Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Poll Crunch

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  • Gareth Ward,

    Tax simplicity is nice. Drowning the government in the bathtub so you can give a couple of billion to the rich isn't.

    Indeed - the numbers in front of those three percentage signs in his tax table aren't the right ones (nor the thresholds at which they apply), but the concept of three tax tiers, income splitting etc are ones I support.
    Not enough to vote that hair in, of course...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    If the gift of rhetoric consists of the ability to take what from anyone else would sound sappy and hokey cliché and turn it into inspiration and belief then my goodness, that Obama has the gift.

    Just watched the video - he's preaching! Reckon he got a rocket from his granny this weekend about Bringing It On??

    And speaking of rhetoric, what is the Greek word for what he's doing in that speech? (Apart from logic, I mean). It's a little bit epistrophe, a little bit antithesis... a dollop of procatalepsis... I love it, I want to see it broken down line by line (like diagramming Palin's sentences but the opposite). He is such an excellent rhetorician.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    And I also suspect he has received an assurance as to the future of the Families Commission. I've got no problem with that at all.

    Not everyone thinks National intends to keep the status quo on the Families Commission.

    FTA:

    Speaking to a gathering organised by anti-gay Family First, National party leader John Key said he would abolish the Commission, and instead fund faith-based and other services.

    The article was published on the 23rd, so is perhaps out of date. One possibility is that Key has flipflopped, another is that they did a deal, resulting in Dunne's support. Russell, as you said in post when Dunne got his families commission, as long as United Future don't get to define what a family is, then the commission will be a Good Thing.

    I'm concerned that, in the light Key's apparent desire to devolve the FC to less-than-liberal groups, perhaps this means that the definition of "family" will mean nuclear only. That would be very unfortunate.

    As for the Maori Party, here's how a deal with National could work:

    1. MP has the balance of power
    2. The drive a hard bargain with both Labour and National and in the end, National will do "whatever it takes" to gain the treasury benches
    3. MP get serious concessions, a number of Ministerial positions and support for entrenchment of the seats, plus a number of ringfences around important policies that National won't touch.
    4. They go back to the people and do an excellent job of selling the benefits vs whatever paltry goodies Labour offered
    5. The hui see a chance for some serious policy gains, so sign up
    6. MP can then claim a mandate for their post-election negotiations via the hui process.

    The interesting thing is that the hui are open to anyone on the Maori roll, not just MP members.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    And speaking of rhetoric, what is the Greek word for what he's doing in that speech? (Apart from logic, I mean). It's a little bit epistrophe, a little bit antithesis... a dollop of procatalepsis... I love it,

    I don't know what half these words mean but I know I like it...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Wrap your laughing gear around more of it here. It's yummy stuff. I just wish I could remember all of them at once.

    I think procatalepsis is my favourite, though.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Fantastic, now if I can just get my Minister to use some of this stuff... meh, won't play in Penrith I 'spect.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Kudos to whoever at TVNZ was paying attention after the last farce, told Mark (Mo'licious) Sainsbury to plug in his spine and do his fraking job, and I can only presume had the riot act read in the green room. Not so sure anyone said anything worth listening to, but at least it could be heard.

    And did you notice Winston's mic volume coming back up every now and then, after it had obviously been turned down? Though not the couple of times he coughed loudly over the top of Jeanette Fitzsimons.

    I'd rather the moderator could just control which mic was un-muted and the others were automatically off. If I want interjections, I'll listen to Question Time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    Can anyone explain to me why the reporting of NZ polls don't mention the undecideds? I find this really weird and a distortion of the results.

    Look, for example, at the One News Colmar Brunton Oct 4-9. The undecideds in electorate vote rose by 5% to 17%. And rose again last week to 19%. But that doesn't get a mention.

    Isn't that significant?

    How can one write a headline or news story predicting outcomes when 19% of those polled are undecided about who they'd give their electorate vote to?

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Re undecided voters: polling companies normally assign undecided voters to parties in the same proportions as the decided voters: that is, they use what is known to predict the unknown.

    Deborah mentioned this over at the don't bother thread. It may help , but I think it's suck for it not to be included just as is.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    that was my thinking. undecideds can jump any old way - I think that to just lump 'em in proportionally is very odd.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    that was my thinking. undecideds can jump any old way - I think that to just lump 'em in proportionally is very odd.

    Not sure what else you can do - they just form part of the margin of error calculation. Is there data on what undecideds have historically done?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And did you notice Winston's mic volume coming back up every now and then, after it had obviously been turned down? Though not the couple of times he coughed loudly over the top of Jeanette Fitzsimons.

    Are you sure that was Winston? I was rather surprised at what a cock Jim Anderton was being on occasion -- interjecting, having an exchange with a third party (loud enough to be picked up by his mic) while someone else was speaking.

    I'd rather the moderator could just control which mic was un-muted and the others were automatically off. If I want interjections, I'll listen to Question Time.

    ITA, Sacha. I suggested elsewhere that the next round of "live" election debates should be put on a fifteen second delay, like talkback radio. Then the paricipants get these simple ground rules: Interject, you get one civil 'cease and desist' warning. The second, your microphone gets turned off and you miss your next speaking slot. Three strikes, you're out.

    But I'm still up for electrifying the podiums next time around. I understand there are certain practical and legal issues involved, but if you're going to act like a feral animal you should expect to be treated like one. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Not sure what else you can do

    You can always list them as undecideds, as they do in the US of A.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Three strikes, you're out.

    I advocate water pistols. Or maybe just pistols.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I advocate water pistols. Or maybe just pistols.

    Better still, threaten to push the play button on this:

    http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You can always list them as undecideds, as they do in the US of A.

    Right, but if it's your intention to predict an outcome, undecided is not one of the options selected at the polling booth by those kind of numbers, so you have to work out how to project their behavior. What other way is there to do it than split them on proportion? Their numbers should definitely be noted and reported though, I agree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Right, but if it's your intention to predict an outcome, undecided is not one of the options selected at the polling booth by those kind of numbers, so you have to work out how to project their behavior. What other way is there to do it than split them on proportion?

    Er... liist them as undecideds? The Research 2000 poll in the US today tells me that Obama is leading McCain 50 to 42. That tells me where the race is and how many people currently support the two candidates, within the margin of error, etc. If OTOH you tell me that National has 51 per cent of the support of voters when in actual fact it's only bagged, say, 45 per cent of them, than the reporting of the poll is silly. It's already an imprecise science, let's not make it more so by arbitrarily deciding how undecided voters are going to behave.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    well there's predicting outcomes and there's admitting that you don't quite know because 20% of the population doesn't know.

    That would change the way a story is written... instead of "National leads" or whatever, it would be:

    "while xx may be xx points ahead, the outcome of the election remains wide open due with 19% of the electorate undecided."

    Saying that one party is way ahead of another, when 19% is undecided, is completely misleading. Some people might decide not to vote because it looks like a done deal...

    at the very least, it's lazy reporting.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    sorry, typo alert

    "..remains wide open with 19%..."

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Are you sure that was Winston? I was rather surprised at what a cock Jim Anderton was being on occasion -- interjecting, having an exchange with a third party (loud enough to be picked up by his mic) while someone else was speaking.

    Yes, Anderton was the unimpressive culprit later, but I'm sure it was Winnie with the smoker's hacking.

    I did love the Aro Valley water pistol approach, but surely just make sure the mics are set to only pick up the person at each podium not their neighbours, and switch off all but one at a time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    gio I'm not sure if we're talking at cross purposes. When you take a poll with the intention of trying to make a prediction you have to extrapolate the missing information. You should of course say your margin of error, and other details about how the poll is taken, but ultimately it's about making a call on the final numbers, not 80% of the numbers.

    For instance you don't say, "Well, only 1000 people answered the poll so we really don't know anything about what the other 4.x million people in NZ think". You extrapolate their answers to the entire population. That's a perfectly acceptable thing to report. It's not misleading, it's just a prediction that could be wrong. The outcome of the election is of course THE most wanted prediction.

    I don't know exactly how they could make such an extrapolation that would be more accurate because I don't know exactly what data has been kept on the movements of the undecided historically. In the absence of information, the assumption that the undecided will mirror the decided in proportion is not a particularly bad one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    gio I'm not sure if we're talking at cross purposes. When you take a poll with the intention of trying to make a prediction you have to extrapolate the missing information.

    I don't see why. In the US - where the reporting on such things is a lot more sophisticated, it has to be said - the public is fed polls that specify the number of undecideds. There's even talk about which pollsters "lean" on undecideds more heavily to make them fall one way or the other. But an undecided voter is an undecided voter. Can New Zealanders not be trusted with that kind of information?

    Suppose that you had 1000 respondents 997 of whom said that they are undecided (which is very different from a refusal to answer the poll question), 2 of whom said that they're voting Labour and one of whom said that she's voting National. Would you publish a poll saying that Labour is on 66% and National on 33%?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Gio, I would indeed say that. I'd also mention the large error ratio. But in absence of information, and wanting a prediction, what other result would you pick?

    I don't think we're not trusted with the information. I think it's more a case that most people are not so picky about the details.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm more concerned by journos taking changes that are within the margin of error and spinning a story about support going up or down since the last poll. Bless the Loess!

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    It's certainly an issue for a range of businesses if people who have their health and employment and aren't crippled by debt or negative equity stop spending money.

    stop spending money???
    that's just outrageous!
    healthy people, employed people, not-severely-indebted people,
    suddenly decide to stop spending money for no reason other than all that gloomy economic news?
    how utterly irresponsible can you get?!
    don't they know that if everyone just decided to stop spending money, the whole frigging economy would grind to a halt?
    it's the height of selfish behaviour, imnsho.
    you would certainly think that if the media have incited such antisocial behaviour among the masses of economically robust consumers, well, let's just hope that someone calls this fear-mongering media to account.
    ffs, don't they know that it's their solemn duty to the country to rah-rah real estate prices, NO MATTER WHAT!
    won't someone please think of the real estate agents and mortgage brokers.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 646 posts Report Reply

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