Mark Twain is credited with the quote, ”There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Never is this truer than in the case of David Black’s revelation that his pipeline proposal has received a certain degree of approval throughout B.C. Apparently his staffers made random phone calls over a specific time and pulled a 65 per cent approval rating in northern B.C. from the results.
There was a time when polls were performed using sound statistical rules. Anyone who has struggled through a statistics course in high school or college math knows that there are solid rules to be followed and even then, a margin of error must be reported.
David Black did not follow these accepted procedures and therefore his results are as ridiculous as his proposal.
Last week, our household had a call from a person asking us if we would participate in a survey regarding Enbridge and oil development. This person did not identify who they were working for and when pressed for information on regarding the polling firm they represented, quickly ended the call. We don’t know if this was the David Black pollster but we also don’t know if it wasn’t.
But if this is how David Black conducts his information gathering, I shudder to think how he will manage his pet oil refinery.