Friday, June 17, 2011

The Smart Alliance Phone Poll...A Push? A Pull? Or Just Voter ID?


The other day we had some discussion around here about the consortium of British Columbia businesses, all of whom directly benefit financially from the HST (as opposed to you and I who do not, regardless what the VSun editorial page says).

More specifically, the subject of the consortium's phone polling came up, which a number of readers had already alerted me to.

And then I received a comment from someone who professed to work for the call center that has been contracted out to do some of the polling who offered up what he called his 'script'.


I do not know for sure if this is, indeed, the 'script' being used by these people.

But, it certainly rings true in terms of what other folks say have been asked when they have been called.

So, I offer up the potential script proffered by our commenter for your perusal and ask you to let us know if you have been subjected to this line of 'questioning' over the phone by someone purporting to represent the 'Campaign Support' division of the 'Smart Tax Alliance of British Columbia' (ie. said business interests that directly benefit financially from the HST):

Putative Pollster: "Hello, I am _______________ and I'm calling from Campaign Support on behalf of the Smart Tax Alliance to get your opinion about the upcoming referendum on tax harmonization."

Putative Pollster: "Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST along with the GST?"

Potential Response: Yes/Undecided/No/Refused/Hostile/
Business Number/
Add to DNC list/
Caller Hungup/
Voter Not Available
Out of Riding/
Language Barrier

Putative Pollster: If they say yes (to extinguish HST)..... 

"Thank you for your opinion. Did you know the provincial government has announced improvements to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) ahead of the July 22 Referendum that will see the HST rate drop by two percentage points for all consumers by 2014, and the government will provide children and seniors with $175 cheques to transition to the new rate. At a ten percent HST rate, the average BC family will pay $120 less than under the old PST."

Potential Response: (to 'qualifier' above):
No /
Caller Hung Up

Putative Pollster: If they say yes (to the qualifier above)..... 

End /Complete.....
"Thank you again, and have a great day/evening."
 [Close survey and set disposition as Do Not Call.]

Putative Pollster:: If they say no 
(to the qualifier above)......"I would just like to confirm (who I am speaking with)"..... And do you know if other members of your household are in favour of extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST along with the GST?"

(then there is a bunch of record keeping that the putative pollster is supposed to do)

Pollster: "Thank you. Keep an eye on your mail as your mail-in referendum ballots will start arriving between June 13 and June 24. If by June 24 you don’t have your ballot, please do not hesitate to contact us"

Please pay specific attention to passage, above, in red....If you have been called by these fine folks, were you actually 'asked' this after you had already been told that you were going to be asked for YOUR OPINION on the HST?....Thanks.



Anonymous said...

That is what I got as well except the pollster wasn't quite as smooth reading the script. She asked, "if I had heard the government's recent announcement", to which I replied "Which announcement was that? The government says a lot of things".

She replied concerning the "reduction" of the HST. I said "yes" and she wished me a good night.

RossK said...

Great - thanks Anon.

I am coming to the conclusion that this is a push for folks with a soft yes who might be moveable.