Allan Takes Aim Blog

Government by Opinion Polls

Posted on: 25 August 2009


Published 18 August “The Chronicle “Canberra

At present it seems Australia’s future is being determined by almost weekly opinion polls about which man is the most popular, Kevin Rudd or Malcolm Turnbull.

If Rudd polls higher than Turnbull, he gets anointed, at least for the week of that poll.

But as a week can be a lifetime in politics the final poll at election time will decide the outcome.

However, based on poll results the media will interpret the result in more ways than a mangy dog has fleas.

If Rudd polls lower this week than last, but not significantly, the media will call it a blip whereas if Turnbull polls higher, the media will say that while it improves his position as Coalition Leader it won’t improve his chance of becoming Prime Minister.

Such a task is not impossible but as Mr Rudd is keeper of the financial cookie jar and, due to a set of world wide financial occurrences that started in the US rather than on policies he announced at the last election, he has handed out cookies to help boost his popularity.

The result: he has consistently led the polls.

While that may be so the question is: will such polls show him retaining popularity when the global financial crisis is resolved and good government policy becomes the determining facto?

I wonder also how objective some polls are when questions often seem designed to give the desired answers.

 That having been said, the frequency of these polls also seems to have usurped the politicians’ job of speaking with voters face to face. Indeed with economics rapidly becoming the most important issue for every politician perhaps every PM will need to be an economist and be elected by popular vote.

Perhaps too, the process of electing the PM will be similar to that used by talent programmes with potential PM’s being invited to spruik their party piece on TV after which, viewers will be asked to ring the station and answer yes or no to which of them should become PM.

 That’s the future, but what of today?

In some ways the talent show process has started. Rudd and Turnbull regularly perform on TV – fortunately, as yet, neither has sung nor danced (give them time) and are asked questions by a host presenter with some questions focussed on personal likes and dislikes in food, sport, music and entertainment.

Silly as it sounds some viewers might vote for someone because he/she liked baked beans, followed soccer, preferred pop to classical music or film to theatre, looked good, had red hair, green eyes, a good body and voice or vote against them because they didn’t like their looks or personal tastes.

Cynical yes, but in my view, a good reason as to why opinion polls are leading to the devaluation of democracy.

Personally I prefer newspaper polls despite the efforts of some politically biased, influential, pompous, snobbish journalists and commentators on politics who try to influence the polls by conditioning voters, most of whom they regard as intellectual inferiors – if not dimwits- to vote for the party they, the commentators, want as Government.

Australia should count itself fortunate that some of the dimwits won’t allow themselves to be conditioned by these commentators.

Unfortunately as I wrote some time ago, dimwits would find it easier to level Mt Everest using pick, shovel and barrow, than make their views known.

And while web sites are potential avenues for making views known, more unfortunately unless a dimwit has sufficient money to set up, maintain and run one, it is an avenue only a few would be able to afford without the support of a benevolent sponsor.

 This leaves only letters to the editor or talk back radio as avenues for dissent.

And therein lies another problem. If the politics of the letters’ editor are opposite to that of the dimwits their hopes of getting a letter published might rate 4 on a scale of one to ten. The same applies to talk back radio programmes if the dimwits’ views are contrary to those of the producer or presenter.

Although some people won’t believe this I’m sure an opinion poll would say I’m right!

For Canberra’s best community news get “The Chronicle.” Published Every Tuesday

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2 Responses to "Government by Opinion Polls"

Still taking aim Don, good onya!

Surprisingly useful thank you, It looks like your trusty followers would possibly want a lot more details similar to this preserve the fantastic effort.

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