Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ignore The CKLW Canal Poll

I hope that the people at CKLW do tell their listeners that their poll results cannot be trusted on this issue. It would only be fair. Moreover, they should remove the results from their website in my opinion.

While I know they are "W" strap-on wearers, I am sure that they do not want to mislead their listeners and online visitors.

I received a phone call around 6:45 AM from a reader. (She must really think I BLOG 24 hours a day!). She was all upset. She had voted at 6:10 AM and then saw the results at 6:30. They bore no relationship to each other.

At 6:10 AM, 22,000 people or 88% voted NO to the canal while at 6:30 AM only about 2300 or 44% said NO.

Fortunately she had printed her screen when she voted and at her subsequent visit.

Being the curious person I am, I wrote to CKLW:

  • "A reader of my BLOG voted on the CKLW canal poll. She took a picture of the screen when she voted and then took a copy of the screen subsequently.

    I would appreciate if you would explain the difference between the 2 screen shots and how a huge negative vote was transformed into a positive vote for the canal.

    I would appreciate your comments by 10:30 AM so that I might post your response on my BLOG"

At 11:30, I recieved this reply

  • "Mr. Arditti,

    Thank you for your e-mail. After doing some checking into this situation we believe there was an error in our result totaling software, as this amount of voting has never occurred before. It seemed to add another digit to the equation. Our morning person dropped the extra digit, added in the phone results to the overall equation and posted the final results. Even though the poll is not scientific and is only posted for interest sake, we have contacted out software provider in an effort to ensure this type of computer error doesn’t occur again. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

Interesting, the morning person just dropped the digit. I guess he could not believe that so many people would ever vote against the Mayor's concept.

So I wrote back:

  • "Don't you think you ought to tell your listeners that the poll results are suspect and not true!"

And got this reply:

  • "Mr. Arditti,

    Thank you for your concern.

    Although I assume that our listeners understand that the news poll is not scientific and only meant to be an opinion poll of station listeners, you may be correct and we should occasionally remind listeners of this fact.

    Please remember that this error was made by our software provider, was not done intentionally and was corrected.

    Thank you again for your input."

It is clear that the poll results in this case anyway are questionable. Just thought you might want to know!