Monday, December 26, 2005

I Have A Question

Ever wonder who comes up with the questions on the opinion polls? To learn the answer, I highly recommend 'The Big Picture" by Alan Gregg, founder of Decima Research. He offers a few insights such as; people prefer to agree with a question than disagree, so the if your trying to sway the outcome in your favour, you word the question so the respondents will agree.

Also look for hidden assertions in the question; one I recall from several years ago was about condemning Israel for ‘illegally’ searching UN ambulances. No mention was made of the PLO using said ambulances for arms smuggling or fire bombing attacks, so the results condemned Israel, and an Anti-Israel headline was born.

Which brings me around to the point of this post; the ‘I’ word is trying to make a comeback. There is a concerted effort to have an impeachment question included in all current opinion polls, presumably to imply the President has done something which warrants impeachment.
Richard Morin: An impeachment demand from Ireland? Oh my gawd. Now I'm furious.

Let me explain.

For the past eight months or so, the major media pollsters have been the target of a campaign organized by a Democratic Web site demanding that we ask a question about impeaching Bush in our polls.

The Web site lists the e-mail addresses of every media pollster, reporters as well as others. The Post's ombudsman is even on their hit list.

The Web site helpfully provides draft language that can be cut-and-pasted into a blanket e-mail.

The net result is that every few months, when this Web site fires up the faithful with another call for e-mails, my mailbox is filled with dozens and dozens of messages that all read exactly the same (often from the same people, again and again). Most recently, a psychology professor from Arizona State University sent me the copy-and-paste e-mail, not a word or comma was changed. I only hope his scholarship is more original.

We first laughed about it. Now, four waves into this campaign,we are annoyed. Really, really annoyed.

Some free advice: You do your cause no service by organizing or participating in such a campaign. It is viewed by me and others with the same scorn reserved for junk mail. Perhaps a bit more.

That said. we do not ask about impeachment because it is not a serious option or a topic of considered discussion--witness the fact that no member of congressional Democratic leadership or any of the serious Democratic presidential candidates in '08 are calling for Bush's impeachment. When it is or they are, we will ask about it in our polls.

Enough, already.

Nothing ever happens by accident in politics. The CBC is doing it's darndest to keep the 'Hidden Agenda' meme alive in Canada, just by asking if there is one or referring to 'it' as a voter concern.

Italics Mine


At 9:27 PM, Blogger lecentre said...

Having taken research methods last semester, I can appreciate what you're talking about. Israel is regularly condemned by the UN, and the bloody organization does its best to screw the country. Nice to see people outside (I'm thinking) the Jewish community notice these things.


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