Monday, August 23, 2010

Seymour on Opinion Polls

Here. Excerpt:
The polling industry is not an extension of the democratic process, but a quite deliberate attempt to subvert democratic reasoning and debate, to 'settle' important issues before they have been discussed, to bully opponents and put them on the back foot etc. Polls are taken to provide elites with raw materials the better to manipulate us with, not so that they can respond to our genuine concerns. Further, taken collectively they tend to disclose a set of apparently contradictory dispositions, ideas, and values, suggesting that the pseudo-finality of "a percentage" is indeed hopelessly inadequate as a register of the real ideas that people have.

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