Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Government Policy on Polling Results 

To: The Hon. Patricia L. Nelson
Minister of Finance
Government of Alberta

Dear Ms. Minister:

This correspondence is in regard to the poll conducted in June by Environics West regarding auto insurance. My questions are based on an article by Tom Barrett in The Edmonton Journal on January 8, 2004. The article states that the poll results to the question "Should a government auto insurance system be adopted" was 59.1% in favor of a government plan being implemented. The article then quotes you as saying "Clearly they (the respondents) were not as concerned about who was delivering the insurance package as to what the product was and did it service their needs of accessibility and affordability".

While it may be clear to yourself and others in Alberta Finance how 59.1% in favor of a government plan can be interpreted as "Clearly not being concerned about who was delivering the package", it is not clear to me. My simple interpretation would be that 59.1% would like the government to deliver auto insurance. However, I realize that I do not have access to all the information that you have.

I would gratefully appreciate answers to the following questions in order to clarify in my own mind the government approach on this issue.

1. Would you please publish all the survey questions and their results on your government website so that I can make my own judgment as to how Albertans feel about auto insurance? My assumption is that the survey was conducted using tax payer dollars as opposed to PC Party dollars and consequently this information belongs to the citizens. If I am wrong in this assumption, please let me know.

2. Would you please tell me what your government's general policy is regarding the publication of survey questions and results when polls are commissioned and paid for using tax payer dollars? It would seem to me that all polling questions and results should be made part of the public record. This would allow Albertans to make up their own minds as to what the polling results mean. This would go a long way toward strengthening democracy in this Province and would indicate your government's trust in the common sense of Albertans.

Thank you very much for your consideration of this request. I will be publishing a copy of this letter on the political discussion website know as Ralph's World and will be happy to publish your response upon receipt.

Yours truly

John Slow

Click here for status of MLA responsiveness to this and previous letters.

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