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finds that most of the required information is being reported by the various polling firms. However, the reporting of response rates is un- even, which makes it more difficult to assess the accuracy of the sample size used to represent populations. If, for example, 1000 contacts yield only 100 completes, there would be grounds for concern about the sample’s accuracy. We will address this subject more fully in our next chapter. Voting choice has been the subject of much study by political scien- tists in Canada. A dominant theme of this research is how the connec- tion

isolated from direct participation in politics. Presenting polls as part of the entertainment in the news allows individuals to see where they stand in relation to others within a political community. On the other hand, reporting focused on the personal attributes of the candi- dates may contribute significantly to voting choice. In American presi- dential elections for example, it has been shown that the personal attractiveness and likeability of the candidate may add 4 per cent to the net advantage of an incumbent (Erikson and Tedin, 2001). Indeed, they note that

for the Conference of Canadian Election Officials cacy group representing blind people raised the issue of outreach serv- ices for blind and visually impaired voters. A chapter of the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality challenged the use of templates as cumbersome, liable to produce mistaken voting choices, and a form of unequal access to the electoral process (Seymour 2004). Instead, the group wanted Elections Canada to provide Braille ballots, to make voting easier, to minimize the possibility of errors, and so that poll workers do not have

societies voters are totally passive about government and have no political ideology that determines their voting choices has been widely expounded during the past 40 years. Without a doubt, those who have written about the ‘end of ideology’ in Western civilization take this view. This has sometimes been attrib- uted to the decline in the power of religious values and a reduction in social class differences. Indeed theories of mass society also contend we no longer have the passion for strong beliefs such as those which created radical political movements in the early

regional contrasts have greater ‘play’ in public policy than they would in Canada. Across the South, for example, the average response to rela- tionship issues, or any other question about gay rights, is persistently conservative enough that centrist and progressive politicians give voice to inclusive stances at their peril. This is not just because of popular responses to issues of sexual diversity, but also because polling has shown that Southerners are more likely than others to weigh party positions on gay marriage in making voting choices.50 The more favourable

reason these polls demanded more of the respon- dents intellectually because they had to come to conclusions about their voting choices. Moreover, these polls required pollsters to use the more precise kind of intensity measurement we have mentioned above. On the other hand, polling on Canadians’ perceptions of key issues facing the nation in 2004, such as the state of health care or the implica- tions of the Gomery inquiry, was mainly judgment-oriented. It can be distinguished from the former polling objective by the fact that it at- tempted simply to measure