Friday, January 18, 2019

Crisis, Crisis. No End of Crises.

I was shaken by the story last week about how 60 per cent of Canadians consider the lack of a new pipeline to the west coast a "crisis."  It was a compelling report and also disheartening to one with a deep attachment to our pristine Pacific coastal waters. I knew that those 60 percenters were drylanders to whom our coast was inconsequential, especially in the context of a chimera of untold wealth to be had from our bitumen bounty.

The National Observer to the rescue. Likewise vexed by this Angus Reid pipeline poll, the Observer did a little polling of its own. What else might Canadians consider a crisis. They adopted the Angus Reid questions just substituting other issues in lieu of "pipelines."

Remember, Angus Reid's pipeline crisis set the threshold at 60 per cent.

On the issue of the Alberta regulator's internal estimate that Tar Sands remediation could cost upwards of $260 billion, 86 per cent considered that a "crisis."

96 per cent viewed the IPCC warning that we have just 12 years to cut CO2 emissions a staggering 50 per cent if we're to thwart the worst impacts of climate change as a crisis.

89 per cent of respondents considered the plight of Canada's forests from wildfires and pest infestations a crisis.

Suddenly Angus Reid's 60 per cent sounds a bit trifling. That doesn't mean you're not going to hear it repeated again and again by those pushing this damned pipeline.


the salamander said...

.. I'm a speedreader, Mound.. I can skim, flash or power read or go slow on command (and I'm in command)

When I see the term 'poll' in a headline or buried within.. i go lockdown, turn the page.. To me, Polls are the greatest vote suppression and/or propaganda tools in the cold greasy dishwater of mainstream media and politics

How wonderful it must seem.. to be told 'what you think' .. or should think, or must think.. Well, as George Loroque famously said, upon a time, when challenged during a face off, to man up and drop the gloves.. Well OK.. good luck to ya..' As I recall the fisticuffs were brief.. a sweater grab.. one punch throwdown.. but hey.. it was a spirited try.. and George was gracious and helped the young man up.. did not get all uppity whatsover.. It was business.. and he looked after it in a tidy way..

So polls to me stink.. of skunk.. apologies to the lovely striped creatures. They seem cheap, tawdry, lipstick on a ... well you catch my drift.. don't want to insult pigs, skunks.. etc.. I would rather attract wolverines or polar bears.. peregrine falcons, ravens.. the grizzly and orca.. ie creatures that are of worth, nasty it may seem when hungry ..

They do not respond.. indeed, are unaware of polls or popularity contests.. trends or flavor of the month

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, my friend, polls are today's "conventional wisdom" that never was worth a tinker's dam. Pollsters can shape a question to manipulate the desired response and, as the National Observer report demonstrates, one pipeline poll, taken in isolation, can be foisted on us as the "vox populi." The people have spoken. What better justification could a pol need to justify the unjustifiable?

Anonymous said...

Most polls are full of crap. It's either due to the way the question is worded. Or, because they are useless on-line polls. Ever read the disclaimer for on-line polls. "IF this was a fully randomized sample THEN the margin of error would be +/-3% 19 times out of 20." But, they aren't. So they really don't tell us anything except that whoever paid for the poll is trying to influence opinion.