Banning polls in last week

FutureTaoiseach

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In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
 


ailish

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FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
Not a bad recommendation
 

michael1965

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FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
Personally, I think it would be better to educate people how to interpret opinion polls (and statistics in general) better. All school kids should be taught this kind of thing. And people would know to just ignore polls that don't include the parameters you mention above.

The difficulty with banning polls, is first how to define them, in such a way that you don't infringe on fairly basic rights, like freedom of speech.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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michael1965 said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
Personally, I think it would be better to educate people how to interpret opinion polls (and statistics in general) better. All school kids should be taught this kind of thing. And people would know to just ignore polls that don't include the parameters you mention above.

The difficulty with banning polls, is first how to define them, in such a way that you don't infringe on fairly basic rights, like freedom of speech.
Even liberal Western societies tend to have some limits on freedom of speech e.g. libel. I would contend that that portraying fake data as fact contravenes freedom of speech in certain cases, and would include unverified poll-data in that categorisation.
 

Wolverine

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For once we are in agreement.

Does anyone else think that polls are overused? Political discussion in this country now centres so much around who will get in, not what they will do when they become elected.
 

kerrynorth

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FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
They tried this prior to the last election but the legislation collapsed when it was pointed out in the Senate that the proposed legislation did not prevent polls being published on the day of the election!
 

FutureTaoiseach

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kerrynorth said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
They tried this prior to the last election but the legislation collapsed when it was pointed out in the Senate that the proposed legislation did not prevent polls being published on the day of the election!
Hardly an insurmountable obstacle.
 

michael1965

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FutureTaoiseach said:
Even liberal Western societies tend to have some limits on freedom of speech e.g. libel. I would contend that that portraying fake data as fact contravenes freedom of speech in certain cases, and would include unverified poll-data in that categorisation.
Fake data is one thing, but it's much more likely to be just unrepresentative and misleading.

I'd prefer to depend on responsible media to exercise caution. There is a case to be made for not having polls in the last few days. I think a week is too long though.

Do you have any examples of such fake data being used?
 

FutureTaoiseach

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michael1965 said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
Even liberal Western societies tend to have some limits on freedom of speech e.g. libel. I would contend that that portraying fake data as fact contravenes freedom of speech in certain cases, and would include unverified poll-data in that categorisation.
Fake data is one thing, but it's much more likely to be just unrepresentative and misleading.

I'd prefer to depend on responsible media to exercise caution. There is a case to be made for not having polls in the last few days. I think a week is too long though.

Do you have any examples of such fake data being used?
We can't know for sure, but the greatest suspected culprits have to be political-parties who have an interest in playing up their candidates' level of support. It's very hard to prove this for sure but there should nonetheless be safeguards to avoid the public being misled.
 

cyberianpan

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FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
So you are going to have censorship cos the voters might be stupid & fall for propaganda ?

cYp
 

meriwether

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Im in favour of banning opinion polls for the week in question- if only to keep FutureTaoiseach quiet for one week on this site.
Also, your second and third proposals are unenforcable. As Michael1965 said, its better to be aware that some polls are skewed, rather than banning said polling. If the Irish Independent wants to run a poll with a sample size of 112, and a margain of error of 25%, let em.
Also, how do you legislate to stop the banning of 'leaked polls'? Perhaps Journalists just shouldnt publish them. And also, its not just FG who do it (I noted you said "and others" but I dont think you really meant it).
So, proposal 1 has merit, proposals 2 + 3 are just legislating for the sake of legislating.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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cyberianpan said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
So you are going to have censorship cos the voters might be stupid & fall for propaganda ?

cYp
You don't have to be stupid to be misled.
 

meriwether

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michael1965 said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
Even liberal Western societies tend to have some limits on freedom of speech e.g. libel. I would contend that that portraying fake data as fact contravenes freedom of speech in certain cases, and would include unverified poll-data in that categorisation.
Fake data is one thing, but it's much more likely to be just unrepresentative and misleading.

I'd prefer to depend on responsible media to exercise caution. There is a case to be made for not having polls in the last few days. I think a week is too long though.

Do you have any examples of such fake data being used?
Also, sometimes polls can just be wrong. Sometimes shit happens. And polls may be correct at the time, but prove to be incorrect regarding the outcome. Its neither unrepresentative, misleading nor false.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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The French have a ban on polls in the last week for example. It has been shown it can be done and be practicable.
 

jady88

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FutureTaoiseach said:
cyberianpan said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
So you are going to have censorship cos the voters might be stupid & fall for propaganda ?

cYp
You don't have to be stupid to be misled.
true look at all those poor labour youth supporters...
 

cyberianpan

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FutureTaoiseach said:
cyberianpan said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
In the 1997 election, Labour party politicians complained about the publication of opinion-polls, and suggested banning them in the last week of a campaign. Recently we have seen the "leaking" of polls by FG and possibly others, usually without data that would allow us to confirm the veracity of such 'polls'. For example, we are usually not being told e.g. FG Wexford, Laois-Offaly, Dublin SW polls, the sample-size, the margin of error, and how proportional the results were regarding male/female, age-profile and concentration of voters in parts of the constituency. In that context, I believe that there is a risk of voters being misled. In that context I propose the following restrictions on the publication of polling-data:

A: No polls published in the last week of campaign.
B: Polls can only be published if with information confirming the scientificity of the poll i.e. sample-size, margin-of-error, when the poll was conducted, representative of social-profile of constituency.
C: Info on who carried out the poll.

Agreed?
So you are going to have censorship cos the voters might be stupid & fall for propaganda ?

cYp
You don't have to be stupid to be misled.
It helps...

Maybe you should ban all statements by everybody (except the candidates) about everything for say the week leading up to the election ?

cYp
 

FutureTaoiseach

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KingKane said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
The French have a ban on polls in the last week for example. It has been shown it can be done and be practicable.
you are aware that France is ...well, you know...another country. With a completely different legal system.
That is not pertinant to the question of polling which is arguably a moral question that people should have a period of reflection based on policies and events in the last few days without being distracted by titillation of possibly flawed opinion-polls.
 

michael1965

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FutureTaoiseach said:
KingKane said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
The French have a ban on polls in the last week for example. It has been shown it can be done and be practicable.
you are aware that France is ...well, you know...another country. With a completely different legal system.
That is not pertinant to the question of polling which is arguably a moral question that people should have a period of reflection based on policies and events in the last few days without being distracted by titillation of possibly flawed opinion-polls.
I'm not convinced. Polls have arguably a big effect in countries like UK and France, where their election systems are not as sophisticated as ours 8) There is little need for tactical voting here, due to STV. In the UK for example, it can make a big difference to know, as close as possible before polling day, whether your candidate has half a chance, or whether he's a no-hoper and you're better off voting tactically, to achieve some other aim.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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michael1965 said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
KingKane said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
The French have a ban on polls in the last week for example. It has been shown it can be done and be practicable.
you are aware that France is ...well, you know...another country. With a completely different legal system.
That is not pertinant to the question of polling which is arguably a moral question that people should have a period of reflection based on policies and events in the last few days without being distracted by titillation of possibly flawed opinion-polls.
I'm not convinced. Polls have arguably a big effect in countries like UK and France, where their election systems are not as sophisticated as ours 8) There is little need for tactical voting here, due to STV. In the UK for example, it can make a big difference to know, as close as possible before polling day, whether your candidate has half a chance, or whether he's a no-hoper and you're better off voting tactically, to achieve some other aim.
But that's the problem. The polls can mislead as to who is and is not a no-hoper. I don't think people should be misled so close to an election.
 


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