Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Is CBC British Columbia Carrying Water For Pro-HST Forces?



Update: Link to the (no-longer) Empire Mail's attempt to play catch-up at the bottom of the post

In another non-story story from CBC Vancouver (wireless division), reported by Jeff Davies, it would appear that at least one pollster has no idea what is going to happen with the HST referendum.

Not because they have numbers that tell them that but, instead, because, they don't know what to make of any numbers they have generated.

Here's what the CBC has up on the web summarizing the non-story, story:

Pollsters are still reluctant to make any predictions on the outcome of B.C.'s HST referendum, even with just a few more days of voting left.

"We wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot poll," said Mario Canseco, vice-president of the Angus Reid Public Opinion. "P-o-l-l."

Canseco said it's a tough call, partly because there's never been a referendum like this in B.C.

Complicating matters is the potential confusion in the wording of the referendum question, which requires a "yes" answer if voters do not want to keep the 12-per-cent combined tax and "no" if they do want to keep it.

"We have some "yes" voters who thought they were voting yes to get the new version of the HST, and we've got some "no" voters who thought they were voting no to get rid of the HST."

Canseco said the potential confusion — with people voting for a result they did not intend — might make it too difficult for anyone to interpret the outcome, let alone predict it.

But here's the real thing....

That is not how CBC Vancouver actually framed the story on the air this morning.

Case in point, during the 8:30 am news round-up Cecilia Walters told us that pollsters have found that the referendum is 'too close to call'.

Which, of course, is the kind of misleading codswallop that likely has Kevin Falcon* and his Snowmen crowing with glee.

Then, after the story, Walters and the Cluffmaster Flash kibbitzed about how they couldn't understand how anyone could still misunderstand the question.... Rick Cluff then told everyone to just 'read it'.

Sure thing Mr. Cluff.

And if I read that pile of gobbledy-gook will I understand what the actual rate will be in, say 2015?

Or, will I understand what the total cost will be to my family by that time?

Or, will I understand what the total burden placed on the backs of British Columbians will be by that time?

Or, and most importantly given that Mr. Falcon has refused to tell us (and thus has inferred that it won't), will the same exemption state return if we go back to the PST/GST?

*I think the thing that tells us most about how nervous the pro-side is here is the fact that the Ms. Clark has literally disappeared from the scene for her 'long-planned' vacation....
Peter Ewart, writing about this some time ago, called the absence of hard number calls, 'The Silence Of The Pollsters'....
Update, Late Wednesday: The Globe catches up.....Sheesh.



Anonymous said...

We know the citizens of BC, do not want the HST. But, the referendum ballots were a screwed up mess. We also know those ballots, have to go through Crag James of Elections BC. James was caught in other corruption. The ballots were also hid.

We know very well, the BC Liberals cheat and lie. We also know, Campbell would never have agreed to the referendum, unless it could be cheated.

Kim said...

Here's an interesting thing about Angus Reid, I belong, and so does my son. He receives many times more invites to surveys than I do, including political ones, even after I commented to them several times that I enjoy filling out political surveys. It's all about the demographics, you see, some people are just more valuable then others. Demographically. Like scientists are not that valuable anymore, I bet the pollsters don't ask them either!

RossK said...


They never, ever ask me.

But that probably has less to do with my profession, which has a distinctly scientific bent to it, and more to do with the fact that I like to do things like feed the dog or take out the compost between questions and then come back after 5-10 minutes and ask, 'are you still there?'

Thanks Anon-Above.

But to be fair, we really don't know how many people have swallowed the "Vote for 10%!" lie, mostly, of course, because the proMedia herd has refused to forcefully call it what it really is.