Monday, July 09, 2007

Polls: Stockwell's face a turnoff

Alright, my bad, that’s an exaggeration. But only a slight one, according to the results of government-commissioned (yes, that means taxpayer-funded) focus group testing. Geez guys, I could have told you that for free.

But first let me just say that, for a government that is supposedly too manly to listen to polls, how ridiculous is it they’re commissioning surveys like this? Alright, moving on.

According to a piece, Sage Research was hired by the Department of Public Safety to find-out how the public liked their new Web site. A find use of taxpaper dollars, to be sure.

The results as reported by the article are rather amusing, including that most people had no idea just what the heck the Public Safety department did (the answer is protect us from the terror if you’re playing at home).

When asked to guess, they came up with a wide variety of suggestions, each more wildly inaccurate than the last, from street and road safety to workers' compensation and - slightly alarmingly - "civil war."

Yeesh. More amusing, though, the respondents were annoyed the Web site seemed to be more of a propaganda shill for Canada’s New Government ™ then a Web site designed to provide information to Canadians on public safety:
"The combination of the picture of the minister and the perceived amount of the website devoted to news items contributes to the following negative perceptions about the website," SAGE glumly reported. "The site is seen to be more focused on promoting the government than it is about providing information about public safety [and] the information is seen as 'propaganda,' depending on one’s politics."

I guess it’s not much different from every other ‘government’ Web site under Decievin’ Steven in that respect then.

But back to Stock. Along the same vein, it seemed focus group participants reacted poorly to seeing Day’s smiling mug plastered all over the Web site. Thankfully, it seems the government listen to them (who said they don’t listen to polls?).
There is no record of the minister's response when confronted with the report. But a quick glance at the department's current website suggests someone was listening. Not a single picture of Stockwell Day appears anywhere on the front page, nor does he turn up anywhere else on the site, with the exception of his ministerial bio.

Give the people what they want: Less Stock!

One question was left unanswered by Kady O’Malley’s otherwise enlightening article however. How much did this whole focus group exercise cost the taxpayers anyway? Was it more or less than it cost the taxpayers for his defamation suit?

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