The Closet Moderate: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

It's come down, now, to my least favorite part of the election cycle: the deluge of opinion polls. Partisans crow about polls the way normal people brag about actual results, and news reporters write stories about these imaginary elections as though there were no real news to cover. Worse, politicians substitute polling data for ideas and principles. Why take a position you believe is right, when you can determine which position would be more popular and pick that one?

So, what is to be done? Well, the solution is easy, America: lie to pollsters. It's all well and good to just hang up on them, but those clever bastards have taken to using the maths to account for that. We have to take it to the next level: make shit up. Come up with the craziest combination of facts you can. Tell them you're a ninety-year-old Jewish woman from Florida who's voting for a reactionary third-party candidate. Whatever it takes.

Maybe if we mess things up badly enough, the reporters will have to report actual news, and the politicians will have to say what they think we want to hear, not what they know we want to hear.

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