taxpayer funded push-polling …

This questionnaire championed by the ABC is just like the rest of their rubbish, (exception here) highly partisan, but it is designed for you not to notice as you go through the motions. Michael Smith:  Another considered, purposeful contribution from the ABC – helping voters to make correct choices

Reader JD tipped me on to this.   There is one thing to consider as you go to this site, it’s taxpayer funded.

ABC’s sucks. There are terrible examples of ‘push polling’ questions. Or should I say ‘good’ examples. Also poses questions which require the responders to make certain assumptions in order to answer, and those assumptions will not be consistent. My result actually showed me that I barely differentiated between ALP and Lib/NP policies, which I know isn’t accurate, but the faulty questionnaire produces the result. I can imagine others who would be told they actually align with ALP policies when they don’t and possibly also that they align with Greens or Lib/NP incorrectly simply because the questions force random answers.
When the question states  “Students in government and non-government schools should receive the same amount of federal funding.” Do you answer that knowing private schools get much less funding from State Governments? What if I think Private schools should get more than State schools or less overall? No answer will reflect that position, just whether they should get the same or not. Yet one position could show me to be left wing, the other, right wing.
What about this non nonsensical question: “When there is an economic problem government spending usually makes it worse.” Is the spending on the particular economic problem, or just random spending? What if the economic problem is inflation? Then spending would never make it better, and would always make it worse.
Then there’s this: “The National Broadband Network should deliver faster speeds even if it costs more.” How much faster? How much more? How can you answer that? The most sensible answer is ‘don’t know’ but that’s only because the question didn’t provide enough information to give a reasonable answer. How will a ‘don’t know’ answer categorise you? It will probably assume NBN is not important to you.
Or what about “How much should the federal government do to tackle climate change?.” Push polling at it’s best here, I guess the assumption here is the ‘climate change’ they are referring to is man-made, that it is bad, and that it can be tackled, and that we don’t have to have any regard for costs? Whereas there is of coure a great deal of natural climate change that humans couldn’t do anything about no matter how much we spend.
Then there is “Live animal exports should be banned.” Does that include for breeding and no matter how short the distance? What about the transfer of a Koala to a New Zealand zoo?
But I suspect the whole point of this exercise is not as a tool for voters to see how party policies align to how they think, it is to see how voters are aligning up to the key election issues. Why else would you be required to enter your postcode or electorate and a range of demographic details? Vote Compass is allegedly run by an independent organisation, but the ABC is the sole sponsor of it for the Australian election. The ABC coincidentally received a lot of additional funding from the Labor Government in order to provide better ‘election coverage’. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Labor have access to this polling research.
VoteCompass, was first used in the 2011 Canadian Election and the 2012 US Presidential Election, at both it attracted a great deal of criticism for seeming to favour the major left wing party, Canadian Liberals and the US Democrats, their equivalent of the Labor Party in Australia. Coincidence?


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Posted by Michael Smith at 7:09 AM |

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
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