We forgive you Tom... or not!

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Check out the VOCM online poll in action

A few weeks back, I wrote about the VOCM Question of the Day, pointing out that political supporters were voting multiple times to distort the outcome in their favour. You can see this phenomenon in action today by clicking here and offering your answer to this question: Are you satisfied with Tom Rideout's action on his controversial expense claims? At this time (almost 12 noon on Monday), almost 4,000 votes have been received. And believe it or not, 77 per cent of them are satisfied! This is contrary to what I've been reading in the newspapers and hearing on the open lines. However, if you read the comments section further down, the vast majority - roughly 90 per cent of 110 comments - are saying that they are not satisfied with Rideout's act of contrition. This proves to me that the poll is completely stacked and its results worthless - with the exception of the comments, which I do think present a fairly representative sample of what I've been hearing in the media. Interestingly, many of the comments openly question the validity of the poll itself. Here's a sample: I looked at this earlier in the morning and it was 67% No. How is it possible that it is now 83% yes, but all the comments are against him? Something is not right with this picture. Someone else said: Why is there such a discrepancy between the actual poll and the comments? Why is Rideout being favored by Danny, compared to some other members of government? What's sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander! This would all be uproariously funny... if not for the troubling fact that someone out there thinks they have the right to corrupt an honest attempt - however crude - to measure public opinion. As I've said before, this should be a rough and tumble exercise in democracy. However, I can safely say that the result of this vote will not drop below 70 per cent 'No', no matter how many votes are recorded. If we are to learn to trust politics in this province again, why can't certain people - whoever they may be - allow us to conduct a straw poll, freely and without interference, to see how we really feel? I will update you here on the final poll 'results' at the end of the day... UPDATE: It's been a remarkable day indeed for the VOCM Question of the Day. When I went to bed just after 11 pm, there was an astounding 25,000 votes at the site, of which 72 per cent (or 18,000 people) were siding with Tom Rideout. It's pretty close to the outcome I had predicted, though I didn't expect voting numbers this high. The real story, of course, is revealed in the comments section, of which about 95 per cent of posters feel that Rideout should resign (or some similar punishment). As noted above, many people are beginning to see through this sham and can see that the vote is being manipulated. Here's one of the funnier ones, from 'Disgruntled Liberal': Guys - slow down with the Yes votes - we are having trouble keeping up with the No's. There is not near enough of us - It's just not fair. But the most touching comment, the one that drove it home for me, was this one: ...at least as an overpayining taxpayer I can sleep soundly, (knowing) that it's not all that bad that I copied my son's homework at my 12 hour shift to feel connected in his life. I hope my tax dollars that keep me away from my son was well spent. You can't fake a comment like that.

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  • Mark
    July 27, 2010 - 14:53

    I remember when the VOCM question of the day was Do you think government should release all the information it has on the Hebron deal?' to which around 63% said No !' (just checked).
    It made no sense to me why people would not want to see the details of something that could effect the Province for years or maybe decades to come . So at that point I figured something wasn't right and figured out that I could delete cookies and history of files from my internet then make another vote or open several tabs then make several votes . However you are right , it would take a team of people to make thousands of votes or perhaps there is software available to do this for you.
    Anyway yet another unbelievable result to VOCM question of the day , I don't know anyway who will be forgiving Tom Rideout even amongst Danny William supporters . When I was back in St.John's over the Christmas it seemed everyone was following the story in the Telegram and waiting for Tom Rideout to step down or for Danny Williams to give him the push , but yet he still has a political career which not only reflects badly on him but also the Premier and the Province .
    There is plenty of animosity towards Tom Rideout going around town for me to think that this is another VOCM poll that has been pathetically distorted for political spin.