Polls once said Rob Ford would never be mayor of Toronto.
They also said Brexit would never happen, Donald Trump would lose the president race, and that Doug Ford would lose to Andrea Horwath.
Polls are not reliable, nor do they measure psychological nuances.
And yet, we have a constant barrage of polling propaganda, even when we have been shown time and again that polls to actually reflect anything.
Here is today’s sampling of such propaganda:
Forum Research poll shows many Torontonians disapprove of a casino at a revamped Ontario Place, but they are supportive of a landmark Ferris wheel.
So what do polls mean? What do they do?
They are a form of shepherding and corralling people into pushing an agenda on behest of a vested interest.
Public opinion has very little value in many regards: we don’t quiz people to see how much they actually know. We talk about minority rights, but always use majority rule and appeal to mob to strong arm people. Just people the majority disapprove, it doesn’t mean following them is the right thing to do.
So don’t take popular opinion to the bank, kids.
But there are other considerations to taking polls as anything else but myth creation.
Often, people know how to manipulate the optics: what loaded questions were asked, for instance? What were the options, if any? Who answered the survey? Does the survey measure what it proclaims to measure?
For instance, do you think people would opt to austerity measures if it meant getting through a difficult national crisis? No, they would be marching on the street, up in arms, bellyaching and wanting more, even if that more resulted in an economic collapse.
So should a government follow a poll, perhaps commissioned by someone who wants to force the government to collapse in order to build public resentment, or should they ignore the polls and do what is necessary for a long-term benefit?
And often, polls are a form of propaganda employed by a weaker side in order to get something that they didn’t exactly earn.
The first poll up there was published in the Toronto Star. Ontario Place is in Toronto, and it is closed because attendance was down, meaning no one was actually using it. It was a money loser. That is fact.
But here is another fact: Toronto shut itself out of provincial power because they switched their vote from Liberal to NDP who lost to the Conservatives. Toronto is shut out of cabinet, and out of power. People outside of Toronto and Hamilton voted for Doug Ford’s Tories. Toronto outsmarted itself and suddenly, can no longer dictate to the rest of the province how their lives will roll.
Worse, this is the city that went after Ford and his brother Rob with reckless abandon…and now are ruled by Ford and shut out of power.
So how to try to wrest some of the power back?
By manipulating polls and try to pressure the government to sway to their whims by some other means other than the democratic process.
Polls for public consumption have no empirical value. They are imprecise, based on folksy logic, and do not challenge the opinions of people to see what they know and why are they answering the way they are.
It is a feint and ruse for followers.
Hillary Clinton banked on the Majority Feint to psyche out her rival and make people believe her victory was a foregone conclusion.
That’s why you never trust polls. They are a ruse and misdirection. Private polling is a different matter, but the garbage used in news reports is strictly meant to coerce people into walking lockstep with a decree, and should be ignored and the stratagem that it is…