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tranquilsea's avatar

Do you think political polls are in the public's interest or do they harm democracy?

Asked by tranquilsea (17758points) February 16th, 2011

It seems to me that they too often do more harm than good, at least in Canada.

What do you think?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

Neither. They are just polls and are an unreliable tool as to how the public is thinking on a given topic. They can be fun too.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think no one should pay attention to them.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think too many people pay attention to them and I wish they wouldn’t.

bunnygrl's avatar

The best way to guage public opinion on any given subject is to just listen to what people are saying around you, at work, at a coffee shop. Just listen and talk to folk, it’s one of my hobbies lol. I don’t think I would be able to stay at my job if I didn’t love being around people, its what keeps me there (as well as the whole helping pay the bills thing of course).

klutzaroo's avatar

If they’re done on an impartial basis and ask a wide range of people rather than being done in a way to show a certain trend desired by the people doing the poling… For example, Fox News polls that show that people hate Democrats are not representative of a wide range of people nor of the opinion of the country at large. Its only when they’re done well that they mean anything and they’re so seldom done well that they generally mean nothing. If people could see that, they’d be disregarded. But they, as they are, do more harm than good.

marinelife's avatar

I agree with @perspicacious that the answer is neither. They are just polls.

tranquilsea's avatar

But I wonder whether people just take them as polls.

crazyivan's avatar

What a fantastic topic! I agree that the way they are used now often causes more harm than good. They can be very useful tools, but mostly for gauging a change in opinion over time. I think they would be more useful if we had less access to them, honestly.

The problem is that polls are supposed to record public opinion, but far too often they end up influencing public opinion.

wundayatta's avatar

What harm are they? How do you know they end up influencing public opinion, @crazyivan?

I think they are useful. I think they are interesting. l

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