Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dear SUZANNE: A few simple questions.


Since SUZANNE is adamant that we keep talking about "the poll," I have some trivially direct questions for her about "the poll." SUZANNE makes the following claims, for which I have precisely the same question in each case:

Over 157 000 households were contacted.

How do you know that, SUZANNE?

There were 13 000 respndents.

How do you know that, SUZANNE?

They were weighted for geographic density-- in other words, they were from all over the country.

How do you know that, SUZANNE?

The automated dialer phoned these households and asked whether abortionist Henry Morgentaler should received the Order of Canada. They pressed "1" for "yes" and "2" for no.

Over 55% responded "no".

How do you know that, SUZANNE?

In some provinces, the opposition was about 2/3 of the population.

How do you know that, SUZANNE?

Pretty straightforward, huh?

Um ... no, SUZANNE. And any time you're up to answering the above questions, we'll be right here. We'll be easy to spot -- we're the ones who aren't hilariously gullible buffoons and propagandists.

BY THE WAY, try to believe that someone who claims to have worked for a polling firm once could have written the following:

Does it matter who commissioned or conducted the poll? No.

Holy fuck, but how screamingly retarded do you have to be to claim to have professional polling experience, then suggest that who commissions or conducts a public poll isn't relevant? The breathtaking dumbassitude of that statement really shouldn't require any further evisceration from me.

BONUS TRACK: And if you count AM talk radio as part of the MSM, then, yes, the MSM has noticed this little brouhaha. One wonders whether anyone else is going to run with this. And please, dear God, let them have the foresight to interview SUZANNE about it. My life would be complete.

9 comments:

Dr.Dawg said...

Fuck, I give up.

And she claims she worked for a polling firm once? What, as the janitor?

M@ said...

Over 55% responded "no".

This is completely untrue. If their claims are to be believed (and I'm not granting that), 90% didn't respond at all; about 5% each responded "yes" and "no".

Lies, lies, lies.

CC said...

Careful, M@ -- I think it's reasonably clear that SUZANNE is referring to the actual "respndents" [sic], not to everyone who was phoned.

So I'm going to cut her some slack on that one.

M@ said...

I dunno. I'm a little sick of hearing about this "massive" poll, and seeing the number 157,000 splashed around -- it's completely irrelevant to the poll's "results", and interesting only in showing how hilariously useless the poll was.

So, I'll grant you that she didn't specifically say 55% of 157,000 people said "no". But I maintain that the way this poll is described, especially by SUZANNE, is willfully deceptive.

Or she's so completely stupid that normal ways of measuring stupidity can't even be applied.

Adam said...

Is it piling on to point out that "weighted for geographic density" is pretty much nonsense in this context, unless you want to equally represent all areas (as in, the actual landmass) in the country, rather than people. Geographic density is something you worry about when trying to place essential services or make sure a business franchise isn't over-represented in an area. But for people, it's just jargon talk by an uninformed amateur.

You weight people based on population, not geography.

Dr.Dawg said...

Maybe not entirely. A real poll will stratify the sample, and if you want national results, you'll want to ensure that the sub-samples are weighted so that, for example, the Western provinces don't end up over- or under-represented in the sample. Same for city and country, gender, age, education and other variables.

Adam said...

Oh, I realize that, but that's not what "geographic density" means, or at least it's an awkward/unusual way to phrase it. They want to make sure population distribution is represented, not geographic density. I see from a few google searches the phrasing isn't unheard of, but it's far, far less used that "population distribution" when attempting the same procedure.

Ah well, there's lots of worse things about the poll and ol' what's her name than a strange bit of phrasing.

Dr.Dawg said...

Ah well, there's lots of worse things about the poll and ol' what's her name than a strange bit of phrasing.

You betcha.

The Seer said...

OKay CC, your petulance has paid off. I understand it. Finally.

157,000, weighted for density and all that, got the robocall.

144,000 hung up in disgust when they figured out what the call was about.

Functionally, the 144,000 voted against the push.

If 55% of the 13,000 who did not hang up in disgust voted against giving the doctor the Order of Canada, that 's 7,150 voting against giving him the Order of Canada, and 5850 + 144,000 either supporting giving him the award or not objecting to giving him the award. Which gives us a total of 149,840 to 7,150, or 4.5% against giving the doctor the Order of Canada and 95.5% who either support or do not object to giving the doctor the Order of Canada.

If — I can't remember which one it was with the poll and you have scolded me in the past for getting the all-caps one confused with one of the others with nearly the same name — she was capable of understanding what they did, you could accuse her of making an intentionally false statement. But, that does not appear to be in the cards with this one. So she's not a lier; she's just stupid, and I was too for getting down on you for making such a big deal about a poll no one cares about.