Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 18 October 2012

The Paterson poll: I’ll suspend my disbelief

I think an opinion poll ought to be conducted about whether or not people think opinion polls serve any useful purpose. What brought this thought to mind was the telephone poll about Saturday’s ACT election, conducted between 11th and 14th October by the Patterson Research Group on behalf of The Canberra Times and whose predictions were splashed across The Times’ front page today Thursday 18th October and constantly broadcast.

I have no doubt the poll was conducted properly although I did find it odd that of the 1204 voters polled the number polled in Canberra’s biggest electorate, Molonglo, was smaller than the number of polled in the two samller electorates. I also found it odd, that in these days of high tech and almost instant publishing, that the poll results weren’t published until a few days before the election.

This means that people over the four days of the poll many people polled were unaware of the policies that came out after the 14th.
This also raises the question: would the answers from responder to the poll have been the same had they known what these policies were as the account around the published result was almost an invitation to jump on a particular political bandwagon? Don’t believe me? Read the reports then make up your own mind.

And another thing: why weren’t the leaders of the Australian Motorist Party, the Marion Lé Social Justice Party and the Liberal Democratic Party also invited to the leaders’ discussion on the ABC this morning? Is the media now becoming the arbiter of who should be heard?

And another question.: are the major parties, once small parties themselves, so afraid that an idea from one of the new small parties contesting this election, so grab the community’s attention that quickly it would become a threat to them?

In essence, Democracy, once touted as the panacea for all the world’s ills has taken, and is still, taking, a battering from the major political groups, whether in Australia, The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and nations that evolved from multi, ethnic, social, lingual, and religious roots. The effect: some of these groups became dominant and as we know now that dominance has led to major social problems.

I mention this if only to say that when people are voting on Saturday they should be able to vote on the basis of the ideas from all parties. In my view what should be avoided at all costs is to allow one group to become dominant in Canberra else, instead of leaving our children and grandchildren a good future, we might be leaving them a social battlefield.

Let’s do our best to avoid that.


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