Latest “opinion” poll

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Finally, a poll that asks a simple question.  But is all as it seems…

From the National Post:

Two-thirds of Canadians back long-gun registry: poll

Postmedia News  October 5, 2010 – 5:43 pm

By Mark Kennedy

The national survey conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global Television finds that support for the registry stands at 66% nationally.

Question: “Do you personally support or oppose the gun registry, which requires the owners of long-barreled guns to register their firearms on a national database”

Was there not a  “don’t know/don’t care” question supplied?

[Ipsos Reid senior vice-president John Wright said Tuesday] “Despite all of its woes about the money spent, it seems most people in this country think that it’s a good thing and that if you have a gun it should be registered. Clearly, the police departments and others who have waded in have had an effect.”

This begs the question – how much of this “support” is based solely on what the anti-gun extremist “experts” said in the 2 weeks leading up to the vote?

“If the police are for it, it must be good”

“If doctors are for it, it must be good”

If women’s shelters are for it, it must be good”

This is merely the False Appeal to Authority:

Appeal to authority is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

1.   Source A says that p is true.

2.   Source A is authoritative.

3.   Therefore, p is true.

This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it). [1]

On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

If respondents relied solely on what the “experts” told them, without actually examining both sides of the arguments, how can they be expected to make an “informed decision”?

Back to the NatPost:

The survey, conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 4, comes in the wake of a highly publicized parliamentary battle in which Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner failed in her effort to abolish the registry.

So “the registry” was on people’s minds – again, how many were affected by all the anti-gun rhetoric “liberally” supplied by the leftist media?  How can they make an “informed decision” without being privy to all the facts?

The poll finds that 23% of Canadians say the results of the recent parliamentary tussle over Hoeppner’s bill could have an impact on how they vote in the next election.

Of those voters, roughly half (12%) said they will vote for a party that wants to abolish the long-gun registry while the remainder (10%) said they will vote for a party that proposes to maintain it.

Ok, there seems to have been another question tossed in there…what else aren’t we being told?  This seems to me to be the most telling statistic of this poll.

For its poll, Ipsos Reid surveyed 1,064 adults in an online panel. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Nowhere can I find where it says “of those who responded” – so how many were “contacted” and how many “responded” – or failed to respond, or had no opinion?

Here’s what Ipsos-Reid has to say about their polls, and their panels, from their website:

http://www.ipsos.ca/en/about-ipsos/

We also understand that individuals are complex; confident one minute, uncertain the next. They can say one thing and mean another.

Just how do they know what their respondents really mean?  Do they use a Ouija board?

http://www.ipsos.ca/en/research/public-affairs/

“We see respondents as citizens, stakeholders, employees, and voters – as well as consumers. We can effectively and quickly reach elite, stakeholder, and other highly targeted respondents, with the same ease as the general public. Ipsos ensures that our clients get the answers they need from the audience that is critical to their business. “

So, at whom was the poll “targeted”?  Just what answers were “needed”?

http://www.ipsos.ca/en/products-tools/ipsos-panels/

When you build a panel with us, you’re receiving a high-quality, fully staged, and rigorously maintained product. You also benefit from our extensive network of recruits – with regional, national, and global reach – we can quickly and accurately find and select the right people to answer your critical questions.

http://www.ipsos.ca/en/products-tools/ipsos-panels/online-panels/

Online Panels

Our Online panels are extremely popular; our teams typically conduct approximately 250 online studies per month.

When you choose an online panel, you’re accessing over 500,000 panelists in the U.S., and over 200,000 panelists in Canada. Our demographics can accurately help you to target specific consumer groups – like teens, new mothers, or high income households. While we can help you pinpoint a target or extremely niche market, panels are also an efficient sample source to reach a broad population.

They can be branded, blind, or completely customized to fit your needs.

They obviously “craft” their panels, and “manipulate” their poll questions to get what the customer ordered.  So, who exactly did they pick and choose, and from where?  Were they evenly distributed across the Provinces?  Were they rural or urban?  How many farmers do you know that have either the time or the means to participate in such surveys?

This looks to me like just another “opinion” poll, which only seems to measure how much the great unwashed bought into the lies told by the anti-gun “experts”.

If you want to look at a real survey, check out Dr. Gary Mauser and Dr. H. Taylor Buckner’s work “Canadian Attitudes Toward Gun Control: The Real Story“.  It’s comprehensive and insightful.  I may do a companion post about it next.


  1. MP3

    Please – Mauser the NRA shill? A real survey? You guys sure like to grasp at straws.

    • akimoya

      NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRA! NRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

      Don’t you libtards have any other note to play?

      I notice that you didn’t bother to address the “pith and substance” of my post – again!

      If you don’t have anything actually constructive to say, go away and haunt rabble or someplace.






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