2,441 people respond to a survey in Kitchener. What does this actually mean?

Mathemagic
The percentage of people who cared enough to respond to the survey who were strongly opposed to the statues project in the park is higher than the percentage that voted in any Canadian government ever. That record is 54.9% that won the Liberals the election in 1940. The voter turnout that placed Zehr in office in 2010 was 27.41% – and you can bet that not all of them voted for him (although he did quite well). Regional Chair Ken Seiling received 70,354 votes in 2010 with a population of around 553,000. That means 12.7% of the Region voted for Seiling – the number representing the entire population and not the voting public. The voting public of Waterloo Region is 355,857 – putting the number to roughly 19% – but according to voter turnout of 108,095 – Seiling was supported by 65% of people who turned up to vote – whopping good support, and significantly more than 19%.

Bad_MathThis is the game The Record is playing with the percentage they claim in the survey representation of the population of Kitchener. 2,441 people filled out the survey. 29,939 voted for Mayor Zehr at 79.17% of the popular vote. Roughly 20% of the people who voted for Zehr filled out the survey – making the survey numbers much more significant than the scant description in The Record.

Another way to look at it:

Total respondents to the survey about the statues 2,441 – Councillor Frank Etherington slid in with 1,689 votes in 2010 – 1,920 respondents opposed the statues – Councillor Etherington on a motion to stop the project: “I would suggest we’ve got 1,920 good reasons to support this motion.” 231 additional people against the statues than the amount of people who placed the Councillor who represents the entire park ward – elected in a well advertised election.

A full 79% of respondents were categorically against the statues project. 79% of people who cared enough to respond and who are represented by the officials that we elected – those hijacking counsellors. The Record editors – your trivialisation of the significance of this survey is an insult to the overwhelming voice of those who cared enough to respond. And on any measure, 2,441 is not a trivial amount of people. Imagine if even 20% of the 2,441 decided to show up to a council in session – that would be 488 eligible voters. Does council chamber even have capacity for that number? (**Note to The Record: If you want to use tricky math, don’t do it in a city full of people who love numbers and are armed with Google. It just makes you look bad, especially when you provided me with some of the data. Maybe next time you should consider that when you try to do your own analysis. But.. thanks?)

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