In what is quite possibly the most illuminating critique yet of Rise Gold's poll claiming majority support for mine, Union columnist Jeff Kane shows exactly how the words were used to manipulate the answers, and offers spot-on examples of how the opposition could write an equally manipulative poll to get the opposite result.
Jeff Kane states that the CEO of the polling company, Justin Walling, "doesn’t advertise himself to potential clients as a pollster, but as a marketer."
Mr. Kane provides a link to the poll script to show how the questions posed are basically "leading the witness." As he puts it: "The script goes on to describe the reopened mine as the finest gift to humankind since the opposable thumb, outdoing even Rise Gold’s own hyperbole. Each glowing description of its harmlessness is followed by, 'Does knowing this make you more likely or less likely to support re-opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine?'”
His first counter example brings home exactly the kind of manipulation that is employed: "Dewatering the mine may not only bring buried heavy metal toxins to the surface, but contaminate waterways between here and the Sacramento River. That much pumping might lower the water table, drying up the wells of hundreds of homeowners. Does knowing this make you more likely or less likely to support reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine?”
Read the full article in The Union.
Jeff Kane lives in Nevada City.