Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Poll Attack on the Idle No More movement?

Post Media News and Global News funded the Ipsos Reid poll on the Idle No More movement.
Ipsos Reid an international marketing company released poll results on Chief Spence, Harper, and Idle No More movement. The poll results are based on 1,023 Canadians via online panel survey.
The latest attack on the Idle No More movement is the publication of negative poll results against the movement. The key issue regarding these poll results is how informed are the Canadians surveyed in the poll? Is there a Canadian corporate agenda to malign the movement? Many Canadians saw early on how the federal government apparently used a convenient leak of a finance audit report on the Attawapiskat First Nation in an attempt to discredit Chief Spence and the Idle No More movement, and recently the movement has been incorrectly associated with strictly a First Nations movement.

Summary of some of the poll results:

"The chief [Spence] received an approval rating of 29 per cent in a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for Global News and Postmedia News.

The survey suggests the Idle No More movement hasn't garnered much sympathy for Canada's First Nations, but rather, raised awareness about financial accountability on the reserves.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of poll respondents believe Canada's First Nations receive too much federal funding. About the same number (62 per cent) believe Ottawa treats Aboriginals well" (Global News, 2012).

From the Ipsos Reid press release:

"The national leaders of Canada’s First Nations, including the Assembly of First Nations – 51% nationally approve (61% among Atlantic Canadians and 56% among Quebecers and British Columbians)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper – 46% nationally approve (78% among Conservative voters and 62% among Albertans)
The Idle No More Movement – 38% nationally approve (54% among Atlantic Canadians and 47% among British Columbians)
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence – 29% nationally approve (highest at 38% among British Columbians)"

Canadians should question the methodologies of these polling companies such as Ipsos Reid and for the sake of honest political discourse seek to learn fully about the Idle No More movement rather than rely on what a particular media company or polling company says.

The Ipsos Reid poll was based on "from Friday to Monday, 1,023 Canadian adults were interviewed online for this survey, which was weighted to bring it in line with Canadian demographics, and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points."

Limitations of Ipsos Reid Poll (from the FDA's perspective):

1. Canadian adults interviewed are part of an online panel, which they were selected to participate on. Although there are various safeguards about being on the panel such as a minimum 6 month participation, those persons interviewed in the survey are restricted to persons selected by Ipsos Reid and who agreed to be on the panel. Consequently, persons who are not selected on the panel or declined on participating on the panel are not reflected in the survey, as are persons who cannot meet the 6 months participation requirement and other requirements. In addition, the panel survey may be unrepresentative to the extent that panel members may have a special interest in a given topic, or they may simply have a lot of time available.

Ipsos Reid Requirements for Panelists

2. The wording of poll questions may influence the answers. For example,

Ipsos Reid poll question 1:

"In the last couple of months First Nations protesters have staged a hunger strike blockaded some rail line and highways to demand meaningful negotiations with the Government of Canada on issues facing their community. Some people feel that these are really just isolated incidents caused by radicals in the Aboriginal Community, and that they shouldn’t be viewed as anything bigger than that. Other people feel these incidents are not isolated, but are a sign of growing discontent and anger among Canadian First Nations. Which of these two broad points of view comes closest to how you feel?"

1. Sign of growing discontent and anger among
2. Isolated incidents/Shouldn't be viewed as anything
3. Unsure

Limitations of poll question 1:

Not all protesters were First Nations.
The first sentence implies that the Idle No More is strictly about First Nations issues.
The second sentence is vague "some people" and contradicted by unanimous support by First Nations Chiefs for the Idle No More movement.
The third sentence again limits the Idle No More movement to a strictly First Nations movement. This is contradicted by statements by the founders of the movement.

The Foundation for Democratic Advancement would reword the poll question as follows:

In the last couple of months a grassroots movement has emerged which resulted in protesters blockading rail lines and highways to demand retraction of Omnibus Bill C-45 and nation to nation relations between First Nations and the Canadian federal government. In addition, a First Nations Chief in support of the movement staged a hunger strike. Some people view this movement as sign of growing national and global social and political inequality issues and environmental issues. Other people view the movement as an isolated incident with no national or global context. Which of the two broad points come closest to how you feel?

1. Sign of growing national and global social and political inequality issues and environmental issues
2. Isolated incidents/Shouldn't be viewed as anything
3. Unsure

Ipsos Reid Survey Table 1
Ipsos Reid Survey Table 2

Poll question 2:

[Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence who is on a hunger strike] Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of how each of the following [political parties] have been dealing with First Nation issues over the last few weeks?

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence who is on a hunger strike

Strongly approve
Somewhat approve
Somewhat disapprove
Strongly disapprove

This question is asked in the amidst of the leaked federal accounting report on the Attawapiskat First Nation.

Ipsos Reid Survey Table 3
Background on Ipsos Reid:

Ipsos Reid is an international marketing company which gathers market, brand and other information for clients. Who hired Ipsos Reid to survey Canadians? Global News and Postmedia News paid for the survey. Global News is a Canadian broadcast company, owned by the Canwest Global Communications Corporation which is owned by Shaw Communications, and Postmedia News Corporation is a Canadian newspaper company which owns the Calgary Herald, National Post, and other Canadian newspapers.

Ipsos Reid is owned by Ipsos Corporation based out of France. The largest principal shareholder of Ipsos is LT Participations at 26.22 percent. However, the largest bloc is held by public shareholders at 69.97 percent (based on the 2011 Ipsos Annual Report).

From the Ipsos Reid website, it says:

"Who we are

Ipsos is one of the world's leading survey-based marketing research firms. We live and work in the largest markets and do business anywhere we're called on.

We know brands, how to develop them and how to build them. We assess market potential and interpret market trends. We help our clients build long-term relationships with their customers and employees. We test advertising and study audience responses to various media. We measure public opinion around the globe.

The Ipsos difference

We go beyond the numbers to identify a course of action that will lead to stronger in-market results.

We always challenge, provoke and stimulate your thinking.

People are complex; research shouldn't be. We know what drives your business, because we have worked in your industry, and quite likely at one time for your company.

We also understand that individuals are complex; confident one minute, uncertain the next. They can say one thing and mean another.

But insightful research can solve arguments.

Let us show you how and help you grow your business.

Gary Bennewies
Country Manager
Ipsos Canada

Related articles:

Idle No More Confronts the Canadian Political Establishment

Canada's Internal Social Media War Involving Idle No More

Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Executive Director

No comments:

Leave a Comment

Thank you for sharing your perspective.