Logic, Media, Politics, Polls

So the Globe/CTV commissioned a poll in which a majority of the thousand people in the sample said BOTH that they trusted judges (who aren’t elected) more than members of Canada’s parliament (who are elected) AND that they’re in favour of electing judges.

Did it strike any of the thousand in both majorities that perhaps, just perhaps, the reason they trust judges more than politicians is precisely because that judges ARE NOT elected?

Did it strike the pollsters to point out that inconsistency? (I assume they didn’t because it would skew the results. In fact, it might even cause the person being polled to … think.)

Did it strike the pollsters to wonder about that and how it affected both the questions being asked and the conclusions to be drawn from the questions?

Did it strike the Globe or CTV to wonder about any of that?

Did it strike the pollsters to check how may of the sampled universe believed that (1) the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup before the Chicago Cubs win the World Series; (2) are Canadians who believe in UFOs with or without little green men and were responsible for the surge in Canadian UFO reports in 2006; (3) are living, breathing, and walking examples of negative capability; and, (4) agree with Intel that it’s quite alright if 1 + 1 doesn’t quite equal 2 now and again? (Especially during Canadian winters when one has to take one’s mittens off to count to 10.)

Should we assume probably not?



  1. 1.  “The Court, the premier blog about the Supreme Court of Canada, is spitting mad.”

    THE COURT is spitting mad? I trust you didn’t mean THE COURT. That leaves only me. I’m neither spitting, nor mad. I was and am amused and do thank you for adding to my amusement.

    2.  “…. he rails against the stupidity of the Canadian public”

    The Canadian public is composed of the 1000 people surveyed in the G&M/CTV poll? When did we lose the rest of the almost 32 million people in Canada? Did they all go to a place with a better climate? Has Lower Slobovia reappeared on the planet?

     I’ll quote from my THE COURT post: “Does anybody notice the conflict? Does anybody care to wonder whether the pollsters realized the inconsistency?”

    You meant to write stupidity of the pollsters and the media, didn’t you?

    3.  “As for Canadian’s [sic] blissful ignorance of what we’ll call Cheifetz’s dichotomy …”

    Ah … the infamous “Cheifetz dichotomy”. I hope that’s nothing like the “Plotnick Curse”. Nonetheless, thank you, “we”, whoever you are. However, there’s still point 2, above.

    “Blissful ignorance”? Ah … the missing Canadians went to the Elysian fields. That’ll no doubt be some relief to their families elsewhere.

    4.  On your reference to Professor Anand’s suggestion that the polled subjects’ preference for the SCC relates more to distrust of MPs than understanding of SCC, and the implication that point was missing from my post, do reread what I wrote. I’ll help you.

    I’ll quote from my THE Court post: “Twain also described the members of United States Congress as America’s only native criminal class. Should we assume that those Canadians who were polled have a similarly cynical view of Parliamentarians, and that this very likely is their apparent reason for responding that the SCC is more trustworthy? Were I a member of the Supreme Court of Canada … I’d wonder at what that means about the SCC.”

    5.  If you don’t know the story, do read about the tenure of the Rose Elisabeth Bird, who for 10 years was Chief Justice of California. Then consider Santaya’s “Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.” Perhaps you do appreciate some of the problems, given your apparent suggestion that a test of the electing-judges scheme might not be a good idea.

    6.  In short, do try to get your relevant assertions and facts right before you criticize. Do try to read a bit more carefully, compose a bit more carefully, and accuse a bit more accurately, when you’re building straw-men; especially if you don’t have a Wizard to go to at the end of your road.


    David Cheifetz