Monday, May 15, 2006


Canadians don't want gun registry scrapped: poll

Well, there's a reason the headline -- bullshit that it is -- reads the way it does. Look who commissioned it:

"The Ipsos Reid survey, conducted for CanWest News Service and Global National..."

By now, everyone is familiar with how polls work, right?

You figure out what constituencies are likely to come back with the answers you prefer, and you do your polling there. F'rinstance, you'd never conduct a poll on the liberalization of marijuana laws in an area where the most basic cottage is worth three million dollars. Not if you want the majority polled to be in favor of liberalization. You'd go to the Downtown East Side of Vancouver for that.

When you're looking at the results of a poll, always look first to see who paid for it -- in this case, CanWest, the best friend a Liberal ever had. I guarantee you that the Asper family, who own CanWest, told Ipsos Reid, "Do not come back with bad news."

Polling companies only get paid for results. That is, they only get paid for the results the commissioner has stated that he wants. In this case, CanWest seems to have a monetary interest in keeping the Gun Registry going (maybe someone in the Asper family is benefitting from it?), so they tell Ipsos Reid how they want the results to look.

Nobody is going to be stupid enough to buy a sweep, though, so the polls are kind-of "distributed" among "friendly" and "non-friendly" neighborhoods. But the majority of questions are asked in the friendly areas.

And the questions are very carefully worded so as to be as directional as possible. If a pollster asks you whether you prefer French Roast or Columbian, he does not want to hear that you actually prefer tea. Tea is not an option. Even if it's your only option, it is not his, and he does not get paid if you don't choose one of the two options to which he is leading you -- he will insist on your choosing either French Roast or Columbian.

If you relent and choose one of the two options he has presented, he wins, and you go down on the polling books as a coffee drinker, even if you loathe the stuff.

But if you persist on your stand as a tea-drinker, he will eventually give up, thank you for your time, and wish you a nice day. Your answers go in the trash. Your opinion is not counted on the poll.

That's how polls work.

This poll was commissioned by a Liberal supporter.

The Gun Registry is a Liberal make-work project, costing billions of taxpayer dollars that have, to date, been utterly wasted.

Any questions?


Blogger Dez said...

I have to admit complete ignorance of this program.

What is a gun registry program? And why is it so expensive?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

*oboy* Where to start... Try this:

and then start reading. I warn you, it'll take awhile.

And for info and links specifically to and from bloggers on the subject:

The answer to the question of why it's so expensive depends entirely upon whom you ask. "Bureaucarcy out of control and 'way out of budget" is my answer. The government-behind-the-government (ie, the clerks on their high stools at their little desks with their little eyeshades and their cuff protectors and their bad attitudes and their overweening sense of entitlement to more of the taxpayers' money) has manoevered itself into such a position that it does not have to answer to anybody. So it spends money like throwing water on a fire. After all, there's always more where that came from!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:13:00 PM  
Blogger Dez said...

Oh, okay.

The issue seems to be polarized between the liberals (who support the gun registry, along with various Canadian law enforcement agencies) and the conservatives (who take the side of the gun advocates against the registry).

The fact that a great deal of money was spent to set up the registry comes as no surprise, given the cumbersome bureaucracy of the Canadian federal government. But that doesn't seem to be the main reason the conservatives want to dismantle the registry. That seems to be an entirely political issue.

Personally, I am in favor of some kind of gun registry - as long as it is efficient and as unintrusive as possible. As a former worker in the law enforcement business, I can understand the importance of having a central database of all firearms in the nation - including the name and current address of the owner. I also agree with the recent decision to put the RCMP in charge of the registry.

But, at the same time, I can see the viewpoint of the gun owners. Can the government really be trusted with this information?

In the final analysis, the value of the gun registry must be determined by how many lives it has saved, if any.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:07:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

You make good points. Why aren't you in charge of this thing? LOL!

Actually, not all law enforcement people are on side with this registry, either -- there's a very organized group whose name escapes me, but they are Something-Something-Chiefs-of-Police; and they are of the collective opinion that not only is this registry a waste of money, it's a waste of time (which matters not to the bureaucrats), and it's ineffective in its stated purpose -- to combat violent crime.

If the purpose of the registry were actually just to make a record of all known firearms for a central database, ready for researching in case it might be useful, it might not cause so much anger. People could see the sense in that. Some might not like it, but show me a government program that pleases everyone...

If the registry didn't have such a damned high price tag (I haven't registered anything at all, so I forget what the price tag per firearm amounts to, but it's up there, with no discount for volume), fewer collectors, competition shooters, and hunters would bitch and get their friends all riled up -- and hunters have lots of friends, especially during hunting season *wink*.

If the government-at-the-time (Liberals) had not stated, unequivocally, that this registry would stop violent crime, a lot fewer people would bitch and activate against it. But the registry itself is only a tool (and a snark would add: "like its masters"), not a weapon with which to fight crime. It will only record the weapons belongs to law-abiding non-criminals. Criminals will ignore it, and have done so, laughing, while the government mouths platitudes, makes excuses, and spends yet more money on a losing cause.

And perhaps the main reason the current government (CPC) wants to get rid of it is strictly politics -- after all, despite the way he's driving this train headlong down the track without much use for the brakes, Harper still only has a minority government. Neutering this elephant will win him a lot of popularity contests, and he really needs that.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Heh.. I know a few cops who have refused to comply with long gun registration.

This nonsense about it's usefullness because it is accessed 5 thousand times a day is nothing but a flagrant red herring. If cops said it would be "helpful" to have access to stats can databases and would access it 5 thousand times per day, would we really suggest we ought to give cops that sort of access?

Besides, any cop that relies on this is a stupid cop. If you're going into a situation that could be dangerous, he should be using caution regardless of what some database says. Just because some farmer has a couple of .22's for groundhog control don't mean the farmer is going to be "dangerous" to some cop investigation, either.

The Association of Chiefs Of Police who do support long gun registration are simply supportive of just about any kind of information they could get their hands on. They'd probably support a national AIDS registry too. In fact, I KNOW many law enforcement types who DO want a registry of some sort, or access to information about people that have AIDS or Hepatitus.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger lecentre said...

Pretty cynical stuff. If I understood your correctly, polls aren't commissioned in a search for information, but rather in a search for arguments to bolster a side of a debate. You also make it sound like th Aspers are these incredible overlords directly dictating CanWest policy. Not to mention that, if anything, the general tilt of CanWest being Centre-right, they would prefer results showing Canadians oppose the registry, since opposition to gun control is a rightist sort of position.

When you consider that a gun registry saves lives, well, yeah, it does seem pretty logical that people will favour them.

Centrerion Canadian Politics

Saturday, May 20, 2006 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

lecentre: You're gonna have to explain how a gun registry saves lives if the guns used to kill people are not registered...

And not cynical so much as realistic. And I think the general tilt of CanWest is to support the Liberal party, who brought us the gun registry in the first place -- I don't think "gun control" is a rightist or leftist ideal. I think it's a naive ideal for those who are convinced to support it, and a controlling ideal for those who convince us to pay for it.

But yeah, you gathered my thoughts on polls into a nice, neat little nutshell.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 8:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Ian Scott said...


"When you consider that a gun registry saves lives"

Pray tell how exactly, does the registry "save" lives? Please point to the exact mechanism that involves the registry, which saves anyone's life.

Monday, May 22, 2006 12:41:00 PM  

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