Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Warren RIPS into the CBC

Warren Kinsella (one of my few favorite Liberals) absolutely ripped into the CBC last night... and while he was at it, attacked the Martin-linked braintrust that is still working in the shadows behind Mr. Dion. (and before anyone comments, the main reason I like Warren because he tells it like it is, warts and all, no matter who the target is... I respect any Liberal or CPCer who does that)

For your reading pleasure, here's the post reprinted in full:
April 11, 2007 – Let me explain something. Or try to.

Writing for the National Post, as I do, I try and keep an open mind about the CBC. Folks at the Post say I’m woefully naïve for that, but I do what I can.

That said, Keith Boag (and his employer) certainly provided plenty of ammunition for the CBC-haters, tonight. Despite the fact that Boag is a close buddy of someone who is likely to be under investigation in the federal probe into polling practices, announced earlier today, Boag filed a report on the announcement. He didn’t disclose the personal relationship. And his report was so torqued, and so imbalanced, viewers should have been provided with air bags (and perhaps barf bags) before viewing it.

I won’t force you to endure what I had to. No need for both of us to feel ill, is there? Distilled down its base elements, Boag’s report was this: the Auditor General checked into polling in 2003, decided it was all done wonderfully, and this new Conservative government probe is a “witch hunt.” Move along, nothing to see here, as you were. Oh, and he quoted some Liberals – you know, the Martinites who seemingly hold Stéphane Dion hostage these days – who also called it all a “witch hunt.” (See the post below on that.)

Let me – a formerly active federal Liberal who knows a little about polling and Public Works – give you a slightly different point of view.

In or about 2002, the Auditor General was urged by Jean Chrétien, and his relevant minister, to look at contracting practices at Public Works – both advertising and polling. The celebrated part of her report is here. After he read it, Chrétien referred it to the RCMP (who, acting on a previous call from Chrétien, had already been conducting other investigations). The sponsorship part of the AG’s report became the basis for Paul Martin’s celebrated “Mad As Hell” tour, and was the excuse for calling the Gomery Pyle Commission, which was designed to shred Chrétien’s reputation, among other things. In crafting the terms of reference for Gomery, Martin and his brain trust carefully ensured that there would be no examination of polling practices – despite the fact that the same Chuck Guité controlled polling as much as he controlled advertising. Odd, that.

Keith Boag doesn’t think so, apparently. He reported tonight that the AG had nothing particularly bad to say about polling in her report. But that, Virginia, is the purest of unadulterated bull****.

The relevant section is here – but, to save you time – I have highlighted a few of the things the AG said:

- She said that, in a number of cases, “departments did not establish a clear statement of the need for undertaking public opinion research”

- She said that the “government had failed to follow its own guidelines in effect at the time”

- She said that she was “concerned about the use of public funds in some cases to acquire syndicated studies on voting intentions and party image.”

- She said that she was “concerned that… practices prevented other potential suppliers from competing”

- She said that “many large contracts were awarded to a single supplier based on one bid”

- She said that “we saw no document showing the rationale for awarding a contract to any one supplier out of the several on the list”

- She said that, in some cases, “documentation was largely incomplete”

- She said that, repeatedly, “files did not demonstrate that the survey(s) provided good value for the cost”

- She said – permit me to place this in capitals, so that even Keith Boag can see it – that she was, overall, “TROUBLED” by polling practices

- She then provided some examples. This one is my favourite:
5.17 Communication Canada explained to us that it had been unable to release the results of a few research projects for the Department of Finance Canada because, according to the Department, it had received only verbal reports and had no written reports on these projects.

Being paid without providing any paper! Sound familiar? It sure was a big deal in the sponsorship area, and understandably so. But why is it okay to do when we are talking about polling? Odd, that.

Well, for Keith Boag and others, I suppose, it all comes down to who your friends are. That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

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