You Can Ask, But You Can’t Tell

By the middle of the 2007 General Election campaign, I was tired of polls, polling, pollsters. For the most part I lost track of who asked what and what were the responses. 

Some people followed the polls avidly, while others may have been passive recipients of the messages that formed part of the so-called complete campaign coverage, the media blitz.  Who could truly avoid the newspaper, television, radio and Internet for a month? 

Those strong in their voting convictions may not have been influenced by the findings of those polls, while others, tentative in their beliefs or undecided, may have been swayed. 

Why vote for this party when every one else seems to be voting for another? Why vote at all if it seems like this party’s win is a done deal? (A point of contention evident in CAPSU’s Post-Election Forum).

The polls did not (consciously) help me to make to my mind (subsconsciously is another matter).  They just told me what other people were thinking at a certain point in time. 

The polls were of use to the contenders as a “measure” of performance and were certainly used as another campaigning tool, a means of comparing one’s party, one’s self to another. 

Trinidad and Tobago General Election (2007) Lesson: If you did not like the results of the poll, then do your best to publicly bash the pollster and the methdology used without supporting proof, scientific or otherwise. 

In the aftermath of the Clinton shake-up in the New Hampshire primary (Obama had been pegged as the forerunner since his Iowa win), Slate Magazine’s Daniel Engber puts forward some interesting suggestions concerning polls. 

Read the full article here. 

If the reporting of the results of polls may have an effect on the public (potential voters), would it make sense to limit (when the polls are reported, how they are reported and for how long) the public’s exposure?  I had no idea that there were countries that had policies / laws to that effect.

I dunno – advertising has an effect on the public and it hasn’t been banned yet… 

Mango

 

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~ by mangoandmosquitoblog on January 14, 2008.

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