On election predictions: Ain’t democracy Grand?

That was the week that was for startling election results and for pompous and pretentious punditocracy.

That was the week that was for startling election results and for pompous and pretentious punditocracy and pollsters getting things so very wrong again.

Carbon copies of British Columbia’s last election fiasco; right up to election day exactly two years ago, they forecast the B.C. NDP to win easily and form government, but instead B.C. Liberals got an increased majority with a fourth kick at the can in Victoria.

Last Tuesday, the Alberta provincial elections produced a result that really came out of left field; an amazing Orange Tide swept across Canada’s most conservative province and became an Alberta Tsunami washing away the Progressive Conservatives like so much flotsam and jetsam.

Premier Prentice sailed his already-faltering PC ship of state onto the rocks by bringing forth a very ill-planned budget and then arrogantly calling an election a year early.

When he was left high and dry on Tuesday evening, he abandoned ship in similar cowardly fashion we saw at Isola del Giglio, Italy in January 2012.

Captain Francesco Schettino is serving jail time for his reckless barratry; presumably Captain Prentice will get off with a little penance, and will most likely get a well-paying job as a media pundit to tide him over until something even more lucrative floats over the horizon.

The British election on Thursday was also “too close to call” according to all the press and political pundits; they forecast the left-of-centre Labour Party reaching a stalemate with the Conservatives, and then forming a coalition with the separatist Scottish National Party.

Of course, we’ve seen that scenario before in Ottawa, only with a name changed here and there.

However, the voters again proved the highfalutin punditocracy and pollsters horribly wrong, by giving the British Tory Party a clear majority.

After B.C.’s election there was much navel-gazing, trying to figure out what went wrong in the polling business; no doubt more navels are being gazed into right now, all across Alberta and the United Kingdom.

Pundits and pollsters should take note from Alexis de Tocqueville who said: “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”

They should never forget the words of wisdom from Sir Winston Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.”

Have no idea who first said: “Ain’t democracy grand,” but they sure got that one right, eh?

Bernie SmithParksville

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