Beer in Corner Stores: one day, two conflicting polls, zero legitimate takeaways

Beer in Corner Stores: one day, two conflicting polls, zero legitimate takeaways

Beer in Corner Stores: one day, two conflicting polls, zero legitimate takeaways
People in Ontario really want to buy booze at corner stores. Or they really don’t. It all depends on which poll you consult.

Yesterday, both the union that represents employees of The Beer Store and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association released polls claiming to reflect Ontarians’ attitudes toward the oft-proposed (but rarely seriously considered) idea of selling beer and wine at corner stores. The results of the two surveys are about as entertaining as they are uninformative.

The OCSA, the group that lobbied hard for extra-LCBO beer and wine sales earlier this fall only to be shot down by Debbie Downer premier Kathleen Wynne, found that 69 per cent of Ontarians are gung-ho supporters of corner-store booze. The poll also revealed that 87 per cent of legal-age drinkers in Ontario had no idea The Beer Store was owned and operated by a powerful foreign consortium, and 62 per cent were pretty unhappy when they found out about it.

Screen-shot-2013-12-20-at-12.12 A December 19 headline from Ontario craft beer news source MomnHops Ontario
 

That might have been a compelling set of stats if United Food and Commercial Workers Local 12R24, the union that represents employees of The Beer Store, hadn’t published its own poll about seven minutes earlier.

Screen-shot-2013-12-20-at-12.13 Another December 19 headline from Ontario craft beer news source MomnHops Ontario
 

In addition to fears of rampant crime, the union found that over 80 per cent of people in this province think Ontario’s current booze cartels are doing a bang-up job, while another 66 per cent are dead-set against the sale of booze at convenience stores.

Neither group revealed the methodology behind their extremely convenient numbers, so it’s difficult to draw any real takeaways—except maybe that that people shouldn’t pay very much attention to polls.