Sunday, October 5, 2008

another interesting polling company?

On Garth Turner's blog, a participant posted about an encounter with a pollster. The caller identified themselves as being from Survey Canada. The householder questioned the caller to find out who was actually calling and who was paying for the poll - turns out its the Conservative Party of Canada. You can read about the experience over at Garth's blog. I have the impression it may be like a push poll instrument.

So I went to the trusty Google machine to find out who Survey Canada is. Google search gives a link to a website with a header only. Back at the Google search though we learn that Survey Canada is a division of Hyperweb Communications Inc., a website designer. Not sure why they're involved in push polling for the Conservatives but this is definitely a tactic used in the US by Republicans to deliberately plant doubt about the opposition. 

Canadian voters should be warned about this new tactic being employed by the Conservatives. Push polls are definitely an unwelcome tool for our democracy.

What is a push poll, you ask? The trusty Wikipedia offers a fairly complete idea.

push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning.[1] The term is also sometimes used inaccurately to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants[2], and is illegal in New Hampshire.[

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