Is the CBC’s Vote Compass skewing left-wing? (Or, Internet survey produces dodgy results? The Sun is there)

Is the CBC’s Vote Compass skewing left-wing? (Or, Internet survey produces dodgy results? The Sun is there)

A screen shot of the Vote Compass results when all questions are answered "niether agree or disagree" or "same as now"

A reasonable reader might just assume that in 2011, everyone knows self-selected Internet polls are not to be taken seriously. Not so, apparently, the Sun papers. They’ve been using the CBC’s Vote Compass as further evidence that the Crown broadcaster is all Libbed up. It started last week when someone told the Sun’s Brian Lilley that the “CBC vote quiz creator worked for [Michael] Ignatieff,” the headline the Toronto Sun ran with and that’s still at the top of the Web copy.

Now, there’s some reason to think that the Vote Compass is flawed; as some have pointed out (and we tested this morning), entering the middle value on all questions—which usually meant “neither agree nor disagree”—got us marked as Liberal (technically, between Liberal and Conservative, but closer to Liberal). This means either the poll reflects the Liberals as the centrist party in Canada’s politics, or that the Grits, on average, have no convictions whatsoever.

More important is what the Sun decided it did and didn’t need to tell its readers when it picked this as an election issue. The paper said that Peter Loewen, the “creator” of this “quiz,” “worked” for Michael Ignatieff. What the paper didn’t say was that Loewen didn’t create the survey, wasn’t paid by the Liberals and also worked for several Tories.

A number of pretty diverse voices have come out in Loewen’s defence since Lilley decided to turn him into collateral damage in Quebecor’s ongoing jihad against the CBC. Simon Houpt over at the Globe suggests that this is just Quebecor getting its juices flowing for their impending launch of the Sun News TV channel.

Frankly, we think that just overcomplicates things. When the Sun goes after the CBC and the Liberals, we just assume it’s because the sun rose that morning.

• Sun Media ignored Flanagan on Vote Compass prof’s objectivity [Talking Points]
Election Chatter (Day 7): [Ottawa Magazine]
Sun burns CBC in bid to hype tabloid TV [Globe and Mail]
• Sun family values [Maclean’s]