The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce website regularly features a web-based poll on a question related to the Chamber's policy. As at this writing, the question is: "Do you feel that Light Rail Transit service would help attract jobs and prosperity growth to the City, particularly the downtown core?"
But earlier today, the question was different:
Some people feel that the City of Hamilton has a shortage of lands available to develop for employment growth. Do you feel the City should move ahead quickly to develop property surrounding the airport to create jobs?"
Around 3:30 PM today, I clicked through to the poll results page and was amused to note that the overwhelming majority of respondents had voted "No" to the question. Apparently the Chamber wasn't amused, however, because the poll results page for the airport lands question has been pulled offline. Now the URL returns an "HTTP 403 - Forbidden: Access is Denied" error.
In fairness, web-based polls are basically useless as a means of gauging public opinion. They are subject to a double-whammy selection bias, since they capture the opinions of only those people who visit the website, and of that group only those who care enough about the issue to vote.
Web polls' only real use is in reinforcing a given perception of public opinion among the self-selected group of people who frequent a given website. It seems the Chamber didn't like the perception that most of the people who visit their site oppose one of their principal policy planks, and a major goal of their current Chair, who is also the President and CEO of the Airport.
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