Friday, October 21, 2005

Conservatives: Winning Internet Polls...

There was an article a few weeks back accusing Canadian bloggers of being pussies. Well, luckily Canadian bloggers are out to show their relevance!

Faced with declining poll numbers, several Conservative blogs set their sights on a poll they might actually win - a poll on advanced education on the NDP website. I kid you not. Polls, by nature, aren't perfectly accurate. Internet polls are sometimes fun, but ultimately worthless. Internet polls on a political party's site are absolutely pointless. So why anyone would want to mobilize to win this poll is beyond me. I can only hope these Tories will spend as much time door knocking during the election campaign as they spend stacking Internet polls.

And while this, in itself, is mildly humorous, the NDP response is laugh out laud hilarious. Already there have been accusations that the NDP webmaster has fixed the poll to make sure Layton comes out on top. Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't. But given the choice between the NDP rigging the poll and the NDP mobilizing their supporters to stack an Internet poll on their own website, I'm not really sure which option is less pathetic.

Oh, and I must say that I wholeheartedly encourage this blog's readers to swarm the poll and help put Paul over the top! (Or, at the very least, over his current 2%) Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul!


  • What an idiotic use of the web.

    Not that I disagree with Jack as the answer, given the rather sad menu of options.

    By Blogger Scott Neigh, at 11:28 p.m.  

  • The NDP webmaster did not rig the vote nor was there a counter campaign to boost Layton's numbers. What did happen was that a mass emailing went out late last night that mentioned the poll. So people basically got the email and went and voted. Now that these people have most likely sent the email off to the trash bin, there shouldn't be another surge for Layton since most of these people won't bother to vote again even if it's permited.

    The only idiots in all of this are the blogging whories.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 12:39 a.m.  

  • I seem to recall that a certain "Greatest PM" poll recently held was rejigged when it was hijacked by the compulsive right-side poll-jackers (to coin a phrase).

    Meet the kettle, and all that jazz.

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 12:49 a.m.  

  • Wow. I didn't know that NDP members usually read their party emails in the middle of the night, because I seem to recall, it was sometime around the 1:00am hour that Layton saw his surge in support.

    Live and learn.

    I didn't participate myself in the poll rigging, but I think it's funny more than anything else. You wouldn't do that for ever poll, because it would get boring and stupid rather quickly, but the occasional poll blitz is like a good Google Bomb.

    Ultimately pointless, but worthy of a chuckle on a boring day.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 2:52 a.m.  

  • The term used to describe what the Blogging Tories and their allies are doing with this poll is "freeping"., perhaps the wingnuttiest of the wingnut blogs in the US, is well known for its tactics of having its users swarm an internet poll and vote for or against it as is applicable. In this way, they hope to influence the media/party/public by skewing the results to the asked question of the poll in their favour to make it appear that the general public support their position.

    This came to be known as "freeping". (Ie.. Let's go freep that poll), and it appears their Canadian counterparts - though they may not be all as nutty as those folks - are taking a page out of their book.

    Though, I too am puzzled why they'd want to bother with an internal NDP youth poll. Pickings must indeed be slim over there.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 7:35 a.m.  

  • CG, thanks for this post, you have no idea how timely and appropriate it was. The material that Kate's Silly Brain Dead Animals and the Snot Gun have provided will make for excellent reading on the Wingnuterer. Oh boy, I'm I ever going to get into trouble over this. But why make stuff up when the truth is funnier than my fiction. You will get a special Wingnuterer mention for this, LOL

    By Blogger Zorpheous, at 10:02 a.m.  

  • Here we go again.

    At neither my site nor the Shotgun did anyone encourage readers to do anything but visit the page and vote according to the rules. There was no suggestion to rig or manipulate the results by cheating - only to go and vote.

    As in the "Greatest Prime Minister" poll, the left is accusing the right of "cheating" - on the sole basis of upsetting a pollster who had a predetermined expectation that their guy would win!

    The stunning part is the assumption that those voting for Harper (or in the GP poll, against Trudeau) are being disingenuous - that everyone just knows Layton should win because it's a NDP poll, that everyone just knows Trudeau was the bestest ever. (Gag)

    Kind of begs the question - why bother with these polls in the first place, if the pollster believes there is only "one right answer"?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 a.m.  

  • I voted for Harper. It was as close to none of the above as I could get.

    It's a poorly framed question in a useless format.

    For every poorly framed question in a useless format, the obvious answer is Stephen Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:55 a.m.  

  • Kate;

    I've said many times that I have no problem with the Tories stacking votes - be they on an NDP internet poll or on the Greatest PM contest (I, in fact, quite enjoyed the bump in traffic). On an internet poll, it's fair game.

    I just fail to see what you hope to accomplish by winning an Internet poll on the NDP website. I mean, surely there's a better use of your time...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:08 p.m.  

  • As always cg, a great article.

    The problem with internet polling, is that the sampling is not random. If it was, the results would be more accurate.

    Having said that, I enjoyed your rounds of polling from the summer!

    By Blogger John Murney , at 1:35 p.m.  

  • you guys have nothing better to do with your time than to comment on stupid online blogs that make no sense. And don't get me wrong I am guilty of that too. I think we should try to do something better with our time than comment about online blogs, its all because of the CalgaryGrit who brought it up on the first place, I usually like his entries but this one was a time waster for me and for many other people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:48 p.m.  

  • Well Anonymous, if the posting wasted your time, I fail to see why you then bothered to leave a comment here for such a "worthless" posting by CG.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 3:16 p.m.  

  • I doubt the webmaster rigged the poll. It is reasonable to assume that more NDP members visit that site than anyone else, so it's a small wonder Jack's winning despite the best efforts of the Tories ("winning nothing but internet polls since 1993"). Remember, CG, when you were accused of rigging the Best PM poll? That was funny.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 4:00 p.m.  

  • The purpose of Conservatives voting for Harper in that poll is that when regular Web-using people (as opposed to hardcore political nerds like us) go to the NDP website, see the poll, and find that the Conservatives are beating the NDP on their own website, it's a (minor) embarrassment for the NDP. As The Hack said, it's like a Googlebomb: an easy way to get a cheap laugh at your opponent's expense.

    (Of course, if the Conservative Party website had run a poll like this and the Liberals or NDP had won, Gloria Galloway would probably have done a major story on it for the Globe & Mail. ;)

    As for the accusations about the NDP webmaster rigging it, I don't know for sure if that's the case, but Robert's explanation doesn't hold water: the newsletter in question doesn't say anything about the poll or link to it. In addition to the late night timing of the boost (contrary to Robert's claim on another blog, most NDP supporters live in the east, not BC), a commenter on Stephen Taylor's blog reported seeing exactly 100 Layton votes appear in a one minute timespan. I personally saw a somewhat less extreme version of this on Saturday afternoon, with 40 Layton votes coming in within a 10 minutes period, surrounded on both sides by long periods where it took hours to get that many votes for all the candidates combined.

    To all the leftists out there, I suggest that rather than bitching and whining about "How dare the Tories take ten seconds out of their day to vote against Layton/Trudeau!", you either take it with good humour (like CG) or adopt a "don't get mad, get even" policy. You already manaaged to make Rational Reasons win an SDA blog award, and I didn't see any Blogging Tories whining about it (and if there were some that I'm not aware of, then shame of them).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 a.m.  

  • The NDP's eventually triumph over unemployed welfare bums (ie. Tory Bloggers and CPC Staffers) is there first major triumph in years. Give them a little cred.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 p.m.  

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