Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Polling for Numbers

Policy by polling is a very slippery slope and resorting to it to inform the LRT debate is more a reflection of desperation than anything else. 

It seems that some politicians are investing in an expected "ah ha" moment that would fall out of the poll. Let's assume that 80% of the people polled felt LRT was a great idea. Or that 80% felt it was a terrible idea. What does it really tell us, and should we hang this decision on a poll?

We suspect that what all sides of the equation would agree on, is that LRT is a big project; one that is rife with layers of complexity. That inofitself is not sufficient to determine its fate. Many projects are by nature, complex. 

And so after years of consideration, votes, information packages, debates,briefings and the like, are we to believe that a poll of 2100 people no less, could help tip the balance?

Polls are useful tools and they have a time and place. Effective community input is a critical component of any endeavor, and input on the LRT project, if anything, has been abundant and spirited.  

We hope the poll is administered as effectively as possible and its results beyond dispute. But even so, what will it prove and what does it say about Hamilton's ability to make appropriate decisions? 


  1. Effective community input, an idea foreign to this council

  2. Allan

    This is a key reason Hamilton will not reach its potential. People are well aware, having gone through the pain of staged consultation with the public where the decisions have already been made. There is a huge cost to this type of tinkering and they just don't get it.

  3. I hope support is decisively in favor, forcing me to publicly apologize to Fred, Ryan, the orangemike (probably a few others) for my insolence and myopia. We can all move forward.
    Yet I suspect the results will be more toward "even" with a slight majority for one. Which may prove nothing, but would confirm that which many have felt....Fred was wrong, again. This is not a project to unite us, rather an exercise in division.
    I find it baffling that some are more concerned with the opinions of Arcelor Mittal or Hamilton Health Sciences than actual residents in the regard. To my knowledge, this poll represents the largest random sampling on the subject conducted to date. I look forward to the results.

  4. I also expect divided but leaning towards against higher than the margin of error

  5. "What does it say about Hamilton's ability to make appropriate decisions?"



  6. Alternate Headline: "Phoning It In"



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