Political junkies, like me, enjoyed reading threehundredeight.com on an almost daily basis from 2008 to 2017. Éric Grenier’s work continues, but I have missed the small community of commentators from his blog (even though I was mostly a lurker).
My new role as Professor has provided me with the time and resources to create this blog as a homage to threehundredeight.com. I plan to continue the tradition of following the political horse race polls conducted by Canadian pollsters. I recognize Grenier continues to do this, as does LISPOP during election time, so I am planning a slightly different approach.
To track support for political parties I will be using an algorithm to aggregate survey results. The basic idea is that by comparing the differences between surveys overtime to one another a trend line can be created. So, instead of weighting the pollsters on accuracy or trying to ascertain if some polling firms have a bias; this approach uses the differences between the polls themselves and the sample sizes to show party support levels. If it sounds complicated do not worry, it is not hard to understand in practice. A future blog post will explore how this approach tracks public opinion shifts in the 2015 Federal Election, as an example.
This blog will also spend time tracking public opinion on issues over time in Canada. These posts will go beyond the comparison of party support levels and delve into the perception of policy issues themselves. I also plan to include some discussions of policy issues facing all levels of government in Canada. When I can swing the funding, I will even include a few privately conducted public opinion polls as well.
I will be the editor of this website and the author of many of the posts. The work of my students in the Conestoga College Public Service program will also be featured. Even when I write the post, it will be these students doing a lot of the background work to find the different polls and pull them into a usable format. In hopes that others will find the tracking of the polls useful; we will also be sharing this data.
If you are interested in Canadian policy, involved in policy making, fascinated by public opinion, or just a fellow political junkie I hope you will become a regular visitor to threehundredthirtyeight.com. If you would like to discuss any of the articles with me I can be reached on Twitter or through the contact form or by simply posting a reply to any blog post.