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Pollster not interested in being part of the 'club'



I read the comments in your newspaper by Joan McIntyre regarding our recent poll on the Sea to Sky.

Robbins is comprised mostly of social scientists that believe we can poll in a manner which better reflects a standard of public opinion which has been in our opinion severely compromised by people like Ms. McIntyre who while in the business made tens of thousands of dollars from political parties, including the one she hopes to represent this time around.

We join no establishment organizations, which include mainstream media lobbyists and polling firms owned by special interest groups who use the media for self-aggrandizement.

Ms. McIntyre is a market researcher, which has little or no value or relevance in public opinion, in our opinion.

A Ph.D psychologist who works with Robbins designed the question she refers to in your article. The question was purposely designed with a built in assumption of Green and environment correlation to test not only the outcome but also to test the validity of the assumption. It was meant to be that way to measure the outcome from better-known baseline questions. For all intents and purposes polls are no longer snapshots in time, but more of a 'rolling hypothesis' with the ultimate poll being the election of course.

A historical note for reference purposes: polling became in vogue about 60 years ago when the television was born. Readers Digest, as the story goes, sent out a multi-thousand survey in the United States relating to a U.S. Presidential election. Roper, Gallup and others did a smaller sample type poll. The pollsters turned out to be more accurate than the survey by Readers. There was a reason for Readers' failure: they only sent out the survey to people who owned television sets, skewing the result.

Since that time, mainstream-polling firms have been sponsored by media and purchased by lobby groups, which in our opinion are partisan and have an agenda, which is not always in the best interests of true and accurate public opinion.

The so-called science that the mainstream claims to use is really a clever way of using statistical calculations to mask over attempts at public relations.

Joan McIntyre fails to note one thing of particular value in the Sea-to-Sky poll and that is the relationship between respondents' affinity for good health and good environment. It is this association in West Vancouver particularly which could help the Green Party to be successful in a traditional Conservative-type riding.

Let me provide you with an example of a recent poll by her old polling firm (Mustel Group). On Tuesday of this week BC NDP Leader Carole James outlined her election platform.

Two days later Mustel comes out with a poll, which was actually completed about a week before its release in the midst of the BC NDP 'time on stage' as it were. Her old polling firm released numbers suggesting the BC Liberals were at 46 percent and BC NDP at 38percent. Only 600 respondents were included.

In any event with the indicated margin of error and undecided rate of 10%, the actual total for BC Liberals is closer to 41 and BC NDP 36 using their numbers.

Yet to the public, these old-style pollsters appear to encouraging a bandwagon affect for swing voters.In B.C. alone Robbins has 30,000 Internet readers. Our readers don't give a damn whose club Joan McIntyre belongs to. She has already declared her character by moving from a polling firm who received tens of thousands from the BC Liberals (and BC NDP) to actively campaigning for the Liberals as a candidate.

Pollsters like Ms. McIntyre are on their way out because their public opinion does not add value to the public political debate; they only add value to the political parties and special interests they pander to. These polling outfits, the newspapers that utilize them to attract political advertising dollars and the talking heads in the media that pronounce for them are all living on borrowed time.

The Internet is a medium unto itself and the old dinosaurs like Ms. McIntyre will only be able to claim supremacy so long as she has a few dollars for advertising in the local newspaper. It is Ms. McIntyre who is mistaken about her public read. She is hoping that readers will accept her because she belongs to the 'club'. It might work for her a little while, but Robbins declares that being a member of the 'club' is actually the last place anyone in political life should want to be associated with.

Glen P. Robbins

Robbins SCE Research

Sick of being sick


I am sick of being sick! When did the boil water advisory start again? Or was I misled by someone that it had even stopped in the first place? I have a weakened immune system, so when I read in The Chief that the advisory was still on I was shocked. How long this time had I been drinking the bad stuff?

There has to be a better system at getting the word out. Even when I make a point of listening to the radio, I rarely catch an update on the water conditions. Squamish has to be more proactive on this. Could the most frequented local businesses, i.e. gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, post offices and liquor stores, not be notified directly by the powers that be and then post signs on their doors?

I also have sleep apnea, thus I have pressurized air blowing directly into my lungs each night that passes through a humidifier of your bad water. I am sure there are worse horror stories than this; what about babies on formula?

I hope that someone from council is reading this and that soon I will see a sign.

Melanie Lever


Editor's note: The boil water advisory for all areas of Squamish except Brackendale and the Garibaldi Highlands, issued March 20, was lifted on Wednesday (April 20).

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