion in their party on moral, regional issues. Did Chretien allow free votes in his majorities?
    This is a minority gov't, a lack of party discipline (See Joe clark result). This gov't is NOT the PC or Reform. The aplogists keep revisiting the past, recycling isolated events.
    The corruption and inept management practices uncovered by the Auditor General is not repeating itself. Some of us don't like the shift to “centrist policies” or the pace of waste reduction by the CPC.
    I always ask those who want a more fiscal conservative idealogical government is to do the “MATH” and provide examples of those government policies.

    The majority have NEVER drunk the socialist kool-aid of Big Government programs vs. personal responsibility for success.

    The two main parties take turn in office at “our pleasure”, not theirs. The opposition MP's like to talk about their supremacy but won't visit us for a mandate. Parliament is the people's house and not the house for political parties games.

  • batb

    OK, now let's take a look at some of the drivel in Frank Graves' letter of, uh hum, apology:

    “My intention was to foment debate. However, I used incendiary language that had not been carefully considered.”

    Is fomenting debate the roll of a pollster who wishes to appear rigorously non-partisan? How can a seasoned pollster unintentionally use “incendiary language” which is not “carefully considered”? These are weasel words of the first order. He knew exactly what he was doing, he just didn't expect the backlash and now is taking cowardly shelter in the “I-just-wasn't-thinking” argument.

    Hogwash, Mr. Graves.

    “First of all, … I have never been a member of any political party.”

    Maybe not, but Frank Graves has contributed $11,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada and $499 to the CPC, which tells us pretty much what we need to know about his party loyalties, member or not.

    “EKOS takes great pride in the history of superior accuracy of its polling in election after election. We consider it an honour to work with some of the most respected names in Canadian journalism, including the CBC, particularly given its rigorous methodological oversight and high journalistic standards.”

    'Where to even BEGIN.

    * Improperly using a superlative doesn't get you points, Mr. Graves: “superior accuracy” is a redundancy. Either EKOS polls are accurate or they're not.

    * It's “an honour” to work with “the most respected” Canadian journalists? First, are you paid anything, Mr. Graves, for your appearances in the media, the CBC in particular? If so, where's the honour? Second, who are these “most respected” journalists? Who respects them? You? All Canadians? Another misplaced superlative to make your point.

    * The CBC has “high journalistic standards”? That's news to me and magical thinking on your part, Mr. Graves: I say it, therefore it is. The CBC's Ombudsman is a former CBC staffer, for heaven's sake, and even when he's admitted failures in CBC's “high journalistic standards,” nothing ever changes. A day later, the same partisan, pro-Liberal coverage is splashed all over the news.

    As Stephen Taylor has pointed out above, even EKOS's executive director Paul Adams is a former CBC staffer. There are circles within circles of this incestuous bunch who like to scratch one another's backs. Mr. Graves protestations of non-partisanship on his part and journalistic integrity on the CBC's part don't even begin to pass the smell test.

  • Mary T

    The cbc are so used to having someone who used to work with the PM, or the PMO, or failed leadership hopefuls come on and slag the PM. Tom Flanagan for one. So, they probably assumed by getting Kory on board they had another one in their pocket. How wrong they were. I wonder how many panic attacks were taking place while PP was on. And Frank was probably ready to get kudos for his statements.
    The cbc like to have pile ons with conservatives. I double dare Evan to have Ezra, Kory and Graves on at the same time.
    Regardless, EKOS has been tarred and it will stick at least thru the next election. I am sure that 61 million loss has hurt their bottom line.
    And Frank must show us the results of his polls where he asked are you a racist, are you homophopic and are you a conservative. Bet they don't exist.
    And even the question, who did you vote for/who will you vote for, never asks what candidate will you vote for. There are some ridings where the opposition candidate is a much better choice for some people, s/he might be a relative, a close friend or business associate, even tho they no that person will never win.
    Things might be different the next time as some voters might not want to give 1.95 to an opposition candidate.
    I wonder why the cbc has not had their favorite Greenie on lately.

  • Liz J

    The use of the word “foment” tells us where his head really is, it's not the best choice to use with “debate” but fits well with instigating just what he proposed his Liberals to do, “invoke a culture war”.

    Judging by the “questions” asked by them in the HOC, they quickly latched on to the word “culture”, “culture of deceit” became their phrase of the day.

    Graves inadvertently exposed himself as a Liberal supporter of note. You don't give $11,000.00 dollars to a party you don't “support”. His apology is nothing but a farcical ass-covering attempt, means nothing.

  • Liz J

    So if Mr Graves isn't a member of the LPC or any other party, why has he made such abrasive statements about the Conservatives and written up advice for the Liberals? His “advice” looks more like a manifesto of the desperate.

  • Gayle

    I was happy to be in Canada. See, the reason we escaped the brunt of the recession is that our banking system is highly regulated. The reason our banking system is highly regulated is due to Chretien and Martin.

    Conservatives have a reputation of solid fiscal management, but the liberals have a history of solid fiscal management.

    Harper probably thanks god for Chretien's government every single day.

  • Gayle

    The Harper government had nothing to do with the fact we came out of the recession as well as we did. That was down to the solid fiscal management and foresight of Chretien and Martin.

    Harper is just taking the credit for someone else's decisions, which is odd really, since he so often makes others take the blame for his.

  • Gayle

    Of course I know he is a senator. If you read my comment you should have figured that one out.

    But thanks for your continuous effort to prove my point. You are the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Mary T

    The PM would probably thank them more if they returned all the money the liberals stole from the taxpayers. And how did Martin/Chretain to so well, cutting transfers, stealing the EI fund, and don't forget the tax loopholes Martin put in so he can avoid Canadian tax on his ships. Oh, and don't forget that Martin, by flying a non Canadian flag, fired canadian workers and hired foreign labor at next to nothing wages. Yeh, something to be proud of.
    Did you see the photo op of your dear leader pretending to be working out. Maybe he is stretching his arms in case he has to strangle some protester aka Chretain.
    Give it up Gayle, you are not making any friends or influencing any of us.