On Friday, (Burnaby North-Seymour Liberal MP) Terry Beech sent me a postcard. I'm a PhD candidate in physics at SFU and my research and teaching work involves some statistics and data analysis and so I looked into the data provided on the postcard through that lens.
First, I have comment on the graph itself. When I mark lab reports, if I see a bar graph like Terry's graph, with the vertical axis starting at 15 and going to 30, it's an instant F. The only reason to set the axis that way is to manipulate the reader.
Second, I looked at the data source 338canada.com. It turns out this particular "data" uses no local polling information and is several weeks old. This is why the "data" has a party without a candidate, the Conservatives, in second place. Cherry-picking data to support your point, while ignoring other more recent and reliable data, is another manipulation that will get you an F.
Third, the whole premise of this postcard is that we need to vote strategically. In 2015, Terry promised this would be the last election under first past the post. He lied. Instead of being accountable for his actions, now he's using his own failure to promote his re-election.
These types of lies and manipulations are what turn people off politics. Rather than talk about policies and issues that matter to Burnaby-North Seymour residents, Terry has chosen to fear-monger about strategic voting because a party that can't win because it has no candidate, might win.
Derek Sahota, Burnaby
Editor's note: Terry Beech was asked by the NOW to comment on the mailer after seeing it. A copy of Beech's response is pictured above if you click on the photo.