POLITICS

Rick Mercer Rants On Polls (VIDEO)

09/26/2012 11:53 EDT | Updated 09/26/2012 11:54 EDT

Rick Mercer hates polls.

That's what viewers learned Tuesday night as Mercer delivered a rant aimed at the media's obession with polling.

Citing an unlikely survey (though it doesn't seem to exist on the Web) that found 50 per cent of Canadians are eating quinoa every day, Mercer asserts that today's pollsters are the modern-day equivalent of the Roman Augurs, who would study the entrails of sacrificed animals and the flight paths of birds to divine hints about the future.

"They would cut open a pigeon or a sheep and they’d look around in there and go, 'Oh, yeah, yeah, look at the liver, yes, definitely, the Green Party will sweep the riding of Upper Middle Nowhere,'" Mercern exclaims.

As proof of the unreliability of polls, Mercer references the recent elections in Alberta and Quebec, both of which turned out much differently than polls had predicted.

Mercer argues it's time for the media to stop putting polls on page one and begin putting then "in the back where they belong with the horoscopes and the jumbles."

While Mercer always makes a compelling case, recent reactions to polls on The Huffington Post Canada suggest reader interest may have something to do with preponderance of polling in the news these days.

A story on a poll released Tuesday which found more than one quarter of Canadians think Stephen Harper is the worst prime minister since 1968 has received nearly 3,000 Facebook likes since being posted. A piece on a poll from Monday which found half of Canadians disapprove of Harper has nearly 700 likes.

Regardless of how many polls miss the mark, as long as Canadians are interested in what they have to say the media will likely be there to publish them.

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