Polls Should be Banned During Elections - ehMac.ca
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Polls Should be Banned During Elections

I just watched a CTV news report, and the "meat" of the election coverage was an interview of a pollster. Aside from talking about numbers, he then started to express his opinion. I believe that polls should be banned during elections. News should be about what the candidates say, not about how people intend to vote. We should be able to come to conclusions about candidates and parties without being "told" about other's intentions or opinions based on small samples.

I also feel that reporting about polls decreases the incentive for people to vote. Some might think that since the outcome is "decided," based on polling numbers, there is no reason for them to make an effort to cast a ballot.

The only poll that counts is the election itself.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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May as well ban campaigning as well--since each party claims to have the election in the bag.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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I disagree 100% with the precept of the original post. Polls are useful to thinking voters in assessing the impact of candidates' statements and policy. I personally want all the data I can get to help me structure my vote. But I take it upon myself to evaluate and prioritise each source. Polls themselves have little value unless one takes the time to know who is actually being polled. It is easy to structure questions within a poll to give a desired outcome.

I do agree however that news organisations lean too heavily on polls for content. This is a failure of general journalism (as opposed to individual journalists) in that there is little serious effort at news gathering. It is much easier to just call up a few pollsters than it is to go out and hunt up representative individuals and groups and study their reactions. Polls are just an easy answer - they have value but should not be used as the only source.

I think the OP's issue is with CTV, etc. rather than with polling itself.

Definitely yes, the election is the poll that counts.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgray View Post

I think the OP's issue is with CTV, etc. rather than with polling itself.
I don't have an issue specifically with CTV, anymore than concerns about reporting by other networks, or local media. Generally, interviewing pollsters is low journalism; they are not the source of news. Why not interview the cameramen? Of course the journalists always add their two cents worth (and that's being generous!). No, my issue is with reporting polls during election campaigns.

Again, what about the impact of polls on the incentive to cast a ballot?

A discussion about the quality of journalism should be part of another thread.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kleles View Post
I don't have an issue specifically with CTV, anymore than concerns about reporting by other networks, or local media. Generally, interviewing pollsters is low journalism; they are not the source of news. Why not interview the cameramen? Of course the journalists always add their two cents worth (and that's being generous!). No, my issue is with reporting polls during election campaigns.

Again, what about the impact of polls on the incentive to cast a ballot?

A discussion about the quality of journalism should be part of another thread.
Polls don't affect me personally one way or the other.

For a more comprehensive response, you should probably have a poll.

Derailment: I wish reporters would stick to reporting the news - who, what, when, where (and if known) why. I'm really sick of editorializing masquerading as 'reporting'. This is especially irksome when a news reader on TV news feels obligated to make some commentary at the end of a news report from someone out in the field.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #6
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Polls are the legitimate expressions of the interests and opinions of those polled. Banning polls would be banning free speech.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
Polls are the legitimate expressions of the interests and opinions of those polled. Banning polls would be banning free speech.

Once again, we agree here. Of course, I personally am not swayed by such polls, and always rejoice in when they are wrong. Paix, mon ami.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #8
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Polls suck and are a distraction.

Banning polls is even more sucktastic and ridiculous.


'nuff said.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #9
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And now from Monty Python's Argument skit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
Polls are the legitimate expressions of the interests and opinions of those polled. Banning polls would be banning free speech.
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 09:49 PM   #10
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Please don't insult me. I responded to your post with a thoughtful opinion.
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