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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Friday, August 19, 2022
Ross’s Ramblings: Pubs, polls, potholes, politicians and flagpoles
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Especially during election campaigns, I get more than fed up with hearing continual polling results.

Whatever happened to asking questions on the streets or in the Valu-mart (oops, again) or going for a sip of beer in a pub? Go sip, listen to the gossip and make decisions based on the best available information gleaned.

Since George Horace Gallup, the inventor of Gallup polling, pioneered survey sampling techniques back in the mid-1900s, our worlds have changed. His statistical method of survey sampling for measuring public opinion became the gold standard of polling, according to 71 per cent of people surveyed. This result is accurate to within 4.6 percentage points, 92 per cent of the time. Give or take.

In Canada, we have Nanos Research. Founded by Nik Nanos. It provides daily polling numbers that we tend to believe are accurate 87.4 per cent of the time. On a personal note, because Mr. Nanos is always so perfectly attired and groomed, and is so handsome, I tend to consider him a bit of a know-it-all.

Electoral campaign info, gun control attitudes in Canada and what we think of Premier Doug Ford’s handling of the ongoing deadly global endemic. Wanna know how many Canadians in each age group regularly use social media? Nik Nanos knows!

Thank goodness our provincial election is this week. We will get a break from hearing poll results. Then, another election will be called at some level of government and we will head pollward again.

Rambling now to utility poles. A letter to the editor from David Scott last week commented strongly about our dangerous Concession Roads (north-south) and Lines (east-west) in Niagara. Our rural roads are accidents waiting to happen. Often horrible and tragic.

The next day, I was driving to Garage Pizza from Old Town, along Concession 6. The letter writer was right on. And, the road is newly paved, so drivers drive faster. A NOTL conundrum, eh?

Narrow roads, rough and potholed, patched with asphalt, no real shoulders, and fairly deep and dangerous ditches. Utility poles located about 15 inches from the roads we speed along. Folks, it is not a matter of “if” another fatality is going to happen, it is “when.”

Let me join Mr. Scott in asking our town council pols to do something, in this election year. Lower the speed limits to 70 or 60 or 50 kmh, and spot enforce the laws. Help save us from ourselves.

Now, to my favourite Poles. My friends, with roots in an incredibly resilient nation awkwardly located between Russia and Germany. Since high school, and after reading James Michener’s classic novel, appropriately named “Poland,” I have loved Poles. For the past decade or so, I only have drunk Polish beer in their honour. And Oast House Barnraiser.

Let me ramble awkwardly to the Munich Olympic Village in 1972. I was working and living, and yes, playing in the village food service facilities for three months. What an experience in so many ways.

One afternoon a strong and handsome athlete walked into our area of the cafeteria, wearing his red and white Polska track suit. He was awkwardly carrying a 15-foot vinyl bag, about five inches in diameter.

Intuitively and in a friendly manner, I asked, “Are you a pole vaulter?”

Extending his right hand, he replied, “I am Polish, but my name is not Valter. I am Janusz.”

Ba Da Boom.

Now, in the future I may ramble about a flagpole in Queen’s Royal Park.