Transcript: Erin Kelly: Canada After the Vote | Oct 23, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Canada after the vote. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FEDERAL ELECTION 2019
WRAPPED UP THIS WEEK WITH A
LIBERAL MINORITY GOVERNMENT.
ALL CAMPAIGN LONG, WE'VE BEEN
HEARING WHAT THE ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE ALGORITHM POLLY
THOUGHT CANADIANS CARED ABOUT.
WITH THE BALLOTS TALLIED - HOW
DID SHE DO, AT PREDICTING THE
BIG PICTURE AND SOME OF THE 338
SMALLER PICTURES THAT PLAYED OUT
ON MONDAY?
BACK FOR A FINAL LOOK, WE
WELCOME ERIN KELLY, CEO OF
ADVANCED SYMBOLICS INC., JOINING
US VIA SKYPE FROM SAN DIEGO,
CALIFORNIA.

Erin is in her forties, with long straight blond hair. She's wearing a pale pink blazer and a black blouse.

Steve continues ERIN, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON
TVO TONIGHT.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Erin says VERY WELL.
THANKS.

Steve says EXCELLENT.
JUST BEFORE WE SHOW THE NUMBERS,
I STILL GET LOTS OF PEOPLE
COMING UP TO ME SAYING, YOU
KNOW, THAT ERIN KELLY FROM
ADVANCED SYMBOLICS, HOW DO THEY
DO THAT THING AGAIN?
WHAT IS IT WITH THE ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE AND HOW DOES THIS
WORK?
TAKE 30 SECONDS OFF THE TOP AND
REMIND US, HOW IT IS YOU DO WHAT
YOU DO?

The caption changes to "Erin Kelly. Advanced Symbolics, Inc."

A map of California appears briefly on screen, highlighting the location of San Diego.

Erin says IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO HOW ALL
RESEARCH IS DONE, EVEN PHONE
POLLING.
THE MAIN THING YOU HAVE TO DO IS
GET A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF
THE POPULATION.
YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERY
ETHNICITY, AGE GROUP, INCOME,
ET CETERA, ARE REPRESENTED IN
YOUR SAMPLE.
IN THIS CASE, WE'RE GETTING THAT
SAMPLE OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA, SO
WE'RE GETTING MUCH LARGER SAMPLE
SIZES THAN YOU WOULD
TRADITIONALLY HAVE IN
TRADITIONAL MARKET RESEARCH.
SO IN THIS CASE, WE HAD JUST
UNDER 300,000 CANADIANS FROM
ACROSS THE COUNTRY CHOSEN FOR
THEIR ABILITY TO REPRESENT THE
LARGER POPULATION.

Steve says UNDERSTOOD.
ALL RIGHT.
WE ARE NOW GOING TO SHOW A
SERIES OF THREE GRAPHICS, WHICH
I'LL DESCRIBE IN SOME DETAIL FOR
PEOPLE LISTENING ON PODCAST, AND
THESE ARE, STARTING WITH THIS
ONE: THIS IS THE NATIONAL SEAT
PROJECTION THAT YOU GAVE US...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "National seat projection-count and range. October 19, 2019."

A bar chart shows projected seats for each party.

Steve reads data from the slate and says
WHICH SHOWED THE LIBERALS IN A
RANGE BETWEEN 116 AND 173, BUT
ESSENTIALLY AT 145.
THE TORIES AT 123, THE NDP AT
48, THE BLOC AT 46, THE GREENS
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1 AND 5 AND
YOU HAVE THE POSSIBILITY THERE
OF A COUPLE OF INDEPENDENTS AND
THE PEOPLE'S PARTY.
LET'S FLIP THAT OVER.
THIS IS WHAT THE NATIONAL SEAT
PROJECTION WAS ON SUNDAY...

A similar chart appears showing the projections on October 20.

Steve continues THE LAST ONE WAS SATURDAY.
THIS ONE IS SUNDAY, THE DAY
BEFORE THE ELECTION, AND YOU
COULD SEE THAT THINGS HAVE
CHANGED.
YOU HAVE THE LIBERALS AT 155,
TORIES AT 118, AND THEN LET'S
ROLL TO MONDAY.
AND THIS IS WHAT THE ACTUAL
ELECTION RESULTS WERE...

A new slate shows the 2019 Federal Election results.

Steve continues 157 LIBERAL SEATS, 121
CONSERVATIVES, 32 BLOC, 24 NEW
DEMOCRATS, 3 GREENS, 1 JODY
WILSON-RAYBOULD, AND NOTHING FOR
THE PEOPLE'S PARTY.
SO LET'S START WITH THIS: HOW
WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE
ACCURACY WITH WHICH POLLY DID
HER JOB?

The caption changes to "The polls were right!"

Erin says SHE WAS PHENOMENAL.
I CAN'T SAY... WE WERE SO OVER
THE MOON.
EVEN THOUGH I WAS IN SAN DIEGO
THE NIGHT OF THE ELECTION, WE
SKYPED WITH OUR TEAM, WE HAD THE
TEAM ALL TOGETHER ON SKYPE AS WE
WATCHED THE RESULTS COME IN.
AND IF YOU COULD SEE THIS
WEBINAR, PEOPLE WERE JUST
CHEERING.
WE WERE SO OVER THE MOON WITH
HOW WELL SHE PERFORMED.
YOU CAN JUST SEE THAT POLLY IS
GETTING BETTER AND BETTER WITH
EVERY ELECTION THAT SHE DOES.

Steve says HOW IS THAT OR WHY IS THAT?

The caption changes to "Erin Kelly, @Polly_ASI."

Erin says SHE IS GETTING BETTER BECAUSE
SHE LEARNS EVERY TIME.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, SHE HAS LEARNED
THAT PEOPLE NEW TO A POLITICAL
PARTY WILL HAVE DIFFERENT VOTING
PATTERNS... WHAT I MEAN BY THAT
IS, POLITICAL CONVERTS.
SO PEOPLE WHO ARE CHOOSING TO
VOTE FOR A NEW PARTY FOR THE
FIRST TIME HAVE A DIFFERENT
VOTING PATTERN THAN PEOPLE WHO
ARE STICKING WITH THEIR
TRADITIONAL PARTY.
WE LEARNED FROM THE ONTARIO
ELECTION THAT, AS YOU MIGHT
RECALL, SOME OF THE CANDIDATES,
LIKE JOHN FRASER, PULLED THEIR
BRANDING FROM THEIR PARTY.
SHE LEARNED TO COMPENSATE FOR
THAT.
SO SHE LEARNS... BECAUSE SHE IS
AN A.I., SHE IS INTELLIGENT, SO
SHE LEARNS AND GETS SMARTER
EVERY TIME, JUST AS A PERSON
DOES, BUT WITH A MUCH HIGHER POWER.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED JOHN
FAVOUR WAS RUNNING WITH THE
OTTAWA AREA, NOT WITH RED SIGNS
OR AS A KATHLEEN WYNNE LIBERAL
BUT ALMOST AS AN INDEPENDENT,
BUT YOU'RE SAYING THE A.I.
PICKED THAT UP AND THEREFORE
CALLED HIM TO WIN, WHICH HE DID.
HAVE I GOT THAT RIGHT?

Erin says WELL, SHE DIDN'T CATCH THAT
IN THE ONTARIO ONE, BUT NOW SHE
HAS LEARNED THAT AND PUT THAT
INTO HER ALGORITHM.

Steve says GOT IT.
WE CAN SEE YOU'RE VERY CLOSE ON
THE LIBERAL NUMBER, VERY CLOSE
ON THE CONSERVATIVE NUMBER.
IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION,
YOU HAD THE NDP SIGNIFICANTLY
HIGHER THAN THEY TURNED OUT TO
BE ON ELECTION DAY.
DO YOU HAVE A SENSE ABOUT WHAT
HAPPENED TO THE NDP OVER THAT
LAST WEEKEND OF THE CAMPAIGN?

Erin says YES.
ACTUALLY, SO WE'VE GONE BACK AND
WE'VE LOOKED INTO WHAT HAPPENED,
AND IT'S QUITE INTERESTING.
A NUMBER OF THINGS HAPPENED.
FIRST OF ALL, PEOPLE GOT SCARED
AS WE GOT CLOSER TO THE DATE,
ESPECIALLY THE WEEKEND BEFORE...
IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING
BECAUSE BOTH MR. TRUDEAU, AND I
THINK THIS WAS STRATEGIC FOR THE
LIBERALS, THEY STARTED TO SAY
THAT THE CONSERVATIVES WERE
POLLING HIGHER AND THAT THERE
WAS A CHANCE THE CONSERVATIVES
WOULD WIN.
FOR SOME REASON, THE
CONSERVATIVES DIDN'T CATCH THAT,
AND THEY STARTED TO SAY THAT
TOO.
THE ELECTORATE GOT SCARED.
THOSE PEOPLE WHO DID NOT WANT
THE CONSERVATIVES TO WIN PULLED
THEIR VOTE FROM THE NDP AND WENT
LIBERAL AT THE LAST MINUTE.
THE OTHER THING THAT PLAGUED THE
NDP, AND IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A BIT
OF A PROBLEM FOR THE NDP, IS
THEY HAVE TROUBLE GETTING OUT
THE VOTE.
SO THEIR SUPPORTERS TEND TO BE
OF TWO GROUPS, YOUNGER PEOPLE
WHO ARE LESS LIKELY TO GET TO
THE POLLS AS OLDER PEOPLE ARE,
AND THE CONVERT.
SO POLLY HAS TO LEARN THE
POLITICAL CONVERT SIDE A LITTLE
BETTER.
SOMEBODY WHO HAS NEVER VOTED FOR
THAT PARTY BEFORE.
YOU SEE, THE LIBERALS AND
CONSERVATIVES, A LOT OF PEOPLE
ARE VOTING MULTIPLE TIMES FOR
THE SAME PARTY.
THE LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES
HAVE THESE PEOPLE IN THEIR
DATABASE AND CAN GET THEM OUT TO
VOTE.
THEY'RE CALLING THEM THE DAY OF,
THEY'RE DRIVING THEM TO THE
POLLING AREA.
THE NDP DON'T KNOW WHO THEIR NEW
CONVERTS ARE.
THEY DON'T HAVE THESE PEOPLE IN
THEIR DATABASE.
IT'S HARDER TO GET THEM TO THE
POLLS.
SO WE SAW THE NDP SUPPORTERS IN
THIS ELECTION WERE LESS LIKELY
TO COME OUT, EVEN MORE SO THAN
IN THE PAST.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
SOMETHING YOU SAID IN THE MIDST
OF THAT ANSWER, AND THAT IS, I
DO RECALL HEARING IN THE DYING
DAYS OF THE CAMPAIGN, ANDREW
SCHEER SAYING THINGS LIKE, "WE
NEED A STRONG CONSERVATIVE
MAJORITY GOVERNMENT TO."
ET CETERA, ET CETERA, ET CETERA.
I WONDERED WHAT KIND OF IMPACT
THAT WOULD HAVE.
DID POLLY PICK UP ON WHAT THE
IMPACT OF HIS SAYING THAT, OF
HIS PUTTING THE NOTION OF A TORY
MAJORITY OUT THERE, WHAT THAT
WOULD DO?

Erin says YES, SHE DID.
AND THAT HAD MORE DAMAGING
EFFECT TO HIM THAN HIS G.S.T.,
HIS ODD G.S.T. CLAIM, THE
KINSELLA ISSUE, DID YOU HIRE
THIS FIRM TO MAKE THE PPC LOOK
BAD? THOSE THINGS DID NOT HAVE
AN EFFECT ON HIS VOTE BUT HIM
SAYING HE MIGHT WIN A MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT WORRIED A LOT OF
PEOPLE ON THE LEFT AND THEY
SWITCHED THEIR VOTES TO THE LIBERALS.

Steve says IN HINDSIGHT, IT WAS
A STRATEGIC MISTAKE FOR THEM TO
BE MUSING ALOUD ABOUT A MAJORITY
CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE
I GET THE PEOPLE WEREN'T READY
TO HAND THEM ONE, IS THAT IT?

Erin says THEY WEREN'T READY TO HAND
THEM ONE.
IT WAS A BIG MISTAKE.
TRUDEAU PLAYED THAT AND SAID,
YEAH, I THINK THEY COULD GET
THAT, AND THAT MADE PEOPLE EVEN
MORE NERVOUS.

Steve says GOTCHA.
WHERE DID YOU SEE... WE HAVE
TALKED ABOUT THIS A BIT IN THE
PAST BUT NOW THAT IT'S OVER AND
DONE WITH, YOU CAN PUT THE ICING
ON THE CAKE HERE.
I CAN'T RECALL AN ELECTION
CAMPAIGN WHERE THERE WAS SO
LITTLE VOTER VOLATILITY AS THIS
ONE.
THE TWO MAIN PARTIES SEEMED TO
BE TIED VIRTUALLY ALL THE WAY
THROUGH THE CAMPAIGN.
WHERE, IF ANYWHERE, DID YOU SEE
THE MOST CHANGE HAPPENING DURING
THE COURSE OF THE WRIT PERIOD?

Erin says THE BIGGEST CHANGE WAS
QUEBEC.
THAT WAS... QUEBEC AND ONTARIO.
WE ALWAYS SAID, YOU'LL RECALL,
THE WHOLE TIME WE WERE ON YOUR
SHOW, WE CONSISTENTLY SAID IT
WAS GOING TO BE THE LIBERALS.
WHEN IT STARTED, IT WAS GOING TO
BE A LIBERAL MAJORITY, AND THEN
BROWNFACE CHANGED THAT AND, YOU
KNOW, GOT PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT
ALL THE OTHER GAFFES OF THE
LIBERALS OVER THEIR TERM IN
OFFICE.
BUT IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT.
IT GOT CLOSER AND CLOSER THE
CLOSER WE GOT TO ELECTION DAY,
BUT AT NO POINT DID POLLY SEE IT
BECOMING ANOTHER PARTY.

Steve says SO IN THAT RESPECT,
WAS THIS, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, AN
EASY ELECTION TO PREDICT?

Erin says IT WASN'T AN EASY ELECTION TO
PREDICT, BUT IT WAS PREDICTABLE,
RIGHT?
I FIND IT... YOU KNOW, IT'S
INTERESTING, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
WAS SAYING IT WAS SO CLOSE.
THAT'S WHY BEING ABLE TO LOOK AT
THE SEAT COUNT AND DO THE
RIDINGS, IT'S BECOMING ALMOST A
NECESSITY IF YOU WANT TO DO
POLLING.
WE SAW IT AT FIRST WITH THE
TRUMP ELECTION IN THE STATES,
AND THAT'S BEEN CONSISTENT.
IT SEEMS THAT ELECTIONS ARE
GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER.
AND SO OBVIOUSLY WHEN IT'S A
MINORITY GOVERNMENT, IT'S A
LITTLE BIT HARDER TO CALL.
BUT THIS WAS CONSISTENT FOR
POLLY, THAT SHE ALWAYS SAW IT AS
A LIBERAL WIN.

The caption changes to "What the country said."

Steve says GOT IT.
LET'S TRY TO UNDERSTAND A LITTLE
BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT THE COUNTRY
SAID.
AS I LOOKED AT THE RESULTS,
CERTAINLY JUSTIN TRUDEAU WAS
PUNISHED SOMEWHAT.
ANDREW SCHEER WAS SOMEWHAT
DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE, AFTER ALL,
HE WAS MUSING ABOUT WINNING THE
WHOLE THING.
IN THE END, HE DIDN'T WIN.
THE NDP CERTAINLY LOST A LOT OF
SEATS THAT NIGHT.
THE PEOPLE'S PARTY IS BASICALLY
WIPED OUT.
ONLY THE BLOC DID BETTER.
WHAT WAS POLLY PICKING UP IN
TERMS OF ONLINE REACTION TO THE
FACT THAT THIS IS ONE OF THOSE
WEIRD ELECTIONS WHERE ALMOST
EVERYBODY LOST?

Erin says YEAH.
YOU KNOW, IT'S... I THINK THE
PARTIES HAVE TO GO BACK AND DO A
LOT OF SOUL SEARCHING ON THIS.
WHAT WAS VERY CLEAR IS THAT THE
ELECTORATE WAS REALLY INTERESTED
IN ISSUES.
THEY WERE REALLY INTERESTED IN
QUEBEC IT WAS PIPELINES AND THE
ENVIRONMENT.
EACH REGION HAD THEIR ISSUE.
BUT WHAT WAS CONSISTENT IS THAT
PEOPLE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT
ISSUES AND THE POLITICIANS SPEND
THE WHOLE TIME WASTING THAT
OPPORTUNITY TALKING ABOUT
SCANDALS AND THINGS THAT WE SAW
PEOPLE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT.
I THINK THAT'S OLD-STYLE
POLITICS.
IT WORKED IN THE PAST WHERE WE
FOCUS ON SCANDALS AND SLAGGING
THE OTHER GUY.
IT HAS BEEN VERY, VERY CLEAR,
WHEN WE LOOK... EVEN POST THE
ELECTION, THE DISCUSSIONS ARE
SUBSTANTIAL.
PEOPLE ARE HAVING REALLY
SUBSTANTIAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT
ISSUES THAT I DON'T THINK THE
POLITICIANS APPRECIATE.

Steve says THAT IS AN IMPORTANT
LESSON FOR MEDIA TO UNDERSTAND
THEN, THAT WHILE WE MAY ASSESS,
WE MEDIA TYPES MAY OBSESS ON THE
SO-CALLED SCANDALS THAT HAPPEN
DURING THE COURSE OF A CAMPAIGN,
ARE YOU SAYING THAT VOTERS ARE
REALLY NOT THAT INTERESTED IN
BECAUSE PRESUMABLY WE ARE
COVERING IT BECAUSE WE THINK
THEY'RE INTERESTED IN IT.
NOT THE CASE?

Erin says THEY'RE NOT THAT INTERESTED
IN IT.
WE REALLY LOOKED AT THE SCANDALS
OF THE WEEKEND BEFORE, YOU KNOW,
WITH THE CONSERVATIVES HIRING
KINSELLA'S FIRM AND THE GAFFES
ABOUT THE G.S.T. AND THE
LIBERAL-NDP COALITION.
PEOPLE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THAT.
WHAT WAS INTERESTING TO ME, WE
WENT BACK AND LOOKED THE DAY
AFTER THE ELECTION.
PEOPLE WERE STILL HIGHLY ENGAGED
ON THE ISSUES.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES AFTER
THE ELECTION WAS OF COURSE THIS
CLOSE VOTE... THE FACT THAT THE
POPULAR VOTE WAS SO CLOSE.
IN FACT, WE HAD, POLLY HAD...
THE CONSERVATIVES WERE SLIGHTLY
AHEAD IN THE NATIONAL VOTE BUT
THEY DIDN'T GET THE SEATS.
AND SO IN ALBERTA, WE HAD 4 percent OF
THE POPULATION OF ALBERTA
TALKING ABOUT THAT, THE DAY
AFTER THE ELECTION, SAYING WE
NEED POLITICAL REFORM.
THAT'S HOW THE DAY STARTED.
AS THE DAY PROGRESSED, IT WAS
INTERESTING, BECAUSE PEOPLE
STARTED TO SAY, HEY, WAIT A
MINUTE.
IF WE BROUGHT IN, SAY,
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION, ANY
PARTY WHO CAN'T GET AT LEAST 40 percent
OF THE VOTE, WE'RE GOING TO END
UP WITH Italian PARLIAMENTS.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, PEOPLE
DIDN'T WANT POLITICAL REFORM.
SO PEOPLE ARE HAVING THESE...
THEY UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES.
THEY'RE HAVING VERY INTELLECTUAL
DISCUSSIONS.
IT'S DIFFERENT DAY.
PEOPLE GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND
CAN SPEND HOURS SO THEY REALLY
UNDERSTAND A TOPIC.
I THINK OUR POLITICAL CLASSES
DON'T UNDERSTAND.
IT'S NOT LIKE 40 YEARS AGO
WHERE, YOU KNOW, IT WAS SOUND
BITES.
PEOPLE ARE EDUCATED.
THEY'RE MUCH MORE EDUCATED NOW
AND THEY WANT TO HAVE THOSE
SUBSTANTIAL DISCUSSIONS.
AND I THINK THE PARTY THAT CAN
FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THAT IN OUR
SOUND BITE ENVIRONMENT BUT BE
SUBSTANTIAL WILL BE REWARDED FOR THAT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says VERY HELPFUL ADVICE.
ERIN, AS ALWAYS, WE WANT TO
THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SO MUCH
TIME WITH US DURING THE WRIT
PERIOD HERE ON TVO AND
THANKFULLY WE'RE IN A DEMOCRACY
AND THE NEXT ELECTION IS NOT
THAT FAR AWAY SO WE HOPE TO SEE
YOU AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD BEFORE
LONG. TAKE CARE.

Erin says GREAT. THANKS. YOU TOO.

Watch: Erin Kelly: Canada After the Vote