Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

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I’m procrastinating again on those “Recommendations”, but the bafflegab is so thick, it’s hard to cut through it.  Instead, here is a report from the Ombudsman of the CBC…

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In the week leading up to the Day Democracy Died (the vote on Bill C-391), the CBC aired a “news” segment on The National, about the involvement of the NRA in the activities of those who supported the Bill to eliminate the long-gun registry.  They were shocked to discover that the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action, and its President Tony Bernardo, has had strong ties to the US lobby group.  They had to dredge up information from 10 years ago in order to “prove” the heinous nature of this association.  Of course, none of this was secret, or deliberately kept hidden, but the CBC did its damnedest to make it seem like this was a huge expose of some sort.

Anyone with half a brain should have come to the conclusion “So what?” when presented with this information.  Not the CBC!  They never let the facts get in the way of promoting leftist ideology whenever they can.  The whole purpose of the piece was to inflame the sensibilities of the anti-gun crowd who are habitues of The Mothercorp, provoking them into taking action against Bill C-391.

There was no “news” here – just blatant partisan politics.

Here is my letter to the CBC’s Ombudsman:

September 14th, 2010.

Re: NRA and the gun registry

September 13, 2010

News > TV Shows > The National

http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/TV_Shows/The_National/ID=1590902140

I am incensed.  I am outraged.  I am livid.  Words cannot describe just how supremely pissed off I am at the CBC’s “news” story about the “ties” between the NRA and the Conservatives.  This is blatant and egregious anti-gun and anti-conservative propaganda.  Its sole purpose is to drive people to vote against Candice Hoeppner’s Private Member’s Bill C-391.  So what if the NRA is giving “tactical and logistical” support to the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action?  Why is that “news”?  Why is that anybody’s business?  This is not “reporting” news, it is manufacturing the news.

Why isn’t the CBC “reporting” on the incestuous ties between the Coalition for Gun Control and the Liberal Party?  They’ve been in bed together since Chretien came to power.  Why aren’t they “reporting” on the ties between the CFGC and the anti-gun, US Brady Campaign?  Why aren’t they “reporting” on the funding received from anti-gun US billionaire George Soros?  Why aren’t they reporting on the ties with the international anti-gun organization, IANSA?

Why aren’t they “reporting” on the $386,000 grant the CFGC received from the Department of Justice for some “training program” in Quebec, that was never reported on?

Why aren’t they scandalized by the Liberal Party of Canada bringing US Democratic National Committee President Howard Dean to be the keynote speaker at their 2006 convention?

Why aren’t they outraged over US anti-gun “documentary” (and I use the term loosely) filmmaker Michael Moore’s interference with three federal elections?

Why isn’t any of this “newsworthy”?

And now, even though the original “report” stated, but downplayed, the fact that nothing illegal was taking place, and that no money had changed hands, another “reporter”, Margot McDermit, is claiming that “The NRA, in the CBC story last night, apparently has been lobbying for the last decade to get rid of the long gun registry. Not only lobbying, but providing money to lobbying efforts here in Canada to lobby the government to get rid of it.

http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?category=News&clipid=1591261090

This is an out-and-out LIE!  The NRA’s charter forbids it from giving money to groups outside the US.

Do you honestly believe that your “reporters” should be LYING to the Canadian public?  Is that in your charter somewhere?

This has got to stop!  Do your job and rein these LIARS in.  If you do not, you should be FIRED for being nothing more than a useless, trough-sucking bureaucrat.

Bruce N. Mills

akimoya@yahoo.ca

Hamilton, Ontario

And here’s the Ombudsman’s replies to the complaints:

Review: Report about possible involvement of the National Rifle Association in the debate over the long-gun registry

October 28, 2010

CONCLUSION:

The item was a reasonable summary of the interest that a very important American lobbying group has taken in the Canadian issue. Although we might have wished for more depth and context, the item’s flaws do not move it outside the bounds of CBC policy.

Vince Carlin
CBC Ombudsman

Nice whitewash job there, Vince!  Get any on ya?

If you read through his entire report, you will see that nowhere does he address my complaint that one of his talking heads outright LIED to the Canadian public on a national news show.  You can be certain that I will be taking this oversight up with him, soonest.


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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.

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Take, for example, the Angus Reid polls.  Here is a list of their poll questions, and an explanation of why and how they are biased against guns:

http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2010.08.24_Guns_CAN.pdf

Guns

In your view, is gun violence in Canada a very serious problem, moderately serious, not too serious, or not a problem?

Very serious problem

Moderately serious

Not too serious

Not a problem

Not sure


Some people have called for a complete ban on handguns in Canada. Which of these statements comes closer to your own point of view?

A complete ban would be justified, since current regulations are not working and guns stolen from legal owners are being used in crimes

A complete ban would be unjustified, as it would affect law-abiding Canadians such as collectors and target shooters

Not sure


The Canadian Firearms Registry, also known as the long gun registry, requires the registration of all non-restricted firearms in Canada. From what you have seen, read or heard, do you think this registry has been successful or unsuccessful in preventing crime in Canada?

Successful

Unsuccessful

It has had no effect on crime

Not sure


Do you support or oppose scrapping the long gun registry?

Support

Oppose

Not sure


Do you think it should be legal or illegal for ordinary citizens to own firearms?

Legal

Illegal

Unsure

Even as a layman I can see that this poll is horribly flawed and biased. First, you are asked if guns are some kind of “problem”. This entrenches in the mind the correlation between “guns” and “problem”, whether they actually are or not.  Also, by going on to ask questions about legitimate gun use, the poll attempts to make a negative connection between “gun violence” and “legitimate use”.

The second question asks about a “handgun ban”, giving the respondent two suggested points of view, which are far from “yes” and “no” – they ask convoluted questions, which introduce even more anti-gun sentiments.  This is also the logical fallacies of the “Complex Question” and the “False Dilemma“.  It also sets up in the mind the relationship of “gun” to “ban”.  Furthermore, the first of these three questions reinforces the implications of the first one – that somehow legitimate gun owners are to blame because their guns get stolen.

The third question gives the respondent is given 4 responses to choose from, two of which are basically the same: “Unsuccessful” and “It has had no effect on crime” . If the long gun registry has had “no effect on crime” then it has been UNSUCCESSFUL in achieving its stated goal. This splits the “no” vote, thus giving the impression that the “yes” vote is somehow greater than it is.

Only after all of this manipulation, are respondents asked the “meaty” questions:  do you support or oppose the long gun registry and should ordinary citizens be allowed to own gun.  Of course, these questions are asked of the great unwashed, who probably don’t have the first clue about what Canada’s so-called “gun control” laws are, and what they do, and how they affect honest citizens.  I guess that’s why they’re called “opinion polls” and not “fact polls”…