Polling

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Re: Polling

Postby zetreque on November 5th, 2018, 1:32 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:08 am wrote:If you're suggesting that polling, when it's close/dead heat territory, motivates people to vote, I would agree. This being a democracy, that kind of motivation would seem like a good thing. Voter turnout in the US has long been lower than other developed countries, and that's nothing to be proud of. The question I have is: does a close polling only motivate strongly partisan voters who already had their pick in mind months before? There are a lot of "Undecideds" in some races, who may or may not be motivated to finally pick somebody, by a variety of factors. It does seem possible some of them are motivated by a very close race simply because they feel that their individual vote will count more. Conversely, a Democrat in some parts of Nebraska may often feel like "why even bother," knowing how dominated their district is by Republicans. I guess I lean to the idea that close races should be made known to the electorate as such, i.e. by means of polls, because it encourages more people to vote and (hopefully) think about their big issues.

That's what is happening in Arizona, in the Senate race between conservative McSally and Democrat Sinema. Normally, McSally would have it in the bag in a very red state, but there are enough suburban moderates and minorities who have been repelled by the Trump administration that it's now looking very close. And I'm real glad that those moderates are feeling more motivated to get to the polling stations.


Would be interesting to see some hard data on this for sure. Where are all those psychologists.

In the mean time I have been getting more mail threatening to poll me to see if I voted or not using various psychological tactics.
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Re: Polling

Postby zetreque on November 5th, 2018, 10:48 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:08 am wrote:That's what is happening in Arizona, in the Senate race between conservative McSally and Democrat Sinema. Normally, McSally would have it in the bag in a very red state, but there are enough suburban moderates and minorities who have been repelled by the Trump administration that it's now looking very close. And I'm real glad that those moderates are feeling more motivated to get to the polling stations.


Actually I just did some reading and it sounds much more complicated than that for AZ Senate race. Sinema actually sounds pretty good. She used to be Green Party, then Democrat, and then learned to understand and work and vote with Republicans. While McSally seems to just spend the time trying to turn issues into criticism about Sinema. I don't trust any of them but from the little I know, I'm liking Sinema. I like her more than anyone I have to vote on in my state (aside from one low ranking position). That pretty much means she is doomed. Everyone I vote for or nominate never wins. lol
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Re: Polling

Postby Braininvat on November 5th, 2018, 11:22 pm 

Latest polling of early voters (which was huge turnout this year) has Sinema ahead. She's smart, cute as a button, and I like her sense of humor (she once called the Arizona legislature, "the meth lab of American politics."). And she once attended a protest rally in a pink tutu. For some reason her opponent thought that was a negative. :-)
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Re: Polling

Postby wolfhnd on November 6th, 2018, 12:41 am 

This is a republic and not a democracy and the fact that polling may effect the outcome of a race is evidence of why we should work more on perfecting the republic than worrying about how many people vote. Democracies are dictatorships of the majority that is why we have provisions for an electoral college as one example, the bill of rights is another example of how the power of the majority is limited.

Let me offer an example of why a republic should appeal to liberals. If we had a system where local representative picked the representatives at higher levels of government we could never have had a Donald Trump. It also may eliminates many of the things that people complain about like campaign spending, the disconnect between Washington and the "people", populism, voter fraud, gerrymandering, the imperial presidency so on and so forth. The direct vote is meaningless unless their is a personal relationship between the voters and the candidates. I'm not proposing such a reform just pointing out a few things to consider. The current bread and circus looks awfully familiar to me from a historical perspective, I would just as soon not see the next step which is a cesar to give the people what they want.
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Re: Polling

Postby wolfhnd on November 6th, 2018, 9:08 am 

Before someone jumps all over me I want to clarify. The system I described above is at least in theory the party system of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has a constitution that is worth reading because it illustrates how little the law matters if the system is perverted in other ways.

What I was trying to do above is point out the inherent problems with democracy. I think that those problems have been evident since Athens. Zetreque is seeing through his analysis some of those limitations. We could spend a lot of time comparing it to the options but there really are not any. For the immediate future we are stuck with what we have.

Some people think better education is the answer but being educated is no guarantee of being moral. What we need is something to replace the WASP values that is more inclusive. Instead of white we need a group identity based on a shared culture of values. Instead of Anglo Saxon we need a universal respect for the tradition of individual liberty and responsibility within the common law tradition. Instead of protestant we need a work ethic that holds people responsible for their bad decisions.

I listen to Sam Harris talk about a moral system based on rationality but we have already tried that. Replacing traditional gods with a God of reason didn't turn out well in the French Revolution. We can see some of the same problems emerging in the cult of social justice. I'm not advocating for a return to religion but there does seem to be a spiritual void science can't fill.

If people's behavior is swayed by polls in how many other ways are they at sea without a rudder. Some recent trends give me hope such as the me too movement but then they turn into mob justice. Most reforms tend to fall under the principle of good idea wrong species. I hope we don't become so cynical that we adopt Jefferson's quip that "liberty must be from time to time refreshed with the blood of patriots".
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Re: Polling

Postby Braininvat on November 6th, 2018, 10:25 am 

Do polls really change most people's candidate choices?

Is there really an attitude about civil rights (now referred to as social justice) that is a cult? I would advise against making assumptions or casually dropping them onto a thread that's about polling.

I will stay in moderator mode here, but please scrutinize assumptions and loaded or pejorative terms like "cult. "
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Re: Polling

Postby -1- on November 7th, 2018, 12:36 am 

wolfhnd » November 6th, 2018, 9:08 am wrote: Replacing traditional gods with a God of reason didn't turn out well in the French Revolution.


Child labour has been reduced 100 percent. Slavery has been reduced 98.3 percent. Capital punishment is the thing of the past in westernized industrial cultures -- except in the US of A, where Christianity strongly prevails. You must love thy own neighbour, says your god, so kill him. -- Average life expectancy rose 68 %. Education up to high school diploma rose 93%.

Wolfhnd: You can extol perhaps now the virtues you hold so high of the pre-French revolution morality.
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Re: Polling

Postby -1- on November 7th, 2018, 12:47 am 

wolfhnd » November 6th, 2018, 12:41 am wrote:...the bill of rights is another example of how the power of the majority is limited.
You mean the bill of rights does not protect the rights of the majority of individuals? Your argument is self-contradictory.

wolfhnd » November 6th, 2018, 12:41 am wrote:Let me offer an example of why a republic should appeal to liberals. If we had a system where local representative picked the representatives at higher levels of government we could never have had a Donald Trump.
Why couldn't we? The truth of this can only be empirically decided. You ought not to have it written as an a priori truth. Argument is invalid.
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Re: Polling

Postby zetreque on November 9th, 2018, 3:55 pm 

Another problem with this solicitation.
I just checked my mail and I had my neighbors mail put in my box by mistake that contains their voting record. Not who they voted for but if they voted. It's not even a sealed envelop, it's just a lose paper. It might be public information on if I voted or not but I don't need someone making it easier for my neighbors to see if I voted or not.
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