Thursday, March 31, 2011

Polling Sleight of Hand

Its amazing how when used "properly" people can carefully craft a question in order to get the answer they want. Look at this story about a poll that was done by a right wing think tank a week or so ago:
3/25/2011 - A right-wing think tank today released a new poll that uses misleading language to falsely inflate support for Senate Bill 106, the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. According to the poll by the Civitas Institute, a purported "large majority" of North Carolina voters support holding a vote to rewrite our state constitution and define marriage as only between a man and a woman. However, the poll carefully avoids telling voters that this type of discriminatory revision to our state's most fundamental document would also ban civll union and domestic partnership, recognition which most North Carolina voters clearly support.

The sleight of hand you ask? Look at this very carefully worded question:
“The North Carolina legislature is considering a bill that would allow North Carolina voters to vote on amending the state constitution to say marriage is only between a man and a woman. Do you support or oppose allowing North Carolina voters to vote on this constitutional amendment?”

In short its asking you (the person taking the poll) whether or not you support the idea of North Carolina voters voting on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man one woman. Notice how the exact details of this amendment are left out. Missing are things like the fact that such an amendment would deny recognition of other types of relationships that are not opposite sex couples such as civil unions and domestic partnerships, possibly taking away benefits such as insurance (from not just LGBT couples but possibly even unmarried heterosexual couples as well), and simply just defiling a founding document by legalizing bigotry and discrimination.

This goes to show you that if you come across a poll you need to read that shit very carefully or you could end up going against a cause that you actually support. And its a damn shame that people have resorted to such tactic in order to deny people the right to have their union recognized by the law.