It was Ipsos-Reid. The giant polling firm was doing a survey on welfare payments. The gainfully-employed polling firm employee—a young man who was obviously a very recent immigrant from a foreign-language-speaking land and still severely english-speaking-impaired—asked if I would participate in the survey and I said I would. Of course I asked how long it would take and was told “five minutes” (they’ve been known to go on for 20 minutes, which is why conservatives, who work and read and such, don’t always have the time to do these things, and choose instead to just hang up and get on with their work. So pollsters end up polling primarily liberals. This, they never tell you).
This call didn’t last 60 seconds.
I often do these things at least part-way through just to get a taste of how biased it’s going to be against anything conservative, which they almost always are (this is another reason conservatives simply hang up). Then, after amusing myself as such, I often hang up the phone defiantly and rudely and yet with a certain sense of inexplicable self-righteousness. Because that’s the kind o’ guy I am.
The first questions were (and I’m just going on my foggy flu-filled memory):
1. How much do you think single welfare recipients in British Columbia with no dependents receive per month?
I guessed $600.
2. How much do you think single welfare recipients with one dependent receive in BC per month?
I guessed $900.
Then, predictably, the next question was prefaced with the actual answers. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I was nearly exactly dead on. I thought to myself that I was quite sure they’d hoped people would vastly overestimate the actual amounts being paid out, so that when they heard the actual amount, they’d be flabbergasted and disappointed in our social welfare system and demand more, more, more. I was starting to sense a push-poll coming on, but it was also advertising at the same time! That’s value for that left-wing and possibly taxpayer-subsidized cash outlay!
Of course I wasn’t flabbergasted at all. So sad for the group who’d commissioned the poll, which I could already tell was a left-wing, pro-welfare group like the federal Liberal Party or the you’ve got to be kidding party.
He then informed me that the current monthly payout amounts “are the lowest they’ve been in 12 years”. And…
3. Based on knowing that, do you think they should:
C) stay the same
Well gee. I can’t wait to continue with this little lecture from the left, I thought to myself.
That’s when I laughed and explained to the English-deficient speaker that I was on to him, and said that the whole poll is a joke, and no self-respecting polling firm would ask a tendentious question that was mischievously set-up to produce an answer favorable to the group who’d commissioned the poll, as that question obviously was. And therefore he was working for a firm that had no self respect.
A self-respecting pollster should at least protect their own reputation by prefacing the phone call with who, exactly, is commissioning the poll, thereby getting them off the hook somewhat by folks like me. But that would also wreck it for the lefties out there because it would blow their cover. I suggested to the employee that in this case it was “some left-wing socialist group” who is behind the poll, but didn’t hang around long enough to hear his answer.
I indignantly hung up because I had work to do. And immediately, in retrospect, I realized that by doing that I exposed myself as an idiot, if only to myself and that innocent polling firm employee. My doing the whole poll would ensure that at least one more non-liberal voice would be heard. So my bad.
I also wished I had done the survey so I could also report to you all how stupid and tendentious and left-wing-serving it was. Then when the poll was released by the you’ve got to be kidding party or the social welfare activists and street-performers’ union (or whomever), we could poke fun at the stupidity of the thing.
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