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Essential input should not be misconstrued by our MP

Paul R. Smith, Dundas

I would like to offer a word of caution regarding the survey Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough and Westdale residents received from MP David Sweet.

While most of us appreciate the opportunity for input, it is essential our input not be misconstrued. So, as you complete the survey be aware of potential misuses of your input.

Although I am not an expert in survey design, I see a number of questionable features in this survey. I will explain one, but there are more.
Here is Question 3.

What should be the top priority for the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action in promoting job creation and economic growth?

1 Make strategic investments in innovation, science and technology
2. Focus on deficit reduction to pre-empt a Euro style crisis
3. Invest in training and education to prepare for the jobs of the future.
4. More stimulus spending
5. Other, please specify.

Three of the choices come with favourable words or phrases, as italicized, and one does not.

When you add the fourth choice with no encouraging words, it sounds negative, clearly not the answer they want us to choose.

If they had said, “More stimulus spending ‘to get people back to work,’” you see how it could influence the input. Let’s provide the input with clarification where necessary.

A request for Mr. Sweet, when you tabulate your results, I think you need to be very careful to avoid looking like you just want the action Stephen Harper is taking to be validated.

Perhaps you could preface your tabulations with a disclaimer about the scientific validity of the survey.

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