N.L. premier says poll manipulation no big deal
Posted: Feb 20, 2013 5:40 PM NT
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2013 5:29 PM NT
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale says it's not a big deal that her caucus and political staff attempt to influence the results of online opinion polls.
She responded for the first time on Wednesday to a story in local newspaper The Telegram, which detailed how far the Conservatives go to manipulate those polls.
'Oh please. There's no story here. Do we participate in polls? You betcha. Who in Newfoundland doesn't?'— Premier Kathy Dunderdale
The story was based on leaked messages from the BlackBerry of Conservative MHA Paul Lane.
In the messages, Lane urged supporters to vote, and also demonstrated how to get around the security features to vote multiple times to manipulate the result.
Dunderdale brushed off the story.
"Oh please. There's no story here. Do we participate in polls? You betcha. Who in Newfoundland doesn't?" she said.
"We're politicians. We have a perspective. We have to relay what that perspective is, and talk about that perspective to the people of the province."
Dunderdale compared voting in online polls to TV show Canadian Idol and annual CBC Sports competition Kraft Hockeyville.
Opposition calls poll manipulation 'inappropriate'
Provincial NDP Leader Lorraine Michael called it a blatant attempt to manipulate the public.
"I find it inappropriate actually, and I find it a manipulation," she said.Provincial NDP Leader Lorraine Michael called the Progressive Conservatives' efforts with online voting to be a blatant attempt to manipulate the public. (CBC )
"It does show a lot of time and energy, which means public money going into this kind of effort to get people to vote."
Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons agreed.
"You know, this goes to show that the government is trying to manipulate the public when it comes to issues facing this province," he said.
"They are spending time and resources on it, and in a very calculated way."
But Dunderdale put it back on the opposition.
"Certainly nobody in any other political party is going to tell us that they don't participate in political polling?"
The opposition parties do admit to a lesser focus on these polls.
They said they inform their supporters whenever these polls arise. But they said it's nothing compared to the Conservatives' efforts.Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons said his party wouldn't put in such targeted efforts. (CBC)
"We don't in any way communicate with people; find out who voted, who didn't," Michael said.
"We don't give people notes. We may notify them of a poll – that's allowed."
Parsons said his party wouldn't put in such targeted efforts.
"We really don't have the time, the resources to do that, in such a highly calculated way," he said.
CBC News tried to reach Lane for comment, but he declined to do an interview.
A spokesperson for the MHA said Lane doesn't comment on stories based on anonymous sources.
Latest Nfld. & Labrador News Headlines
- Gros Morne fracking plan on UNESCO radar
- UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is worried about proposed fracking near Gros Morne National Park, on Newfoundland's west coast. more »
- Tourette foundation tweets tics
- The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada is using Twitter to help the public see first hand what it's like to have the condition. more »
- Black Spruce consolidates west coast energy plays
- An exploration firm says it has the expertise and resources required to successfully develop energy opportunities on Newfoundland's west coast where others have faltered. more »
- Strike drags on at St. John's airport
- The nine-month-old strike at St. John's International Airport continues to drag on. more »
Top News Headlines
- Obesity now recognized as a disease
- The American Medical Association has voted to recognize obesity as a disease, while doctors in Canada say they also treat it as such. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Washington's obsession with leakers
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are just the most prominent targets in an all-out legal and propaganda campaign that America's security apparatus is mounting against leakers everywhere, Neil Macdonald writes. more »
- Caregiving dads stigmatized at work suggests UofT study
- Fathers who participate in child rearing and housework are likely to be labeled slackers and "failed men" at work, according to a study spearheaded by researchers at the University of Toronto and Long Island University. Are active dads the norm at your workplace? more »
- Dozens of children seized from Manitoba Mennonite community
- Child welfare authorities have removed all but one child from a small Mennonite community in rural Manitoba. more »
- Statoil makes 2nd find in new frontier off Newfoundland
- Dover woman's trial on sex charges to take place in January
- N.L. may release royalty info now blocked by Bill 29
- Judge considers new evidence in shaken-baby case
- 4-year prison sentence for pizza man, gas station robberies
- New park in Labrador City not scoring goals with everyone
- Peace and quiet costs about $4K for St. John's resident
- EI reforms opposed in Atlantic Canada, poll finds
- Strike drags on at St. John's airport