Whack the PM

Whack The PM

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Whack the PM 2008 Analysis

whack the pm final results from 2008

Stephen Harper wins most ‘despised leader’ with 45%

The Official Standings:

1st place: Stephen Harper 45% (Despised)
2nd place: Stephane Dion 16% (Irritating)
3rd place: Gilles Duceppe 13% (Annoying)
4th place: Jack Layton 13% (Boring)
5th place: Elizabeth May 13% (Useless)

Which leader drew the most whacks and on which issues?

Breakdown of Whacks by Question:

1. Should Canada take action on global warming?
Harper leads with 54% of the whacks for saying, “What do I know about global warming? I’m an Economist! I’m betting that you don’t understand the green shaft either.” 15% hit May for telling them, “Yes! We are too close to the edge of a global apocalypse. Vote strategically to throw Harper out. His policies are too dangerous.” (14% hit Dion, 8% Duceppe, and 10% Layton.)

2. Is Canada’s economy better now than in 2006?
Harper tries to shift the blame by saying, “Dion is panicking! You can’t blame me because of our teetering economy, lost jobs and decaying cities. But the plunging stock market does offer some great buys!” But 51% of the people don’t believe him and whack him anyway. (15% hit Dion, 14% Duceppe, 12% Layton, and 7% May.)

3. What type of leader would you be?
Harper comes out strong on leadership, but ends up enraging players. He gets whacked 50% of the time on leadership for saying, “A strong leader. The fact I want to throw 14 yr olds in jail doesn’t mean I’m a cold-hearted bully. I’m just a warm and fuzzy hockey Dad.” (17% hit Dion, 12% Duceppe, 15% Layton, and 13% May.)

4. Should Canadians worry about food safety?
Harper plays the denial card but still gets 50% of the whacks. “The listeriosis deathes had NO relationship to our ‘death by a 1,000 cold cuts joke’ or cutting Meat Inspectors. I’ve launched an arms-length enquiry to prove it.” Duceppe got whacked 17% for telling them to avoid contaminated Quebec cheese. (12% Dion, 11% Layton, and 10% May.)

5. What is your position on the war in Afghanistan?
Harper’s promise, “I’ve just announced the ‘end date’ for this $18 billion dollar unpopular war. I want to snatch pacifist Quebec votes from Duceppe.” is well-received. He escapes with only 31% of the whacks. The Liberals share part of the pain for propping up the Tories. Dion gets whacked 25% of the time. Surprisingly, the Green’s peacekeeping stance gets May whacked 19%! What’s with that? (14% hit Layton and 11% Duceppe.)

6. All Politicians are liars. Why should I trust you?
Harper evades answering and goes on the offensive, with “I am not a liar. And I’ll drag anybody into court that says I am.” His answer does not win points (except from the lawyers) so 36% of the people whack him. But Whack players are a hard bunch to please — 12% hit May for saying, “I am not a real politician and I don’t belong to the old boys club. That’s why some bullies are afraid of me.” (20% hit Duceppe, 17% Dion and 16% Layton.)

7. Will you be happy with a minority government?
Harper wins the most whacks again, saying, “Imagine what I could do with a majority! My right-wing Reform Party ambitions could finally be fulfilled. And I could kill the Arts and stupid games like this one.” For that he gets whacked 38% of the time.  (19% hit Dion, 16% Layton, 14% Duceppe, and 12% May.)

Harper got the most whacks on every question. What does it mean?

45% of the Canadians who played Whack the PM, thought Harper deserved to have some sense whacked into him on every issue. He was whacked on global warming, on his economic record, leadership style, food safety, Afghanistan, trust and his willingness to make a minority government work. So, it’s no wonder that Canadian voters withheld the big prize from Stephen Harper and said effectively, “No Majority for you Stephen! We are going to keep you on a short leash.” Harper’s 45% record is unprecedented in the three Federal Elections (2004, 2006, 2008) since Whack the PM was created.

Canadians Whacked the PM from Coast-to-Coast

More than 50% of the people who completed the game asked for strategic voting advice in their riding. Whack the PM was played by Canadians from coast to coast. But somehow news of the fun escaped PEI and the Northwest Territories, which did not partake.

How soon can we play Whack the PM again?

Good question! Since Harper won a minority we may be whacking the leaders again in no time. Who cares about spending a measly $250-300 million for a Federal Election every two years? Clearly not Mr. Harper.

Whack the PM Track Record:

In 2004, Stephen Harper received the most number of whacks, giving him the dubious distinction of being the most despised leader. Whack the PM predicted that Harper would lose the election. And he did.

In 2006, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper were in a race for the most number of whacks. But with only days to go, Paul Martin surged ahead, received 33% of the whacks and took the lead. (Harper was whacked 24%.) We predicted that Martin would go down to defeat. And he did. Uncanny but true.

In 2008, Stephen Harper received 45% of the whacks and the title ‘Despised’ leader. The animosity towards Harper was so high, we predicted that Harper would not win the majority he was seeking, but have to settle for a minority. (Harper beat the 1st place record of 33% whacks from 2006.)

Whack the PM helped snatch a majority victory away from Harper by giving players riding-by-riding advice on how to vote. Over half of the player who played the game, entered in their postal code to obtain our strategic voting advice. Based on the unprecedented vitriol directed towards Harper, and the fractured support held by the other parties, we predicted a minority government for Harper.

Whack the PM 2008 Summary

breakdown of whack the pm final results from 2008

Can Whack the PM accurately predict Canada’s federal election results?

Whack the PM is the election polling game no leader wants to win.

So far our track record is 100%. Can we do it again in 2008? We need your help.

In 2004, Stephen Harper received the most number of whacks, giving him the dubious distinction of being the most despised leader. Whack the PM predicted that Harper would lose the election. And he did. (Click on the image to view it bigger.)

whack the pm final results screen from 2004

You can also read an analysis of the results: 2004 Whack the PM Summary. It shows the issues the leaders were getting whacked for. And the differences by region, right across Canada.

In the 2006 election, Paul Martin received the most number of whacks. We predicted that he would go down to defeat. And he did. Uncanny but true. Correct for both elections.

whack the pm final results screen from 2006

Will Whack the PM accurately predict election results for 2008?

We don’t know. As of today, September 26th, Stephen Harper is leading, which would mean he’ll lose the election or have to be satisfied with a minority. But that can’t be right can it? Some of the official polls have Stephen Harper winning a majority. So, we’ll just to have to wait and see.

Add your voice by playing www.whackthepm.ca


Whack the PM, an online polling game and strategic voting tool at www.whackthepm.ca, is helping Canadians address the election issues and decide who they should vote against.

Whack the PM puts the leaders of the five top parties in a simmering hot tub with tough questions about global warming, the economy, leadership, food safety, Afghanistan, minority governments and the kicker — “All politicians are liars. Why should I trust you?”

With each question, voters respond by whacking the candidate who has the most irritating answer on the head. Using this visceral and interactive process, voters determine which leader is most deserving of their distrust.

Whack the PM offers strategic voting advice on a riding-by-riding basis. It has been designed to select the candidate who has the best chance of defeating your detested leader in your riding. For example, if you want to defeat the Liberals, you may be advised to vote for the NDP, the Tories, or whichever candidate has the best chance to defeat them. It helps voters make the most effective and strategic use of their votes.

2004 and 2006 Media Buzz on Whack the PM:

“The most interesting “poll” to follow this seething country may, in fact, not even be a proper poll at all but a bit of a prank on the Web called Whack the PM. Run by a Toronto visual-arts group called the James Gang, the site has been tracking nothing but public anger — and has run uncannily close to the shifts in the more legitimate polls.” Roy MacGregor, The Globe and Mail

“www.whackthepm.ca, created by the clever and irreverent minds of Bill and Franke James of Toronto’s The James Gang, not only sweetens an otherwise humourless campaign, but also ties a fun game to a (highly informal) poll.” Jack Kapica, The Globe and Mail

“Arguably the most fun un-scientific election prognosticator is the Web site “Whack the PM!” run by the James Gang…” Tom Blackwell, The National Post

“Hot: Whack the PM. The Internet election game has been a big hit during this campaign, and not only in Canada. Recent statistics show that 33 U.S. Government employees have even played the game as well as 230 people in Britain and 11 in Switzerland. Says the game’s operator, Franke James: ‘I thought the Swiss were neutral.’” Jane Taber, The Globe and Mail

2006 Articles:
Jane Taber: Whack the PM is HOT
National Post: Whack the PM is Front Page News
Jack Kapica: Whack-a-pol: Here’s an election poll nobody wants to win