Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Polling a Dark Art?

Almost every other day we have a new poll trotted out for this or that. Most polls are political opinion polls. They are to gauge where the public is in thinking as far as voting intentions are and how they feel about their leaders.

I thinks polls namely political polls out of a writ period should be taken as a grain of salt. For the most part polls can be and are manipulated to obtain a certain result.

Alec Bruce points this out in this article.

The Dark Art of Polling

"So, it comes down to this: A poll, which is internally inconsistent, tells us exactly how we feel about the leaders we have elected and about whom we are profoundly ambivalent. We might as well hire plumbers to fix our leaky basements when the spring freshet corrodes our foundations and irrigates our nightmares with visions of greed, avarice and dissolution.

But, of course, this is what most polling is about. No company which masters this dark art practices it for free. There is always a "client" looking for an angle. And there's always a pollster willing to oblige."

Polls can be fun but don't take them seriously and make a big deal of them like the MSM likes to do. Particularly out of a writ period. The public simply doesn't pay attention until a writ is dropped and sometimes an individual can lie to a pollster therefore skewing the poll.

"Polls are for dogs." - former, Canadian Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker.