CBC responds to Sun on Vote Compass

April 5, 2011

Let's take a moment to review how the Sun/QMI chain has been misleading its readers about CBC's Vote Compass. First, the original front-page Sun headline "CBC Full of Grit," turned inside to a re-run of a Kingston Whig-Standard story, which cites as its primary source a professor unrelated to the Vote Compass project who evidently didn't understand its methods or functions.

Interestingly, the Sun edited out of the Whig-Standard story information about four local candidates who completed the survey and got precisely their expected results. The Sun then ran an editorial admonishing the CBC for attempting to "recruit" voters when Vote Compass notes explicitly that it doesn't tell people how to vote. Another front page Sun "exclusive" proclaims that one of the Vote Compass researchers has done work for the Ignatieff Liberals.

The Sun had information that Peter Loewen also worked for Tom Flanagan during Stephen Harper’s 2004 leadership campaign and later for Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Bill Black, but chose not to share that information with its readers. (In fact, Mr. Flanagan is on record noting that assistant professor Loewen is an outstanding researcher without an ounce of partisan in him.)

The Sun then claims that Vote Compass conceals its methodology, when it has shared its political evaluations and coding information with all the parties and invited their input. In light of this, Sun readers may be forgiven for asking themselves "What else aren't they telling me and why not?" Not a great place for a news organization to put itself, especially during an election when trustworthy journalism is so important to a functioning democracy.

Now, just over a week after being introduced, Vote Compass has provided more than a million responses. We believe people should make up their own minds. And we hope everyone will give it a try to see where they end up relative to the parties' positions.

Search highlight tool