Abortion Polls when 2% + 2% = 6%, TO within 4%, Nine Times out of Ten.
I hate numbers. I always have. My father was an accountant who went to his grave still bewildered by the fact that I can’t correctly multiply nine times anything past two. In grade 13 I finally gave up and studies Theatre Arts instead.
In spite of the fact that my mind boggles at the skill-testing questions required to win a free Big Mac, I still must occasionally make sense of numbers.
Take for example recent polls on the issue of abortion. What the numbers are supposed to tell us is the percentage of Canadians who favour various options in the matter – from abortion on demand to making abortion illegal under all circumstance, and every option in between.
Of course the results of any poll are entirely dependent upon the question asked, “Do you still beat your wife” being the classic example of manipulation. If you answer “yes,” you’re a wife beater. If you answer “no,” you were at one time a wife beater. The statistics will therefore show that 100 per cent of respondents have at sometime beaten or are at present beating their wives!
The Ottawa Citizen was caught red-faced in early February and forced (through the diligent efforts of Action Life Ottawa), to print a clarification when they referred in yet another pro-abortion editorial to “a Gallup poll in December.” The poll determined that 71.2 per cent of Canadians think abortion should be a matter between a woman and her doctor. What the editorial writers had not bothered to mention was that the poll was commissioned by the Canadian Abortion Rights League. This means that Gallup cannot reveal the questions asked to arrive at the 71.2 per cent conclusion.
Perhaps CARAL asked, “The decision to terminate a pregnancy should be made by a) woman and her plumber, or b) a woman and her doctor.” Even pro-lifers would be forced to choose “b”.
Gallup’s independent poll found that 20 per cent of Canadians think abortion should be legal under all circumstances, and 65 per cent think abortion should be legal under certain circumstances. Of that 65 per cent, 32 per cent said that it should be solely a matter between a woman and her doctor.
I’m sure you see my problem. What’s 32 per cent of 65 per cent? For this calculation I went to my computer. His name is Terry, and in addition to being able to manipulate the calculator to figure out percentages of percentages, he also takes the kids bowling on Saturdays. The answer, I am told, is 20.8 per cent.
So, if we take this 20.8 per cent and, to be fair, add the 20 per cent who said abortion should be legal under all circumstances and presumably don’t care who makes the decision, we get 40.8 per cent. I figured that one out myself.
The difference between 40.8 per cent and 71.2 per cent, is well, um, it’s significant. I can safely calculate that one figure is less than half of the population and that the other figure is close to three-quarters of the population – a radical difference when spouting forth propaganda to a gullible public.
I may be mathematically crippled, but I’m not stupid. Two plus two is only four, and abortion is still wrong no matter what the polls seem to tell you.