Friday, October 09, 2009

Are the Conservatives push-polling?

Are the Conservatives doing some push-polling? In the Ottawa area it appears they might be, as someone claiming to conducting a poll on behalf of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, was asking poll questions far more designed to influence public opinion than to measure it.

Unfortunately, one of the calls went to a CBC producer:

So, there's this phone, see? And this phone just so happened to belong to a CBC producer in Ottawa. And last night, just as it was born to do, it RANG!

On the other end was an actual non-recorded human voice -- male -- conducting a poll on behalf of her local Conservative MP, Pierre Poilievre.

Curious, she participated in the poll, which was clearly trying to gauge her interest in an election now and who she'd support -- while ever-so-subtly reminding her about the home renovation tax credit and federal infrastructure money to build the Strandherd Bridge in her riding, brought to her by the Harper government.

The pollster was very quick and unscientific didn't ask her name, age or occupation, she said.

Said CBC producer also found the language used by the pollster interesting. He didn't use the word "Liberal," but used Michael Ignatieff's name. But when the pollster referred to the other parties, he did so by party name.

He also asked if she'd support the "Ignatieff-NDP-Bloc coalition" and was unresponsive when she asked him about the current Conservative-NDP interlude/bromance/whatchamacallit in the House of Commons.

"Really no sense of humour with these guys," our producer said.
One wonders if the Conservatives are using their substantial campaign war chest to make misleading push-polling calls across the country. Has anyone else received similar calls?

Push-polling. Once-again, the Conservatives importing the finest Republican tactics. Then again, it could have been worse...
Bush's campaign strategists, including Karl Rove, devised a push poll against John McCain. South Carolina voters were asked "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?". They had no interest in the actual percentages in the poll, the goal was to suggest that [McCain had a black child]. This was particularly vicious since McCain was campaining with his adopted [dark skinned] Bangladeshi daughter

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Aurelia said...

...and he hits the bullseye.

Push-polling has been used for years as a form of negative infuencing.

Now I'm just waiting for the big reveal of all the questions and data gathering info in the polls done by pollsters. Wonder what they are saying? hmmmm

Andrew P. said...

not yet, and given some of the emails I've sent to Poilievre, I doubt I will. haha

Jon Pertwee said...

Ive been averaging about 3 calls from polling companies a day. I've had them hang up when Ive answered questions with "this sounds like a push poll" yet they keep calling.

I went through my records. In the past two weeks I have averaged a call a day from Ekos, Ipsos and Harris polling plus the emails from Angus Reid, Harris and many others. It's pretty ridiculous when Ekos called me three times last Friday; the latest being 10pm pst.

I guess that's where our tax dollars are going these days.

Proudpinko said...

I live in Nepean-Carleton, and received one of these push-polling calls a couple of weeks ago. It actually started off with "are you in support of the Strandheard-Armstrong Bridge that Pierre Poilievre secured funding for." I promptly told the person I wasn't so sure he had "secured" the funding and said I did not wish to participate in this poll.

Gauntlet said...

I'd just like to point out... if you have unprofessional people doing these things, and they're not even asking whether you work for a media organization first, it could be volunteers. So the war chest might not come into it.

Gene Rayburn said...

Whatever Gauntlet. Im pretty sure that Ekos and the like don't utilize volunteers.

Nice try though.