Pollsters are warning Canadians to be mindful of “guerilla polling” in the fear that their industry will be discredited, following the release of a misleading poll by CROP and commissioned by the NDP in Papineau, Quebec (Justin Trudeau’s riding).
As the Vancouver Granville Liberal candidate and champion of good governance, I would also caution voters in Vancouver Granville to be extremely mindful of small sample size polls.
The recent situation in Papineau is an affront to democracy. When political strategists or organizations knowingly release suspect polls with the obvious intention of deceiving voters, it is detrimental to our political process. Misrepresentation to voters is not how we propel our democracy, rather it is how we suppress it.
This practice is un-Canadian and at a time when our institutions of good governance are already under attack by an unscrupulous federal government, our electoral process and all those that seek to reform it, must be 100% above board.
We owe it to Canadians to ensure the integrity of our political process so people can make informed decisions based on party platforms and the experiences and strengths of those candidates best placed to represent their interests.
What is Guerilla Polling?
In the Globe and Mail, Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of Leger Marketing noted that he is “disturbed by the idea of a pollster’s research being used ‘a bit like guerilla polling’ by a political party to destroy an opponent’s prospects.”
National poll numbers tell voters little or nothing about individual ridings, and riding-level polls with a small sample (600 or under) and a high margin of error (+/- 4 or above) can be badly flawed or misleading.