To the Editor:
At the end of every "Gilchristian" meeting last season, Lee County requested that a consensus of islanders' opinions as to parking on Gilchrist be sent to the county commission. It seemed every meeting closed with a debate on just what is a consensus.
By definition the word consensus is a majority of opinion, general agreement or concord; or harmony.
If you attended one of these meetings, you soon learned that there is no harmony in this island melody. Sides have been taken.
One group says we need parking on Gilchrist, the other says "not in my front yard."
Now a new group comes forward bearing gifts – the gift of knowledge, certainly – all wrapped up in a poll (in the form of a push poll, but a poll nonetheless).
By definition a poll is a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject taken from either a selected or random group or persons as for the purpose of analysis. A push poll is a seemingly unbiased survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular opinion, and disseminates slanted information. In other words, a question would be phrased, "Did you choose to buy property on Gasparilla Island because of its laidback lifestyle, or did you choose to visit Gasparilla Island because of its laidback lifestyle?"
A neutral pollster would ask, "Do you live on or visit Gasparilla Island and drive a car?"
Polls are taken so people know what to say. Push polls are taken so people can say what they want to say.
Skip PerryBoca Grande
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