Tired, but behind on some work tasks I dragged my butt out to my office about 9pm last night. I just sat at my desk when the phone rang with an unknown 416 area code number. We get anonymous Toronto area code calls on the call display, and most of them are annoying consumer surveys.
9pm is later than most of these guys call, so I picked it up thinking it might be a friend. It was another [insert salty expression] survey.
Environics was conducting a poll about the federal government. The object of the survey was clear to me: gauge public opinion on the Martin government so far, and identify whether to shift public policy to the right or left. Not knowing whether Environics is a favoured Liberal or Tory firm, I can't confirm who sponsored the poll. My wild guess is the taxpayers covered this one.
There were a comprehensive set of questions about public policy. Start to finish I was on the phone about 30 minutes. I've participated in phone polls before, but this had to be the most extensive for me. Even for someone who follows the news and pays attention to public policy, I found myself a bit out of my depths.
For example, how can you answer a question like, 'Is the government doing a good job at defending against terrorism?' Being that there have been no jihads on my block, and I've not uncovered any large stashes of fertilizer in recent memory, I'll cross my fingers and respond Yes.
I started the call tired, after the call I was beat. I avoid frivolous surveys about soap and beer whenever I can. Joining a sampling of public opinion that shapes Canadian government policy ranks somewhere between soap and beer for me, so I worked through my sleepiness for God and Country.