Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dean Del Mastro: Champion of Democracy and Scientific Polling Methodologies

The biggest fireworks so far in the sleepy Ontario election campaign have not come between the candidates, but between the pollsters. And there's a new pollster on the block - Dean Del Mastro:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary has stepped heavily into the Ontario election for the second time, this time commissioning a 1,000-person poll because he felt a local newspaper underplayed the popularity of the local Progressive Conservative candidate. [...]

The Peterborough This Week telephone poll suggested Liberal candidate Jeff Leal had a 45.5-per-cent share of the vote compared to 28 per cent for Progressive Conservative candidate Alan Wilson.

“I was deeply concerned that publishing numbers in the fashion as presented on the cover of a weekly large circulation paper could significantly suppress voter participation,” he said. “The methodology was not released and the responses could have just as easily been provided by six-year-olds as registered voters.” [...]

“I dispute that I’m heavily involved in the provincial election, I want people to vote in each and every election,” he said. “When information is published that suggests the election is decided based on flawed methodology it runs contrary to one of my core democratic values which is that people need to exercise their right to vote.”

Yes, whenever a poll that doesn't "feel" right is published, you can count on Dean Del Mastro to settle the issue. It's just one of the many things Dean does to help protect democracy in Canada.

So what cutting-edge methodology did Del Mastro use, to ensure that (natoriously pro-Liberal) six-year-olds were not skewing survey results?

Well, he surveyed 1,000 voters over the course of an hour Sunday night...presumably using the exact same push-button polling technology as the Peterborough This Week poll. But what sets Del Mastro's survey appart are the unbiased questions he posed before asking respondents which candidate they intended to vote for:

1. "Given that jurisdictions like the United States and Europe have invested billions of dollars trying to create green jobs with disappointing results, do you believe that the 7 billion dollar Samsung deal will create 16,000 jobs in Ontario?”

2. “Given that families and seniors are struggling today in Ontario, do you support eliminating HST from energy bills as well as income splitting for families to reduce their provincial tax burden?”

Sadly, Del Mastro did not ask the most important question on the minds of voters - "Given Dalton McGuinty is a poopy head, do you support his secret puppy genocide agenda?". Sadly, we may never know what the residents of Peterborough think on this burning issue.

So again, thanks to Dean Del Mastro for championing democracy, one demon dialled push poll at a time! I salute you sir.

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  • You joke, but...

    It's not really a secret agenda, given the pitbull ban.

    By Anonymous Michael F, at 5:57 p.m.  

  • Is this even legal under the Ontario Elections Act?

    By Anonymous DN, at 4:27 p.m.  

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