Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Polls

So, the bread tax (lots of CO2 in bread making don't you know) supporters are jumping for joy because a poll says that Canadians would support a carbon tax. Folks, let's not get silly. Polls are useful to see trends during an election period. Otherwise, they are mostly useless. Ask the folks at Fair Vote Ontario. See, they thought they had a winning issue. After all, in poll after poll, when Canadians were asked if they wanted their electoral system to be proportional, they said yes. Then a funny thing happened. Once a proposal for PR (namely MMP) came out in Ontario and was placed before the voters, it sank like a stone. What happened? Well, the polls that had put the electoral reform question to the voters had accentuated the positives and ignored the negatives. The proposal put before the people had all the dirty details that people just can't look passed. I will be convinced when Canadians say by wide margins that they are willing to pay more for gasoline, groceries and home heating and witness the reversal of economic fortunes in booming provinces (I'm guessing that the green economy won't be built in St. John's or Saskatoon) as long as they are saving the planet. An abstract concept is easy to support, an actual policy is much more difficult to sell.

1 comment:

Linuxluver said...

MMP sank in Ontario because the voters were kept in the dark by Elections Ontario and fed shit by the media. Whereas 37% voted for MMP, 100% of the daily print media were opposed to it for reasons that were obviously unfounded. I say that having used MMP since 1996 in New Zealand, chosen list and local candidates democratically and personally experienced the improved representation and GREATER transparency a more open democratic system can deliver thanks to MMP and proportional representation. The evidence of all this was there to be seen, but the media owners didn't want to see it and kept voters in the dark. Similarly elections Ontario, for effectively hiding the substantive MMP recommendation.

So your argument on polls not being valid must be tempered by the understanding that the MMP example you use isn't directly applicable. There was far more that went into MMP's defeat than a failure of polling methodology. Far more. The MMP referendum was sabotaged by the vested interests of the status quo and they have shown they fight dirty and can't be trusted. These same people remain in Government. Watch your backs.

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page