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Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions

The Carbon Tax is melting down Australian politics. The spin is running wild and the falsity of “carbon pollution” (sic) preys on yet another political leader.

Two polls met head to head today, one showing 59% of Australians don’t want the tax, and other saying that 72% of Australians want government to negotiate with Greens on the carbon levy. It’s a PR war out there, and, humans being gregarious creatures, every side wants to be in the majority — it’s a critical mass type of thing.

It’s easy to figure out which poll is closer to the truth.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) poll asked 550 adults the simple question:  “Thinking about the carbon tax. Are you in favour or against the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia?”. 59% were against, 13% didn’t know. Making it 72% who are not for it.

Meanwhile, proving that you can get almost any result you want on a poll if you ask the right questions, Galaxy Research asked 1036 people, the complex, loaded double whammy:

Thinking now about some federal issues. All sides of Australian politics agree that there is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help address climate change. Do you believe that the best way to achieve this is to tax the big polluters or pay money to polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?

Support tax: 58%
Support paying polluters: 17%
Undecided: 25%

The poll tells us nothing about climate change but definitively shows 42% of the public are not fooled by loaded questions. What’s surprising is that only 58% support the idea of taking money from monstrous self serving polluters. I mean really, if there were polluters out there, surely everyone would tick that box? Why aren’t they in jail?

Question 2 of the Galaxy poll asks if you would like a free gift from the biggest nastiest companies. Again, at least 33% of the public are smart enough, and honest enough, to turn it down.

Do you support or oppose a price on carbon that would tax the biggest polluting industries, returning all revenue to compensate households and businesses, and provide investment in climate change programs such as renewable energy?

Support: 66%
Oppose: 23%
Neither / Don’t know: 10%

Perhaps we can help Galaxy with it’s next round, after all, where can they go to from here?

How about: Thinking now about your children’s future and the devastating effects of sea level rise and heatstroke. Would you prefer to:

a/ pay 1000% more for electricity from other less efficient sources,

b/ get $1000 per year in compensation from giant multinational polluters mailed direct to your house,

c/ all of the above.

Not surprisingly, it’s hard to find the Galaxy “polluters” poll on the Galaxy site. They know it was a naked slab of push polling rather than market research. If I wanted to be taken seriously and I did a poll like that, I’d hide it too.

The Greens of course, don’t realize how obvious it looks and trumpet it from their site — they are so naive, they included both questions in full.

h/t Scaper and Pat. Ta!

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