Thursday, April 19, 2007

Flaherty Spokesman: Liberals FREEPED My Pole!

...or poll. Whatever. From the G&M:

Ottawa -- Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty received some unwelcome budget feedback recently when an online poll he commissioned recorded overwhelming opposition to his 2007 fiscal plan.


"The poll was hijacked by Garth Turner and his Liberal supporters," Dan Miles, director of communications for Mr. Flaherty, said.

Good job, Garth and co., but if you Turneristas want a real challenge, check out the Angus Reid on-line Forums, which I have written about here, here , and here. Sign up, then sign up again using a different name, and then again.

Indulge your fantasies: be black, switch genders, or adopt the persona of a Western Separatist--its all possible on the AR forums, and you can do it all from a single IP address!

Then start taking surveys: which party would you vote for, do you like cheese, have you ever suffered from skin tags? The fun and games never end, and you can help one of Canada's major polling organizations forecast a Green Party majority!


Ti-Guy said...

Talk about little value for money. You pay a director of communications who seems to be OK with a freepable online poll who then whines about it being freeped?

And we're supposed to trust the connies with our money? Frankly, I'd rather Radwinski have a good meal at Henri Burger on my dime than have public money support this collection of amateurs.

Anonymous said...


You conveniently choose to ignore facts. You previously said you have "experience" in statistics, yet you ignore the basic difference between an "instant web poll" and a poll conducted through an online panel. Perhaps this document will explain it in a clearer fashion.

Also, you never responded to a previous post, which pointed you towards a document that shows how the polling firm you constantly defame fared better than other companies in predicting the outcome of the Quebec provincial election. Here it is again, in case you missed it. If the methodology is as flawed as you claim, why was the poll so close to the actual results?

What is even more astonishing is that you chose to use the same polls you question, on Mar. 9, to talk about how well the Liberals were doing. To put it gently, when the Liberals do well, you use the Angus Reid polls. When they don't, the methodology is suspect and you have fodder for your blog.

Comparing the poll Flaherty refers to with an online panel is unwarranted. Ignoring the way Angus Reid did in the Quebec election is spurious. And using the polls when the numbers fit your political views is opportunistic. Someone who displays your lack of integrity and plain ignorance about polling can never become an authoritative voice in public opinion research.

bigcitylib said...


If you read my March 9th post I said that 1) I wasn't sure whether this particular Angus Reid poll was done on line (it as), and 2) that if it was, I didn't trust the methodology but was still of course pleased at the result.

Secondly, I was not particularly impressed with the Angus Reid result in Quebec, and told you as much (told someone as much anyhow). Every pollster was bunched pretty closely around the same percentages. Also, just because a poll can be pranked, doesn't mean it will be. Maybe nobody lied to them in Quebec.

Third, I have read their methodological document but it does not, as far as I can tell, address how they can stop someone from registering and voting multiple times (there are in fact ways of preventing these things in online surveys, but Angus Reid does not seem to be using these ways). Further, I have been able to register multiple times. So there. As far as I can tell, and as I have written, the AR polls are indeed NOT much different from the kind of thing Flaherty made use of.

Ti-Guy said...

Sounds like anonymous works for Angus Reid. If that's the case, his/her posting here anonymously demonstrates a lack of ethics that I'm sure Angus-Reid would like to distance itself from.

Werner Patels said...

I participated in that poll and other Angus-Reid online polls. The way you describe is completely off. That's not how the system works (with people signing up again and again).

In fact, Angus-Reid online polls are among the most accurate.

Anonymous said...

How does Flaherty come to the conclusion it was Liberals that did it?

It might have been the NDP who hate the budget.

bigcitylib said...


I have signed up twice from the same computer using different demographic profiles. I may attempt a third profile this weekend. So you CAN do it. Whether people have or not (other than me) is a different question. I suspect I'm not the only one this has occured to.

Scott Tribe said...

Not surprising that Werner believes its accurate because the online poll shows the Liberals doing the worst in it of any of the polls out there.. so it fits in with Werner's meme of how terrible the Liberals are doing.

Werner Patels said...

WRONG! I didn't sign up; I was invited by Angus Reid to participate. Just as I was invited to join the Maclean's panel several months ago.

You guys don't even know how things work, but you write and blog about them as if you did.

bigcitylib said...


You can sign up as well. I for example followed a link from (I believe) Andrew Coyne's site.

Werner Patels said...

Yes, that's for their website and various online polls, but that doesn't give you access to participation in the main polls, such as the one you quoted here in your post.

bigcitylib said...

Wanna bet? Did you do the poll about skin tags? How about the companies that helped out in the communities? How about the big "green issues" poll? I've participated in them all, under various guises.

Anonymous said...

Actually if you read the comments section on Garths blog that day , you will see that the poll was pulled really early.Before all Garths minions would have time. I know because I tried.Flaherty does not realize that maybe the REAL voting public thought his budget sucked.

Werner Patels said...

You're still completely uninformed. I am not talking about those ridiculous forums; I am talking about polls for which you are invited by Angus-Reid to participate in.

I know about those stupid forums, and that's not what I have been talking about. AR has the unscientific "fun" stuff AND the professionally done polls -- the AR poll that showed Liberals at 22% was done professionally.

bigcitylib said...

If you mean by "invited" that you get an email sent to your in box, then we are talking about the same thing. I did not realize that the Flaherty poll was done by AR, but am not talking about that kind of poll (the today's ctv poll on Kyoto). The ones I'm talking about you:

1) go to AR forums
2) give them a demographic profile/email etc.
3) wait for an invite to participate in an online poll.

I've been "invited" to do about five, under my two seperate profiles.

And if that's what you mean, then they are easy to prank.