all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

09 May, 2011

On the Unreliability of Polls

Vox populi habet aliquid divinum.—Bacon*

When a clear majority of the people opposes the Government’s planned “carbon” tax, for the ABC, that means that there is uncertainty:  “Australians unsure of carbon tax”.

(from Insiders)
Transcript of Barrie Cassidy asking a leading question of an obliging panel, 
Sunday, 8 May, 2011: 

Barrie Cassidy:  The latest poll showed that Australians are unsure about the carbon tax, with an uninformed 60% opposed to a carbon tax, with only 30% wisely, sensibly and correctly in favour.  The question was, “Do you support a carbon tax?”  How distortingly biassed!  Of course the ignorant mob answered incorrectly!  What—as, of course, should have been the case—if the pollsters had asked, “Don’t you support the essential but slight taxing (which won’t affect you at all) of the thousand naughtiest companies polluting the atmosphere with a gas which, though constituting much less the one per cent of the atmosphere, is essential to life on the planet, because a score or so pseudo-scientists, backed by loopy environmentalist groups, want to destroy western industrialisation—I mean, wish to save the planet?  Yes or no.”?  As it is, now, the media will inaccurately report that many Australians oppose this marvellous, necessary carbon tax!  With what result?  The evil polluters will keep on polluting!  Isn’t that plainly wrong? 
George Megalogenis:  Absolutely!  When people were asked whether they supported the war in Iraq, they weren’t asked a proper question, such as, “Isn’t the war in Iraq a bad, nasty, evil idea which all good people rightly oppose?”, they were just asked, “Do you support the war in Iraq?”! 
Brian Toohey:  The question should include compensation, which is so generous it won’t punish running-dog capitalists who laugh maniacally as they spew evil carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, dooming us all to increased floods, droughts, heat and cold!  Yet, people will hardly notice the tax after they’ve been compensated!
 Nikki Savva:  No, I agree that polluters won’t be punished, and I’m the token conservative!

Note that Barrie Cassidy has never before criticised pollsters for their incompetent surveys or their push-polling questions, exemplified by this.

Instauratio Magna, Part I, Book vi, 9. 
†  all right, this transcription may not, in spots, be completely accurate.

No comments: