Why You Should Be Skeptical of MSM Poll Reporting

I love to follow US politics…it just doesn’t get any more entertaining…

One thing I am always amazed at though is the level of obvious biases when it comes to MSM reporting.

Here’s just one example from today:

Politico’s website today reported the following:

Support for impeaching Trump hits new high

For the first time in POLITICO/Morning Consult polling, more voters back beginning impeachment proceedings to remove Trump than oppose.

President Donald Trump

Support for impeaching President Donald Trump is growing.

A batch of recent polling confirms the Democratic impeachment push is gaining steam — including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult survey that shows for the first time that more voters support than oppose proceedings to remove Trump from office. The uptick is primarily among Democrats, as Republican voters surveyed continue to have Trump’s back.

In the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 46 percent of voters said Congress should begin impeachment proceedings vs. 43 percent who said they should not. Eleven percent had no opinion. That support represented a 3-point bump from last week, when voters were evenly split.

The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll comes as at least a half-dozen other media outlets have released surveys showing support for impeachment rising. The polls suggest that Democrats are gaining support for the impeachment inquiry as the Ukraine scandal unspools. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had resisted escalating the House’s investigations of Trump because of the political risks, but the latest surveys suggest the party is unlikely to bleed support from Democratic voters over the decision to challenge Trump head-on.

Still, the move isn’t without risk. The percentage of voters who disapprove of Trump’s job performance in the latest poll, 56 percent, still exceeds the 46 percent who think Congress should begin impeachment proceedings to remove him, or the 51 percent who say they support the current impeachment inquiry — a step short of actual impeachment proceedings. Those findings indicate that there is a slice of moderate voters who disapprove of Trump but think Democrats are going too far.

And when the polls ask specifically about removing Trump from office, voters are sharply divided or tilt against it. In a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, 49 percent of voters called the impeachment inquiry a “good idea,” while 43 percent said it was a “bad idea.” But only 44 percent said Trump should be forced out of office, fewer than the 52 percent who said he shouldn’t.

Tilting at BC Ferries

October 24, 2018 (NOTE – Only BC Ferries responded to this letter, and promised they would have flaggers for Summer 2019…which they did…didn’t solve the problem…but…)

Open letter to:

Ms. Tina Rogers, Area Manager

Ms. Haley Leach, District Development Technician

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI)

MLA Adam Olsen

Premier John Horgan

Mr. Mark Collins, President and Chief Executive Officer, B.C. Ferries

Minister Claire Trevina, MOTI

Dear Ms. Rogers, Ms. Leach, Minister Trevina, Mr. Olson, Premier Horgan and Mr. Collins,

I am writing to you all today with regard to a recent number of encroachment notices being sent out to Salt Spring Island property and business owners by MOTI.

I understand the MOTI is enforcing the ownership of their right of way on Salt Spring, and in at least two instances which I have been made aware of, are demanding vehicles, related to businesses be removed from the side of the road on rights of ways, notably on Rainbow Road and Beddis Road.

Given MOTI is enforcing against private individuals, I would appreciate it if you could ALL please explain why these individuals are being discriminated against, since the largest encroacher onto the MOTI highways themselves, not the sides of highways, is the BC Ferry Corporation with their now constant parking of their customer traffic in the traffic lanes at Fulford and Vesuvius.

THOSE encroachments present a clear and present danger to motorists and pedestrians alike, and have, for many years now.

It is my understanding that MOTI forced BC Ferries, at both Swartz Bay and Tsawassen to expand their parking lots in order to get BC Ferries customers off the highways, thereby complying with the Motor Vehicle Act.

This summer, lineups at Fulford and Vesuvius have each stretched back for over ONE-HALF MILE, creating unsafe traffic impediments from the one-lane traffic they create.

It is easy to imagine what a fire truck or ambulance meeting a fully blocked off road due to ferry traffic unloading in one lane and parked cars in the other would look like.

In BC any impediment to traffic flow on a highway, which results in a one-lane situation requires two flaggers to safely direct traffic around the impediment. Given however the nature of BC Ferries customers parking on the highways, the situation is abysmally unsafe.

It is with that in mind that with this letter I am putting the recipients of this letter on notice that should any traffic accidents, injuries, deaths occur at either location, directly or indirectly, ALL parties will be held liable for damages due to their participation in their refusal, as public servants and/or elected officials, to enforce the traffic laws of British Columbia, having been given sufficient notice of their responsibility and liability as public officials.

I might add that the solutions to getting BC Ferries customers off the highways is not up to the residents of Salt Spring Island, or the thousands of tourists who visit here every year. Fill in more of Fulford Harbour, put on another, or larger ferry at Vesuvius….but get the parking off the highway.

The responsibility to do so lies with enforcement by the government of the corporation involved.

The solutions to this issue are decades past their best before date. Show us what leadership WITHOUT excuses looks like in 2018.

Thank you for your attention to this issue, and I look forward to all of your responses.

Best regards,

Eric Booth

Salt Spring Island, B.C.









Response to Chris Dixon’s “More Safety Input Needed”

(Chris Dixon’s article is in italics below, with my responses in regular font. – Eric)

There has always been some level of vandalism on Salt Spring, just as there has always been a group of transient individuals whose primary focus is not their next retail experience. We can’t wish these people away, and more cops can only make their lives more precarious.

Uh, so, tourists are now “retail seeking transients,” and “more cops” can only make vandals and tourists’ lives more precarious….interesting perspective.

On the subject of a proposed new “security service” for the island, my first question would be whether this new service would benefit the entire island, or would it more specifically benefit the merchants and the landlords of Ganges who want it?

The security of Ganges includes its 3 public parks (Peace, Mouat’s and Centennial), and, the roads and sidewalks. It is not limited to the security of merchants (who rent from landlords) who exist to service the needs of entire community. The merchants’ businesses and services in fact benefit the entire community. Where did you buy the food for your last meal?

My second question would be: if the Chamber of Commerce wants additional police protection for their members’ businesses, why are taxpayers being asked to pay for it?

Public safety and security is fundamental to a civil society that wishes to have a community where it is safe for a 6 year old to walk down the street, as I did as a child here. “Additional police protection” is another term in this case for “sufficient police protection.” Salt Spring has one of the highest rates of mental illness, police related, incidents in B.C. If you don’t believe me, please, ask the next RCMP officer you see on the Island.

Then I would ask, how does the CRD, whom we do not elect, become the default provider of, and recipient of tax funding for, this service when we already have a contract for RCMP protection that benefits the entire island?

We elect a Director to represent us to the CRD. In this case, because we don’t have a mayor and/or city council, the closest we have to a mayor (other than the Minister of Municipal Affairs), is the CRD Director. In a municipality the CAO of the town can direct priorities of contracted policing. Currently, since we aren’t a municipality, there is no one from our community who has the authority to directly negotiate with the RCMP. That is why the CRD Director is suggesting the CRD become the “default provider.”

I’d need to ask whether a counter-petition, which will require productive people to invest their time organizing any opposition to the idea, is a credible gauge of public support?

I think the jury is in on that question, with a firm “no” verdict.

I’d ponder our priorities as a community. Could these funds subsidize a publicly funded laundry and shower facility? Now that it’s dark and rainy, could it pay for painting the centre lines on our roads? Would these things have a greater benefit to a larger portion of our population than an additional uniformed presence on the streets of Ganges?

Apples and oranges and pineapples. Yes we need a laundry, yes the lines on the roads should be painted, and yes there should be more police presence. These aren’t either/or questions.

Can we say that the businesses of Ganges are collectively a single-focus group and that their priorities are different from the priorities of the majority of island residents? 

No. Without the Ganges businesses this community would cease to function within a day or two. Close the food stores, the gas stations, and the restaurants and see what would happen. We have witnessed something close to this during a major snowstorm.

Can we contrast their desire for more business success with the reality that during the summer season, the feeding frenzy they cultivate is an equally unpleasant experience for residents and for visitors? 

The businesses don’t create or cultivate a “feeding frenzy”…the island’s overwhelming beauty, climate, rurality, and country charm along with artisans, craftspeople, farmers, (and even loud marimba bands in the park on Saturdays), etc. attract tourists. The “unpleasantness” which some residents may experience is primarily due to poor planning (e.g. failure to provide adequate parking), lack of traffic controls due to increased volume of traffic (e.g. roundabouts, 4 way stops or, traffic lights), and ferry lineups which are the result of a non-responsive ferry authority, along with a non-responsive Ministry of Transportation.

Can they admit that Ganges is maxed out; a casualty of their own relentless advertising which seeks to commodify every possible aspect of our shared island home? 

“Relentless advertising”? Where? The local Driftwood?

Can they see how local residents subsidize their commercial success at a cost of personal discomfort and safety? When a laundromat can’t afford to pay rent, is that success?

The primary reason the laundromat was shut down (apart from it being a marginally profitable business) was the North Salt Spring Waterworks District’s moratorium – which, you, as a Trustee of the NSSWD, are partially responsible for. I understand a number of potential locations for a laundromat have been turned down by NSSWD. Please correct me if I’ve been wrongly informed.

I have been involved in two traffic incidents in Ganges this summer that could easily have had fatal consequences. Had there been a police cruiser present, each driver would have faced stiff penalties and possibly criminal charges.

It’s tempting to dismiss both these road-rage incidents as being caused by mannerless tourists, but it’s equally likely that the driver in both vehicles was a frustrated local. Driving and parking in Ganges, especially this year, has been a fundamentally frustrating experience.

Poor land use planning of Ganges, including lack of parking, changes to traffic patterns and controls are at the heart of the downtown traffic problems. Who owns the roads in Ganges? The Province. In virtually every other community in BC the roads are owned by the communities, and, as such can make any changes they want. Here, a property owner can’t even apply to put a sidewalk in front of their property.

In my opinion, a broader base of residents should be engaged to assess the issues and to make decisions regarding safety, comfort and livability in Ganges.

Better still, why not a broader base of elected representatives? Considering you vocally opposed and voted “No” to incorporation, I’m going to suggest you are partly responsible for there not being broader representation.

Personally, I’d advocate for less craziness, rather than more cops.

Great, wave your magic wand and make the craziness stop…because, and with all due respect, that is about what would be required. We need “enough” cops…and, that is something we don’t currently have.

Chris, a couple of years ago, you stated, “Our island stands out as a beautiful exception to the corporate model. I think we need to design a government structure that no-one needs to be afraid of. I want a form of government that reflects and builds upon our unique and successful history….We can start working together immediately after the referendum.https://saltspringexchange.com/2017/07/25/incorporation-which-side-are-you-on/

So, two years later, what is the proposed design of government structure you’ve been working on?