Peter Zimonjic wrote in 'Neutral pollster' under fire, here, St.Catharines Standard, Apr.26, 2010:
"The federal Conservatives are asking their supporters to launch a letter writing campaign to the CBC to express displeasure with pollster Frank Graves.
As EKOS Research president, Frank Graves' firm provides regular polling numbers to the CBC, and he also appears on various CBC programs to comment on political issues.
But Graves sparked controversy last week when he gave an interview to the Globe and Mail in which he said Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff should start a "culture war" to win back office.
Graves apparently told the newspaper the Liberals "should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy. If the cranky old men in Alberta don't like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin."
After coming under sustained attack from the Conservatives, Graves issued a statement retracting the remarks.
"I used incendiary language that had not been carefully enough considered," the retraction said. "I recognize now that my stark language was understandably offensive to some Canadians."
Graves also maintained that EKOS does not work for any political party.
But on Sunday Senator Doug Finley, the Tories' national campaign director, sent an e-mail to Conservative supporters alleging that Graves has made donations to the Liberal Party and further alleged Graves had provided the Liberals with "strategic advice."
"Week after week Graves expresses opinions about Canadian politics under the guise of being the CBC's neutral pollster on party politics," the e-mail from Finley states. "And just until recently viewers have been kept in the dark about his Liberal contributions and his Liberal advice."
The letter goes on to ask supporters to "write to the CBC and tell them it's unacceptable to present Frank Graves as a neutral pollster on party politics."
Liberal MP Siobhan Coady dismissed the e-mail and remarks insisting it is in fact Finley who is "promoting wedge-politics" by targeting the pollster.
We live in a free country and you can express your opinion," said Coady.
"Mr. Graves was not representing the Liberal Party, was not hired by the Liberal Party, does not give advice to the Liberal Party ... he has an opinion and expressed his opinion on CBC ... there is a freedom of speech in our country last time I checked."
Coady's "we live in a free country and you can express your opinion" comment regarding Graves is just so much posturing: we all know this isn't true!! With all the recent phony human-rights-commission witch hunts and this laughable 'black and blue' incident, how can this Grit even pretend to believe it? Speech is only "free" to the point where a Liberal disagrees...
[btw, see Brian MacLeod's strange editorial Defending free speech, but not to the death (Apr.26, 2010, St.Catharines Standard) recommending that free speech be limited in Canada! I wonder how Coady would comment on that editorial?! She'd agree!!]
...and besides, although Coady tries to spin it this way, this isn't about "free speech" at all: it's about the CBC trying to suppress the optics of an incestuous CBC-Liberal relationship. If anything, it's about the LACK of free speech, Siobhan: it's about the CBC and Graves NOT freely revealing the possible conflict of interest to the viewers, each and every time Graves was trotted out on air. Graves claims he's not a Liberal, but is a supporter, and has given them advice - so, was the CBC exhibiting the high standards of journalism expected of them when Graves was used as a commentator? Is this an acceptable example of journalistic integrity from our tax-subsidized CBC? Coady doesn't even mention that.
Coady's partisan-toady defense of Grave's faked-out CBC neutrality is disgusting: 'who...? oh... Graves? ...well, you know... he was minding his own business, just happened to walk by the front door of the CBC one day, and someone just happened to bring him into the studio [on countless occasions!] to ask him, on national, tax-subsidized television, about his opinions' !!!
That's your position? ' No conflict here, folks... run along, now...'
Come on: so how many pollsters OTHER THAN the supposedly 'neutral' Graves did the CBC regularly employ to "express their opinion" [propagandize?] on the CBC?! It's like the CBC asking for neutral information on global warming from David Suzuki for unbiased...oh, wait...yeah...
Why isn't Michael Ignatieff asking the CBC to fire Graves?
Why isn't Iggy outraged about this abuse (proof) of the CBC's neutrality (bias) ?!
Well, simply because to the Liberal perspective, this is all suitable and normal: as Coady amply shows, the Liberals actually cannot see anything wrong with any of this: it's just natural that one their own supporters would be the CBC's resident, supposedly 'unbiased', pollster!! (After all - it is the CBC, right, whaddaya expect! This is yet another reason to get rid of this tax-drain of a phony network. And let's hear Iggy talk about his new divisive role instigating and inflaming 'Canada's culture wars', and let's examine this in context with all the books which the Count has written, where his attitudes on culture were found to be not so flattering.)
And who but Ignatieff himself has been playing "wedge issue" politics - whether promoting abortion or the gun registry, Iggy the Culture Warrior looks like he's already been taking Graves' advice!
And Siobhan Coady should look closely at Graves' advice to her Liberal party (bolded in red above): those recommendations are NOTHING BUT "wedge issue" politics !!
Clearly, it is Coady's Liberal party, and Coady's Liberal party-supporting CBC pollster-boy, who are actually "promoting wedge issues"! What sickening smugness from Siobhan to spin it otherwise!
Graves actually did all Canadians a great public service in his Globe remarks, bluntly revealing for all to see the duplicitous, elitist ethos of Canadian Liberalism: that underlying assumptive smugness of superiority; that 'we're better than you dumb parochial hillbillies' mentality; that 'we are concerned secular humanitarians, you are rural scum' attitude; that 'we know the earth is round and you don't' derision; that 'we are caring, cosmopolitan urban intellectuals, green and clean and as white and pure as the quickly-melting snow, while you are dirty polluters too stupid to care for the planet' arrogance - Graves' advice encapsulates EXACTLY the inherently elitist calculated disdain which is the defining hallmark of Canadian Liberalism.
Just look at Dalton McGuinty or Jim Bradley.