Upon returning home tonight our phone rang and I found myself answering a poll conducted by Chase Research or Chase Marketing - I didn't catch the full name. With a provincial election around the corner these polls will start to fly fast and furious, and I sometimes entertain myself by guessing whether or not the poll was commissioned by a neutral party or hired by a political party in order to push the results in directions favouring that party.
I have a feeling Chase may have been hired by the Wildrosers. I say that because in addition to asking the standard questions - "If an election were held today, would you vote for party a, party b, party c" etc. - they also asked whether or not you had favourable or unfavourable views of Premier Redford and Wildrose leader Danielle Smith. They didn't ask this question about the other party leaders. They also claimed that Premier Redford is considering raising taxes and listed a number of way she might do so. And finally, they asked whether or not the illegal contribution scandal would make you more or less likely to change your vote/make it more or less likely to vote PC, one of the Wildrose party's pet issues. (To be fair, this question might also be asked by a firm hired by the Liberals; we've been pushing the issue pretty hard too.)
Sometime in the next few days, the results of this poll will be released to the media, and more likely than not the media will provide plenty of coverage regardless of whether or not the poll was conducted legitimately. Of course my own analysis is mere conjecture, but if an average citizen like me can smell something fishy about the way these questions were asked, you'd think the fourth estate would start asking questions too.