City of Red Deer Citizen Satisfaction Survey is off mark

On Aug.15 the City of Red Deer released its annual Citizen Satisfaction Survey, claiming 98 per cent of citizens rated their quality of life as good to very good. The report also goes onto say that the results are used to measure the quality of city services compared to tax dollars.

On Aug.15 the City of Red Deer released its annual Citizen Satisfaction Survey, claiming 98 per cent of citizens rated their quality of life as good to very good. The report also goes onto say that the results are used to measure the quality of city services compared to tax dollars.

While it’s great to hear Red Deer is doing well as a city, it’s also important to know that this 98 per cent came from 300 citizens, only 0.303 per cent of Red Deer’s population (300/99000×100), hardly a representative size.

The survey was “conducted over the phone by Ipsos between July 8 and 31, 2016, with a randomly selected sample of 300 Red Deer residents aged 18 years or older.”

Random-digit dialing phone surveys, as recognized by statisticians, are filled with errors as they do not give an equal chance of all geographic areas being represented equally, they have a very low response rate, and most importantly they do not have face to face interaction that could help determine they mood of the person being surveyed.

The city should really rethink how they are administering these surveys and start changing them so they actually give accurate results that will help in future planning.

What worries me is the fact the city council is basing its decisions for the entire city on what 99.7 per cent of its population has not given their opinion on.

Stephen Radu, Red Deer

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