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Magda Hassan
10-27-2009, 02:26 AM
ANSTO poll goes radioactive, quietly changes no to yes

Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane (http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=89b30e5b-28e3-4178-afb2-7b1958e16b19&rid=9ba820e1-35b2-457d-b337-af5c15e2c3f9) writes:
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has been caught out trying to manipulate a web poll on its own web site.
On Friday Crikey noted that ANSTO had run a poll on its web page for the question "Should nuclear power be a part of Australia's future energy mix?" which that day had votes "against it" running way ahead of support.
Thursday and Friday saw a big spike in traffic to the site, perhaps because nuclear opponents were drawing attention to it and urging people to vote. "I am against it" went further ahead.
But sometime over the weekend, someone at ANSTO changed the poll, removing "Iím against it" and replacing it with "It is one of the options".
This prompted a flurry of emails to ANSTO this morning from enraged nuclear opponents angry that the outcome of the poll had been entirely reversed.
Crikey asked ANSTOís media manager Sharon Kelly what had happened. According to Kelly, ANSTOís web manager Peter Hindmarsh amended the poll without authorisation over the weekend because of the "Against It" vote spike. It has now been altered again, with "It is one of the options" replaced with "No", rather closer in meaning to the original option, with an explanation of why it was changed.
Prior to Crikeyís call, Hindmarsh had responded to emails of protest about the change by saying he would "manually add your vote to the existing 'no' count, when I summarise at the end of the month."
"This is a small but perfect example of the dishonesty that surrounds the 'debate' about nuclear power in Australia," Greens spokesman on nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam said.
"ANSTO ran a popularity poll on their website, which they lost comprehensively. Instead of learning something, they decided to turn a 'no' into a 'yes'. What a perfect symbol for the way the larger nuclear power debate is being run in Australia."
Iím relatively agnostic about nuclear power. Ross Garnaut summed the issue up best in the Climate Change review last year when he noted that, given we donít have a nuclear industry and itíll take a massive investment in infrastructure and skills to get one going, we should concentrate on areas like renewables where we already have a developing industry. But thereís also a disingenuousness about many nuclear advocates on the issue. Itís ironic that many of them hail from the Right, which normally harbours deep suspicions of big government and supports privatisation of public utilities, despite the fact that nuclear power would require massive public funding and the re-entry of government into power generation, even when holdouts like the NSW and Queensland Governments are looking to exit the industry.
And dodgy web polls donít exactly aid their cause.

Felicity Hill
Research and Policy Adviser,
Senator Scott Ludlam
Australian Greens Senator for WA


ANSTO turn nuclear poll "NO" into "YES"
Monday, 26 October 2009

The Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has been caught out blatantly lying over the results of its own survey which showed overwhelming rejection of nuclear power by Australians.

"ANSTO deliberately fudged an online poll to appear as if respondents voted in favour of nuclear power in Australia," Australian Greens Spokesperson on nuclear issues, Senator Scott Ludlam said this morning.

"Up until the weekend (Sun 25 Oct) the poll was running 3-1 against nuclear power. ANSTO simply changed the words "I am against it" option to read "It is one of the options," without resetting the poll numbers. Voila - manufactured consent for nuclear power.

"After howls of protest from irate respondents and calls from journalists, ANSTO changed the poll again, allowing people to register a simple "No".

"This is a small but perfect example of the dishonesty that surrounds the "debate" about nuclear power in Australia," Senator Ludlam said.

"Instead of hearing the clear message coming through in its own survey, ANSTO turned a 'no' into a 'yes'. What an appropriate symbol for the way
the whole nuclear power debate is being run in Australia.

"ANSTO chair Ziggy Switkowki has been a persistent advocate for nuclear power, even though we're told it is against Government policy. It is
time Minister Kim Carr stepped in and clarified to ANSTO - and the public - what that policy is.

"The dishonest act brings into question any so-called surveys or reports stemming from ANSTO or any other nuclear advocates trying to propagate the idea that Australians are warming to the idea of nuclear energy."

From an email to me but I think this is the link:http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/10/26/ansto-poll-goes-radioactive-quietly-changes-no-to-yes/