The Globe And Mail has an online poll which asks visitors who is most to blame if the “road map” for peace fails. When I viewed the results of the poll this morning, the numbers were almost evenly split between Palestinian militants and Israelis. At current writing, an overwhelming 70% would blame the Israelis if the peace plan failed. Those figures alone are perplexing and could warrant some investigation. Instead, I would rather focus on the construction of the poll.
Like many polls, this one has its faults. To start, this is an online poll, prone to ballot stuffing, and so its results should be taken with a rather large grain of salt. Second, although this poll splits the Palestinians into “Palestinians” (presumably the citizenry) and “Palestinian militants”, it does not do the same with the Israelis. In this split, the largely right-wing Israeli coalition, which holds a slim majority in the Knesset, is lumped in with the Israeli citizenry. Anyone who might think the Israeli administration is largely to blame is forced to make an option which puts the blame on all Israelis. Finally, there is no “All of the above” option. Personally, I would have preferred an option encompassing both the Palestinian and the Israeli administrations, but even that would have been too simplified an option. This lack of choice meant that I opted out of the poll.
I usually enjoy The Globe And Mail as it, unlike other national newspapers, keeps its opinions and bias squarely in the opinion and comment sections where they belong. However, sometimes some opinion seeps through where it plainly doesn’t belong.
Update: The above poll has over 30000 votes cast so far. Compare that to the previous week of polls which average less than half that many votes. Either half the website’s readership was offline last week or the ballot box is stuffed.