Saturday, July 26, 2008

Allan Bruinooge begins to fix the KLRVU page

To resume. A clumsy automated-poll about the Morgentaler Order of Canada led an Unrepentant Old Hippy to KLRVU Research, and KLRVU turned out to be a phone-spam company run by Allan Bruinooge, brother of a Conservative MP, who seems well-connected to the Conservative establishment in Manitoba.

KLRVU Why participate(20080725morning)KLRVU Why participate? (20080725) In an effort to make his company seem more substantial, and the poll (one assumes) more trustworthy, Mr. Bruinooge put together a webpage, but in haste.  The url was only registered a few days before the poll was released, and the webpage itself appeared only after bloggers began to ask questions about KLRVU.   

Some of the claims in the webpage were exaggerated, such as the concerning his membership in a professional organization. And one of KLRVU's pages was plagiarized from an American company.

There's a lot to be embarassed about here. To his credit, however, Mr. Bruinooge has spent today trying to clean up the mess he created. Unfortunately, he hasn't done a very good job of it. He has rewritten some of the text to remove the plagiarism. But he has not got it all, and what is left is a frightful mess: ungrammatical, incoherent, and unfocused. (You can see its current state by clicking the image on the right; its earlier state is to the left.)

One paragraph is especially problematic -- one that we looked at earlier.
I don't want to seem harsh, but this is appallingly bad. The sentence underlined in red is ungrammatical and nonsensical. The sentences in blue are still verbatim from the SurveyUSA page, but their context is changed enough that they 'dangle'. The sentence underlined in green has a comma splice and contradicts the red sentence, according to which phone-numbers come from database companies, not Info Canada.

Info Canada (pink arrows) is new. In the original plagiarized version (above and to the right) called the company "Infolist Canada" (which doesn't seem to exist); in the SurveyUSA page (above and to the left) from which this page was plagiarized the American company SSI was mentioned here. InfoCanada, however, is a real company (see here), a subsidiary of InfoUSA, and (like its parent company) seems to be a spam-supply company. (The description of InfoCanada as "the largest and most respectable provider…" is still verbatim from the InfoUSA site.)

Finally, turning to the final sentence. Does any of this make any sense? The original sentence in the SurveyUSA page praised SSI for its skill is here:
And, of course, you can see that there is still some plagiarism here.

You might ask, however, why this matters. So let me get straight to the point. If Mr. Bruinooge cannot present his company in a clear way without error, should we trust him to gather, analyze, and report public opinion accurately? The fact that the results of his Mortgentaler poll resulted in almost the exact opposite of the results of two other polls on this question, both done by polling companies with proven track records, raises the question whether he didn't make errors in it like he's done in this web-page: simple errors of transcription that completely foul up the text.