Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Survey out from the Coalition of BC Businesses

The Coalition of BC Businesses have released a survey of 616 small businesses in BC about their attitudes towards different parties as the potential government in BC in 2013.   I feel this release is being misrepresented in the public as to what it really means.

First off this is not a poll, it is a survey and therefore does not represent a snapshot of the views of all small businesses.   The survey only represents the views of the 616 that responded.  The respondents were self selecting and a tiny portion of small businesses in BC.  It can not be used statistically to extrapolate to show anything.

I am concerned the fact the released survey uses lots of tables that look like they are from a proper randomized poll people will treat the results as being something much more than what they are.   NRG does make it clear it is a survey and the numbers only relate to the respondents, but from what I have seen online already this is not how it will play out in the media.

Second, who on this planet is surprised that when you ask small business owners if they are pessimistic about hiring and investment under an NDP government you would get the vast majority of them saying "yes"?   Since the 1940s a core part of the free-enterprise coalition in BC has been small business, there is a very strong partisan streak about small business owners and it is not friendly to the NDP.

Asking in  survey what seems to be obvious questions and then releasing it is not really what I would consider useful in moving the political debate.   I think this survey will only serve to create a large us versus them in BC.

On a personal level I do think an NDP government will likely make changes which make life harder for the business community in BC.  Most specifically I expect business taxes in BC to rise and for regulation to be increased.   Much more useful would be to get some economists to look at the impact of some of the probable changes that would impact business in BC under the NDP and try to quantify the impact of the changes.

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