Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Opus 2015-191: Headlines: Surprise, Lies

The title on the Telegraph website grabbed my attention:  “Why did the polls get it wrong at the general election? Because they lied”.  I always love it when I see something I totally agree with.

The author is examining why the polls are so wrong so often.  His context is the recent victory by the Conservatives in Great Britain.  He first examines the pollsters excuses and gives them some credibility.  Then he gets down to the root of the problem:  They lie.

The article explains a phenomenon called “herding”.  By it the author means that the different polling companies converge on a certain point so that none of them will be glaringly wrong and held to account for being wrong.  They conform to avoid losing influence.  This comes just before the election.  Okay, I can see that but what he also points out is the place they converge is often wrong and I believe it is usually “wrong” to the advantage of the more liberal candidate.

This brings another meaning to “herding”, one that I think is even more accurate.  It is an attempt by the pollsters to “herd” the population to the conclusion they want to see.  People want to be on the winning side.  If you can convince them that the liberal is going to win you can get a certain number of sheep to vote that way when they get to the polls.  If you can convince people the cause is lost you can get them to not vote at all as happened when the media called Florida for Al Gore.

He gives the example in Iowa of the race between Joni Ernst, Republican, and Bruce Braley, Democrat.  The polls ended up ranging from 1 point in favor of the Democrat to 4 points in favor of the Republican.  The final vote was 8.5 in favor of the Republican.  I remember seeing the same thing when Ronald Reagan was running for president.  Right up to the day of the election the press and polls kept telling us that Reagan was behind and could not lose.  He produced a strong win. 

Why are so many polls wrong?  The headline of this article gets it right, they lie.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.