Whoa!Canada

laurel l. russwurm's political musings

The Poll’s The Thing

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back to PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #QAhead to DIY Electoral Reform Info SessionsCanadians Deserve Better -Proportional Representation - on Canadian Flag backgroundThis is the seventeenth in the Whoa!Canada: Proportional Representation Series

My little Electoral Reform Opinion Poll on Twitter has run it’s course, and since there was approximately a 3% response, as promised it’s time to share.

The most effective referenda employ a binary question, and so that’s what I did in my simple opinion poll.

Hey, Canada: do you think: 17% - 29% votes = 100% power | 83% voted 39% votes = 39% power - 41 votes • Final Results #ERRE #Q #CDNpoli

What I thought I was asking:

Do you think 39% of the votes should equal 100% of the power in Canadian Government?

OR

Do you think 39% of the votes should equal 39% of the power in Canadian Government?

That’s pretty straightforward, right?

But looking at it now, I’m a bit flabbergasted to discover 7 respondents (that’s about 3%) thought 39% of the votes should equal majority power.  That seems pretty high.

But then, as often happens in opinion polls and referenda, I realized the question really wasn’t phrased well at all.  Because it is too easily open to interpretation.

Looking at it now, more than a week later, is that my question might just as easily be read as:

In Canada’s electoral system, do you think

39% of the votes equal 100% of the power in Canadian Government?

OR

Do you think 39% of the votes equal 39% of the power in Canadian Government?

The upshot is I have no more idea what question the respondents were actually answering than Parliament knows what voters have actually voted for.

An Opinion Poll, or a Referendum is only as good as the question.

[Full disclosure: I hate opinion polls.]

Ahead to DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions

back to PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #Q

Proportional Representation Series So Far:

• Proportional Representation for Canada
• What’s so bad about First Past The Post
• Democracy Primer
• Working for Democracy
• The Popular Vote
• Why Don’t We Have PR Already?
• Stability
• Why No Referendum?
• Electoral System Roundup
• When Canadians Learn about PR with CGP Grey
• Entitlement
• Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
• #ERRE #Q Committee
• #ERRE #Q Meetings & Transcripts
• Take The Poll ~ #ERRE #Q
Proportionality #ERRE #Q 
• The Poll’s The Thing 
• DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions
• What WE Can Do for ERRE
• #ERRE today and Gone Tomorrow (…er, Friday) 
• Redistricting Roulette 
• #ERRE submission Deadline TONIGHT!

 and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

August 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm

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