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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NZ Herald Digi Poll can kiss both cheeks of my smooth pale butt

Now that pleasant image is in everyones mind, who on earth believes the Herald Digi Poll?

Three months before the election, the Labour Party's support has dropped again in the Herald-DigiPoll survey to its lowest this term. Labour's support dropped among decided voters by almost two points to 31.5 per cent - its second lowest since 1999.

I don't believe most of what the NZ Herald prints, why on earth would i believe their bullshit cheap brainfart telephone polls with their failed landline methodology? This is the VERY SAME NZ Herald Digi Poll that was proclaiming a year ago to the month that Len Brown and John Banks were neck and neck, that election turned into a Lenslide. Len Brown ended up whipping John Banks, it was neck and neck the way Aboriginal life expectancy is neck and neck with that of white Australians. The Herald made that claim a year ago this month, why believe a word that drips from their mainstream media corporate bias mouths?

The NZ Herald has increasingly become the cheerleader in chief of the National Party; that they come out with polls using questionable landline methodology which last time had them claiming Banks and Brown were neck and neck should be as unsurprising as Colonel Gaddafi's insistence that he's done nothing wrong.

The NZ Herald's cult of no personality fawning over John Key is to Journalism what Fox News is to credibility. Giving a National Party online propagandist like David Farrar, the bore of Babylon, an unchallenged platform to peddle his soft sell dog whistles in an election year, has all the charm of a road accident.

The mainstream media are using these polls not to reflect public opinion, but to manipulate public opinion, and when it isn't doing that then it's drowning out any real debate about the main issues of the day with manufactured Rugby World Cup chatter.

You would think now that bloody 'Happy Feet' has been sent home that the media might start to focus on why we have 210 000 NZ children in poverty when the 150 wealthiest families gained $7billion in one year, but I suspect our children in poverty aren't cute enough for the News Producers who are attempting to gain ratings via soft entertainment pap rather than speak truth to power. I wouldn't be surprised if the Walrus of News, Mark Sainsbury actually does a live cross from Antarctica to interview the female Penguins Happy Feet might be screwing to see if wedding bells are being planned, because if they are, TVNZ will carry the penguin wedding live with commentary by Dame Jenny Shipley who will note throughout the ceremony how wonderful it would be if China could buy more of the country.

THANKFULLY some are awake and challenging our mainstream media's utter lack of balance, Bryan Gould yesterday...

With three months to go before our own election, I look in vain for that kind of debate.

The deficiency is likely to get worse during the World Cup.

It is not good enough to say that opposition politicians are not heard because they have nothing to say. How do we know?

No one can blame Key for using his charm and like ability to the best advantage. The concern is whether the media have become so used to it that they are now constrained by it as well.

No one needs persuading of Key's value to his party and Government, and it is inevitable and right that he should play a major part. But a strong and effective government needs more than a single foundation stone.

The Prime Minister's dominance, paradoxically, weakens his Government and - by constraining the scope of the political debate - diminishes our democracy as well.

...and then Brian Edwards stepped it up even further...

Is John Key such an inspirational leader that he deserves to enjoy the support of 57% of New Zealand voters? Is Phil Goff such a hopeless leader that he deserves the support of only 8% of New Zealand voters? Has the National Party’s record in office been so impressive that it deserves to enjoy the support of 56% of New Zealand voters, including one might surmise, a significant number of Labour defectors? And has the Labour opposition been so feeble that it deserves the support of only 30% of New Zealand voters?

Well, if the polls are right – and there is no great difference between one and another – then the answer to all of these questions would seem to be Yes. But are they right? The extremity of their findings – the adulation of John Key and the seeming invisibility of Phil Goff; National having twice as much support as Labour – seems curious, given the parlous state of the economy, the high level of unemployment and the near-Third-World conditions in which so many of our citizens, both adults and children, are currently living.

As a nation we seem to have closed our eyes to these realities, so dazzled are we by the luminance of the Prime Minister. The mirror image of ourselves as a people which the polls present seems to me less than flattering. Are we really a nation more impressed by style than substance? Are we really that shallow?

It seems that we are. It surely can be no coincidence that Key’s rating as ‘preferred Prime Minister’ is virtually identical to National’s rating as preferred party to govern. In the minds of Key’s supporters, leader and party are one and indivisible.

Attacking the messenger is never a good look, and arguing that the polls may be wrong invariably suggests sour grapes. But a couple of things are at least worth noting. The good or bad news which the polls bring each month reflects the answers given by around 1,000 people to questions put to them by professional pollsters. The so-called ‘margin of error’ is a little over 3%. Statistically speaking, the polls should be reasonably accurate.

However, a problem arises from the fact that the information is gathered exclusively by landline. This creates a bias in the poll results, since people on lower incomes – the non-working, working and lower-middle classes – tend not to have landlines, relying instead on (frequently pre-paid) mobile phones. The same is true of students and younger people in general. You can’t text on a landline.

The mainstream media are broadcasting for their interests, not ours. Tune into Happy Feet at 7pm and decide for yourself.

Sleepy hobbits reap what they sow.



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