The ‘bun-official’ election burger poll results put Conservatives in tasty lead

Andy Radia
Canada Politics

Two restaurants - a burger joint in British Columbia and a burger and ice cream chain in Ontario - have found creative ways to encourage public discourse about the election.

In British Columbia, New Westminster's Burger Heaven is hosting a "bun-official" election poll. Customers vote for their favourite federal leader by choosing one of five burgers.

Since the beginning of the campaign, Burger Heaven has sold 1,169 burgers and as of Wednesday the "bun-official" results were as follows:

Harper had 46 per cent of the decided vote, Layton 32 per cent, and Ignatieff had 12 per cent. Green party Leader Elizabeth May trailed with only seven per cent of the decided eats.

In Ontario, Lick's Homeburgers and Ice Cream has been conducting a customer election poll since 1988.

For the Lick's poll, each customer who visits one its 30 stores receives a secret ballot with their meal purchase. The Lick's website boasts past visits from famous politicians including Brian Mulroney and former Ontario premier Mike Harris.

To date, the Lick's Burger Poll has the Conservatives ranked No. 1 with 40 per cent of the votes, the Liberals are at 25 per cent, NDP at 19 per cent and the Greens with 11.

Frank Peruzzi, the self-described Chief Electoral Officer (aka CEO), told Yahoo! Canada News the poll is a way to get people talking about the election.

"A few years ago, we had a staff person who thought national deficit had something to do with being hard of hearing," he said.

"So these polls are away to increase awareness about elections and politics for both our staff and customers."

Like in "other" polls, the NDP has seen a recent surge in support, said Peruzzi. He often sees similarities in Lick's numbers and polling numbers from companies such as Ipsos Reid and Nanos.

In the 2008 election, Licks' final numbers were "bang-on" to the actual results, he said. "I think the big polling companies just copy us," he quips, taking a bite out of their credibility.

The burgers available at Burger Heaven include:

1. Harper Burger (Conservatives): With a conservative slice of cheese, this burger is on the right, front burner. Made with "lean-to-the-right" Grade A Alberta beef, Alberta cheddar and served with a Conservative side of fries, this burger may come with a slice of humble pie a la mode.

2. Ignatieff Burger (Liberals): This burger is new to our menu, is a real mouthful and includes a slice of American cheese. With a liberal dollop of "relish"ing to be PM, this burger has lean Grade A beef(s), and is determined to get to the front burner in this heated election.

3. Layton Burger (NDP): Served socially correct, this burger includes a Nicely Done Patty, lean to the left Grade A beef, sharp unions (oops, onions), a fresh red tomato and sharp Jack cheddar cheese. We laboured hard on this burger, but it's still on the back burner trying to cut some of the fat out of the liberal bacon.

4. May Burger (Green): This burger may be cooked by solar power for a healthier environment. Served with a side of greens. If you're looking for change in your burger diet, this one could be for you. Includes "cottage" industry cheese, dollop of green relish, lettuce (let us) lead, and lots of May-o.

5. Duceppe Burger (Bloc Quebecois): This burger comes with French dressing et avec la bleu fromage et le boeuf du Quebec et les frites — i.e. Chip off the "Bloc". This one is separated from the rest in the proverbial frying pan.

(Screen capture courtesy: Lick's website)