Election 2011: Jim who?


From the CES 2011 campaign survey, respondents’ answers when asked to name the finance minister.

Jim Flaherty 26.1%
Interviewer thinks respondent means Jim Flaherty 5.9%
Any other name 3.3%
Don’t know 64.6%


Election 2011: Jim who?

  1. “Interviewer thinks respondent means Jim Flaherty 5.9%”

    I wonder what this means – does respondent say ‘I don’t know his name but I think the finance minister is the wee man who looks like leprechaun’ – and then pollster assumes they are talking about Flaherty?

  2. WSJ ~ Why Ignorance Is Democracy’s Bliss:

    For the next 10 months or so, the American public will endure polls, pundits, canned stump speeches and negative ads—the media circus that passes for 21st-century democracy.

    Despite this flood of coverage, one troubling feature of our elections will go largely unmentioned: The typical American voter is uninformed about political basics. Consider these facts: The vast majority of voters can’t name their congressman or a single congressional candidate ….. 40% of Americans can’t name the vice president …. 63% can’t name the chief justice of the U.S.

    Why are democracies so vibrant even when composed of uninformed citizens? According to a new study led by the ecologist Iain Couzin at Princeton, this collective ignorance is an essential feature of democratic governments, not a bug. His research suggests that voters with weak political preferences help to prevent clusters of extremists from dominating the political process. Their apathy keeps us safe.

    To show this, Dr. Couzin experimented on a rather unlikely set of subjects: fish.

    Nevertheless, this research helps to explain the importance of indifference in a partisan age. If every voter was well-informed and highly opinionated, then the most passionate minority would dominate decision-making. There would be no democratic consensus—just clusters of stubborn fanatics, attempting to out-shout the other side.

    So the next time a poll reveals the ignorance of the voting public, remember those fish. It’s the people who don’t know very much who make democracy possible.

    • Deficit Jim? Perhaps if Canadians were better informed about the Conservative willingness to cut Canadian’s social benefits to finance corporate tax cuts Flaherty has already put in place they would be more excited about throwing out this government.


  3. I knew Ontario was trying to forget him….I didn’t realize other provinces were as well. Heh.

    Maybe it’s because the first time around, Harris told him what to do. And this time around Harper is telling him what to do…..and we have a mess both times.

  4. Percentage of respondents who were impressed by Finance Minister’s ability to transition from playing characters like ‘Guy Caballero’ on SCTV to big-time politics: 67%

  5. When “hidden six billion deficit” was mentioned, numbers in Ontario rose somewhat :)

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