Sunday, March 16, 2008

Harper channelling Monty Python

OTTAWA - The federal government has conducted an opinion survey to find out what Canadians think of, uh, opinion surveys.

Release of the polling data comes amid pressure on Ottawa to rein in spending on public opinion research.

The poll, Canadians' Preferences in Answering Surveys, was completed Jan. 31 by Ekos Research Associates for Public Works and Government Services.

The survey of more than 2,250 Canadians last fall found 45 per cent of respondents preferred telephone surveys over Internet or in-person questionnaires.

A Public Works spokeswoman could not immediately say how much the survey cost or why it was undertaken.

A summary of the results suggest the questions were asked as part of a long-running series of polls on information technology.

The Tories are promising to spend $10 million less on government polling in the next budget year.

In December, an independent investigator reported the Conservatives spent $31.2 million on public-opinion research in the 12 months leading up to a government-commissioned probe.

That's almost twice the $18 million a year the Liberals averaged on polling between 1993 and 2006.

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