Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dogs know best what to do with (anonymous) polls

Stephen Smart's report from Victoria caught my attention during Tuesday's CBC News Vancouver. The Legislative reporter has apparently written off the NDP opposition; his focus was on the party that finished fourth in the last election with 2% of the popular vote.
"The biggest threat to the Liberal hold on power isn't from MLA's across the chamber, but from this man. He doesn't have any seats but since taking the helm of the BC Conservative Party last spring, John Cummins has watched his support grow. Depending on the poll, it's now between 18 and 20 percent."
Depending on the poll, eh? Mr. Smart apparently has access to results not in the public domain. After searching, I found no respected opinion researchers published provincial data about current voter preferences in BC. Ipsos Reid conducted an online poll for Global TV that asked 407 persons from the Vancouver area these and a few other questions :
  • V1. - Who do you think would make the best Premier of British Columbia?
  • V2. - What is your current marital status?
  • V3. - How many times a month do you have sex?
  • V4. - How many times a month would you realistically like to have sex?
  • V5. - Have you ever used an internet dating site to meet someone?
No competent news organization would broadcast a story like that contributed by Stephen Smart without verifying the sources.

Would they?

Note: The CBC website presents a version of the story different from the report by Stephen Smart telecast October 4. Political threat seen in B.C. Conservative surge still fails to document a "surge" but the remainder of the piece is fair comment. Did the CBC self-correct? We cannot tell because they are unresponsive to inquiries.
Recommend this post


  1. But then again, Stephen Smart is just helping out the old wife (Rebecca Scott) as she "toils" in Christy Clark's executive as the premier's deputy communications director. And his daddy is a BC Supreme Court judge. So we'll get nothing but spin and deceit from this Smart-*ss.


    They have repeatedly been asked to take this man off the air, but they simply thumb their noses at these requests (a dismissive, clueless "let them eat cake" response).

    CBC is becoming a national embarrassment. Endlessly and desperately promoting itself. Running countless animal and murder stories and steadfastly avoiding anything remotely resembling good journalism. Their news reports are tired, formulaic, thoughtless pieces that do nothing to "inform". The only thing the CBC does well is showcase Canadian music and authors, which I appreciate, and the occasional news show like CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition. The rest is dross or worse, propaganda a la Smart-*ss.

    By the way, I'm no supporter of the lacklustre NDP. Actually, lacklustre is too strong and proactive a word for what they've become under Dix. No surprise there, sadly. Dinosaurs on their way out. They should have chosen Horgan. What fools they be. As for the Cons, not something I'd touch with a 10-foot pole.

    We badly need a new system of government in BC and in Canada, more proportional representation. If we had a coalition government, we surely wouldn't have wound up with a lesser light like Christy Clark as premier.

    Contrast Christy Clark, who left/was kicked out of SFU for dubious tactics in the students union, with Alison Redmond, the new premier-elect of Alberta, a human rights lawyer. The comparison in intellectual capacity and deportment, and in genuine engagement and follow-through couldn't be more extreme. BC is put to shame: politicians, police, courts, the whole enchilada. We're a laughing-stock, much more than we have ever been.

  2. Be cautious of criticizing Dix. Much of what a leader accomplishes is not readily visible if he is team building throughout the province. We have grown used to the Campbell/Clark style of one person running government with a coterie of unelected "advisers" paid handsomely by the public and zero input from citizens and MLA's from around the province.

    From what I hear, Dix is working hard, building a network of people and encouraging those around him with talent. Horgan is an effective spokesman for the opposition and the whole approach recently appears to be diligence and reasonableness. I prefer that style to off the wall policy pronouncement that make sense to one person for one moment.

  3. I don't think they have to take Smart off the air - he could do a perfectly credible job of some other assignment. The fact he's been given the job of reporting from the legislature for CBC Radio is, however, a complete joke and he's making it even funnier with comments like the one you've written about above Norman.

    Put him on the sports beat; give him Island News, who cares? But take him off the Christy file.

    CBC TV is a terrible joke and Radio is fast trending the same way - as someone who has loved and appreciated the CBC for as long as I can remember - I've just about reached the end of my patience.

    In fact, I've just bought an internet radio so I can get the BBC and that's pretty much my listening choice these days.

    The only thing one can still say about CBC is that it is still slightly less-bad than the commercial alternatives.

  4. It is time for listeners to hold CBC accountable for their reporting. In this case, Stephen Smart may have simply been repeating talking points issued by the Conservative Party without independent checking. Additionally, pleasing Tories is de rigueur at the CBC right now so that might influence what is said.

    I invite people to use the CBC's feedback forms online. They probably won't respond unless complaining voices become loud.

  5. I heard CBC Radio this morning broadcasting "free" political broadcasts (ads) as they do during an election campaign. A Liberal MLA came on touting all the great stuff the Liberals are doing for us.

    This is just another attempt to force election advertising on us when there is no election underway.

    The Liberals attack ads were booed off the air a couple weeks ago, just days after Christy Clark announced no election until mid-2013.

    Now, they're sneaking back in the door again with this stuff. I turn the radio off when those come on but many people don’t. It seeps into their brains.

    I phoned CBC and complained.

  6. Smart is not so.
    Christy Clark is not premier. Leader of the BC liberals yes. She needs to win in a GENERAL PROVINCE WIDE ELECTION before she can lay claim to the title of Premier.

    In the meantime i prefer the moniker Chief Fluff which best describes her.

    CBC radio 88.1 from BC is really a big SNORE. CBC national 105.7 for music is fine.

    CBC tv news... never watch it.

    Smarty pants better not get too cozy with BC Christy, and if he does the rest f the journos should get all over him for being a pr hack rather a journailst

  7. I believe I saw this report broadcast on Tuesday. One thing that has not been mentioned is the slip from Smart; in the broadcast when speaking about the present government he initially refers to the “Campbell government”…..then a few minutes later during the same report he states the Clark government…..

    Quite revealing that the government (according to him) is unchanged in appearance and motivations from the previous leader.

    But we all know that part to be true already.

  8. I guess I took your advice before you gave it here: I complained to CBC about Stephen Smart's incredibly trite characterization of British Columbians as being parochial, self-satisfied latte suckers in what was supposed to have passed as political analysis during the last federal election (Sunday Edition, CBC Radio.) They thanked me for my comments.

    Since then I've come to think of Smart as a hackneyed lightweight unable to plumb the shallowest depth of political analysis, just another symptom of the budget cuts that have reduced the quality of the CBC in so many ways. I must admit that, until now, I hadn't considered Smart's consistent and facile ham-handedness as being anything but native to him and that his name-sake was merely ironic. But if this were really a clever disguise for anti-NDP journalistic bias, he reveals no genius when he misappropriates opinion polls and cites dubious data to support what he tries to pass off as astute political analysis and thoroughly blows his own cover.

    Either way, as wannabee political analyst or wannabee master of disguise, Smart is often worthy of complaint.



This is an archive only of items published before April 22, 2016. These and newer articles are available at:

If you read an article at this blogger site, you can comment on it at the new site.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.