Can't we be honest about stuff?

Can’t we be honest about stuff?
I just received an email encouraging me to visit and fill out an online petition demanding the government ‘stay’ the Ontario ruling on gay marriage.  The website has the following text.

An online poll being taken by the National Post has 69% of the public saying “No” to allowing same-sex marriage. This kind of public support for traditional marriage by the average Canadian reveals the radical disconnect between the reigning judicial minds and our representatives in parliament.

We need to act now to urge the government to ‘stay’ the Ontario ruling IMMEDIATELY as they only have until June 30/03 to do so and will be deciding in a day or two! The majority of Canadians believe the traditional marriage is the heart and soul of the family instituted by God and the family is the building block of the nation. We need to resist the sweeping changes that this legislation will bring to our society.

There are serious problems with this.  Online polls are not accurate and cannot properly represent the views of a nation.  Other more accurate polls have indicated that a majority of Canadians are for allowing same-sex marriage.  The other fallacy on this page is “the majority of Canadians believe the traditional marriage is the heart and soul of the family instituted by God and the family is the building block of the nation”.  There is no source cited for this statement and I doubt that question ever turned up on a poll. Even if it did, those that believe traditional marriage is the heart and soul of the family may also believe same-sex couples should enjoy a similar union.

I can’t understand how misrepresenting facts and using deception is going to further the cause of truth this country.  Why publish poll results that only further a political agenda while ignoring the ones that don’t?  This crap shows the radical disconnect between between the right wing social agenda and the truth.

  1. #1 by mark on June 26, 2003 - 4:53 pm

    The poll that you are referring to would need to be scrutinized as well. My guess is that there is a fair amount of difference as to how one thinks in Saskatchewan as compared to the thoughts of those in Toronto. Depending on whether or not it was a national poll, it may be misrepresenting the country.

    Stats are just plain messy. Most of my undergrad was spent trying to figure out what value you could place on studies (statistics being a big part of those studies).

    However, you are dead on about the 69% being misrepresentative. I received the same email and the site’s purpose is to be aganist the proposed change. There is probably quite a bit of significance to the fact that the number is as low as 69% on a page that is dedicated to be against the proposals.

  2. #2 by Leighton Tebay on June 26, 2003 - 5:29 pm

    Canadian Government Site

    Public opinion research suggests that public support for recognition of marriage between two persons of the same sex is rising. Thirty-seven percent of respondents in 1993 were in favour of same-sex couples being able to marry, and this figure rose to 49 percent in 1996. More recent research conducted in February 2002 by Environics for the Centre for Research and Information on Canada found that 53 percent of respondents were in favour of gay and lesbian couples marrying; 40 percent were opposed.

    I don’t think there is any question that a poll done by a professional research company should carry more weight than an online poll on a website. Especially when multiple polls have tracked a trend over 10 years.

    We just need to recognize that we are in post-Christian culture and we can’t expect the government to make it easy for us.

  3. #3 by linsaymartens on June 26, 2003 - 7:07 pm

    Not to play the devil’s advocate or anything … but when exactly were we a “Christian” culture? In light of some of your recent posts on colonialism and such, it seems difficult to think that we were a “Christian” culture at that point in time …

  4. #4 by Leighton Tebay on June 26, 2003 - 9:20 pm

    Linsay, you have a point.

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