Thursday, July 30, 2009

I got push-polled about cigarette tax

I've never been pushpolled before. I've never even heard of anyone being push-polled (outside of the US).

I was asked to participate in a short survey. I was somewhat suspicious ("surveys" are often thinly disguised marketing), but the guy promised 3 minutes, and I thought, "what the heck".

So I was asked about my attitude to a proposal to increase cigarette taxes.
I gave my answer, and began to think it might be legit after all.

I was then asked a series of carefully-worded and ordered questions, and became increasingly suspicious that something was up, because the questions seemed increasingly designed to elicit a particular response in opposition to the tax increase. After four minutes (okay, so he fibbed, but not by a whole lot), the guy (an Indian, as usual) asked "Given what you now know about the proposal ..." and then it was the exact same FIRST question I had been asked.

Now I didn't know anything I hadn't known before (apart from some slightly dubious statements in the questions that I didn't attach much credence to - but I'm a skeptic; a lot of people would probably accept them as true). To ask the question again implied it was expected I might have changed my mind. No legitimate poll does it like that. I guess most people wouldn't realize what was up, but I was peeved.

I just said "I've already answered that question", and got off as fast as I could, but DAMN I'm annoyed now.

The results of the SECOND asking of that question will no doubt be used to fuel a push to oppose the proposal (with, of course, no mention of the tricks it took to lead people to that answer).

Expect some agitation from this puppy, you ghouls. I haz internets and access to bordz and groopz. You don't entwine me in your devious little push-polls without some push-back.

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