Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Donald Trump discussed on The Big Story

The Big Story
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Anyway. But no one's no one picks that up. It's the moment. I say as opposed their own like like we found in March. We're we're the prime minister's numbers, you know, drop significantly after India trip that that pulled got picked up, and so there is this perverse incentive from the pollsters perspective to to find that like shocking story and the numbers in the same way that journalists and the editors want people to read or consume or listen to the content that they're producing they need to they need to tell the story. There has to be something interesting. That's where I think the the whole the polls are wrong. We can't trust the pull right narrative really builds in is because the incentives that we've were built in. And I think these are the incentives in journalism, generally. But it I guess feeds into or connect to even the polling world. And and so there's this constant pressure to tell the story to tell something interesting. That's controversial that's going to get people to to share the content or click on the link and again headline that says new poll says. Nothing's happened. That's not going to be that effective. Yeah. But in my world is social scientists as the pollster someone trying to explain what's going on in the public head around politics. Nothing happening is actually really interesting. Well, and that's where you get that dichotomy to right between like a site like five thirty eight dot com, which a ton of data journalism, and aggregates polls and all that kind of stuff. And you get the whole polls wrong narrative from the upsets like like Donald Trump's victory. And then you get no coverage of the fact that, you know, they nailed the midterm election in the United States, and they were not wrong at all. Right. But you get the what gets coverage is the pulls the wrong, even as they're more right than they've ever been. So I got this great story. So I was working. I forget which election was one of the provincial elections in the last few years, and I was it was a day of the election. And I got a call. I'm a journalist, and I won't name names again. And they said, well, we're we're writing we're prepared to story or if the polls are wrong tonight and. And so they wanted comment. They wanted to be prepared in case, you know, there was another surprise because this come after you remember in Canada, you know, twenty twelve or twenty thirteen there was an Berta election and be election to the post completely got wrong. Like they were. Absolutely. And I we did pulling Albert completely wrong. And so there was a lot of reason to be skeptical about how accurate polls could be. But I had a journalist writing preparing a story to say, the polls are wrong. And I so I ended the interview by saying are you preparing a story about what if the polls were right? And they said, no, we're not doing that. Right. So your point about, you know, we're also at the same time that I think the media, and I I don't mind that the media's addicted to the pulling because I think it helps that the narrative it helps understand wearing elections going and how to cover it, right? Like, I always say if you think that the twenty eleven election that was the election to even Harper won a majority. But Jack Layton surprised everybody by becoming official opposition. If the polls midway that campaign didn't show us that the end EP. Regaining strength in Quebec. And we're at leapfrog the liberal really worthy. Alternate Stephen Harper. We had no poll not election to tell us that the coverage of that election. I think would have been very different because people would and journalists and the public would have still assumed that the liberals and Mike like not yet at the time or the alternative Stephen Harper not Jack late, and and so the pulled. Well, there's lots of people out there who says we should ban poll during elections and their irresponsible with they they change people's opinions the end of the day. It's more information that allows the voter to make a choice, and we live in a in a political system where we don't always vote. Unfortunately, for our our number one choice because way our electoral system works..

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