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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 6:50 am

Government And Public Polling- Good Or Bad?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:49 am

I recently came across this news article (please take a look at it), which discusses the use of polls by the Canadian government. The government launched an investigation into the polling practices of the previous government in order to discover wrong-doing, only to have their appointed independent investigator criticize their own polling practices. The article notes that "the government spent $31.2 million on opinion research in the last year -- more than any previous year and almost twice the $18 million spent on average during the [previous] Liberal years."

What are your thoughts on government usage of public polling? Is it a worthwhile expense to gauge the mood of the populous? Is it a waste of money due to the limitations of public polling? Does it contribute to a horse race mentality when discussing public policy?

I appreciate your responses.

edit. typo in topic.

[Edited 2008-01-07 21:57:03]
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: Government And Public Polling- Good Or Bad?

Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:16 pm

Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Thread starter):
What are your thoughts on government usage of public polling?

It's a bad idea.

what polling boils down to is a statistical analysis of data. A statistical analysis that can be made to say whatever someone wants it to say- any statistician will tell you the same thing.

This is why we have advisors and this is why people who give a shit should write their congressmen if they hear of something coming up for a vote that they care about. This is also why politicians need to be changed as often as diapers. Someone with much more than 10 years in politics has lost all touch with the real world.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.

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