20 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The WA election result was apparently unexpected, so much so that reporting and discussion of “the polls” introduced much of the media talk about it. I don’t know (or have forgotten) what the conventional wisdom is about the dominant effect on voting decisions is when polling is the central issue. It used to be the case many, many moons ago that there was a TV blackout for a day or two before the election, but the “bandwagon” effect is presumably not accepted now, and the usual script from party reps is that “it’s going to be close” so their supporters don’t get complacent, or voters don’t punish the govt by acting contrary.

    But bviously there is a “crowding out” effect where the substantive issues are pushed to the side. Don’t know if it’s possible to limit polling, but the inane focus on polls feeds the media beast, and dumbs down deliberation on issues, and therefore the democratic process. What can be done to steer pre-election discussion back onto issues, or should we just let the MSM sink further into the swamp?

  2. sustantive issues hits the nail on the head.

    “nu”fin today has two articles
    one basically says farmers who are not really big have no right to exist.
    the other hails the amazing prices for agricultural land in the UK.

    3 more yrs of “wealth taker” adulation.

  3. Re my issue above, I see the ABC website has today posted an article “Opinion polls explained: How to read them and why they matter” which covers the bandwagon effect: one academic thinks they have 1-2% effect, others (Murray Goot, Antony Green) deny any effect. (In my naivety, I expected the empirics would provide a clearer answer!)

    The article reproduces the BBC, TVNZ and ABC instructions to staff about reporting polls. From the brief info. provided, it seems the BBC is the most cautious, saying that reporting of polls should only be headlined where there is a story which has come out of it.

  4. the current situation

    is the scene in Orwell of the mass hate session.

    but really what else can be expected of a caste that is being scrutinised and hate hate hates it.

  5. Jeff Sparrow, over at the ABC, reminds us of “who to trust” when it comes to the Iraq War. Worth a read, as perhaps a reminder to the tensions between a gradualist approach to change within democratic countries—such as ours—and the smash-and-grab changes promoted by the right-wingerati of the neocons.

    One thing I thought Jeff Sparrow should have mentioned, is a list of the top ten reasons promoted for invading Iraq: one of the significant ones—demonstrably wrong at the time—was that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. While Hussein was a brutal dictator, he was not involved in 9/11, according to the USA’s own intelligence at the time: Afghanistan was the place harbouring and supporting the ringleaders behind 9/11, and don’t forget the assistance of Pakistan in that matter, either. Obama’s catch-or-kill operation well insid Pakistan, ten years after 9/11, is a demonstration of Pakistan’s complicity.

    Perhaps now is a good time to take stock of how democracy is—of itself—no great protection against deceptive propaganda, whether it is by the state, or by the supposedly free mainstream media. The MSM, and a specific company in particular, deserve a few kicks for their unremitting support of a war of choice in Iraq, while missing the main game in Afghanistan. At least Afghanistan had the objective (initially, at least) of hunting down the perpetrators of 9/11; of course, that initial goal morphed rather quickly into bringing down the Taliban and promoting democracy in Afghanistan.

  6. @Donald Oats
    If Wikipedia can be taken as a compendium of the debate, the allegations of Saddam being “behind” 9/11 were always weak, and rejected by the 9/11 Commission in June 2004, citing the lack of an association with al Quaeda. Reliance on that argument as central would have segued to the uncomfortable issue of Saudi govt involvement, still a live issue (Huff Post 11/9/2012 “Re-Open the 9/11 Investigation Now”).

    Your comment on democracy being no protection against deceptive propaganda begs the question of what you mean by democracy. The current anniversary of the Falkland Is invasion by Britain is a timely reminder that collaboration between press and govt. can whip up patriotic hysteria in other contexts also. I don’t have a grand alternative framework to propose here, but the ability to speak out and be heard “horizontally” must be integral to improvement, and technology is enabling that. Representative parl democracy and its panoply of remote institutions are clearly an obsolete model.

  7. in his victory speech for the election after the invasion of afghanistan howard thanked the liberal party for liberating the women of that country – i think it was the only mention of the war therein .

    how much of this leadership speculation/turmoil in the labor party (and their friends )would be happening if the mainstream media wasnt so interested in it ? – none

    government by polls is embarrassing when the electorate is so short sighted ,selfish , and inward looking .

  8. @Paul Norton
    Interesting. I didn’t know if Birdy was a real person or an enduring Ozblogistan meme.

    Reading through the back-posts, I was struck by what a sad portrait of mental illness a blog can be, but then I noticed how many right-wing Ozblogistanians hang around the site getting into earnest arguments with Bird. Then I realised that for them, it’s not that the posts are idiotic, but that they’re the wrong kind of idiotic.

    From the Catallaxy perspective, it’s outrageous to suggest that the world is controlled by a malevolent cabal of Jewish bankers through the false science of space-time. Not because the idea of a chronic global conspiracy is absurd, but because everyone knows it’s the environmentalist intellectual communists who are really conspiring to destroy the west, with climate science and evolution!

  9. great to see that the shooters and fishers party have entered the WA upper house.

    once again this election shows how easy it is for people to get elected to state parliaments if they have even a small base of support in the community.

  10. Interesting. I didn’t know if Birdy was a real person or an enduring Ozblogistan meme.

    Oh he is definitely a real person. I consumed beer with the man in 2006 and have met him once or twice since then. He is as amazing in person (for want of a better description) as he is online. I have a few good stories to tell but I won’t be sharing them here.

  11. Andrew Bolt has John Quiggin in his sights again.

    John, why were you appointed to the Climate Change Authority?

  12. Paul Craig Roberts’ obituary for Hugo Chávez

    On March 5, 2013, Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela and world leader against imperialism, died. Washington imperialists and their media and think tank whores expressed gleeful sighs of relief as did the brainwashed US population. An “enemy of America” was gone.

    Chávez was not an enemy of America. He was an enemy of Washington’s hegemony over other countries, an enemy of Washington’s alliance with elite ruling cliques who steal from the people they grind down and deny sustenance. He was an enemy of Washington’s injustice, of Washington’s foreign policy based on lies and military aggression, bombs and invasions.

    Washington is not America. Washington is Satan’s home town.

    Chávez was a friend of truth and justice, and this made him unpopular throughout the Western World where every political leader regards truth and justice as dire threats.

    Chávez was a world leader. Unlike US politicians, Chávez was respected throughout the non-western world. He was awarded honorary doctorates from China, Russia, Brazil, and other countries, but not from Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, and Oxford.

    Chávez was a miracle. He was a miracle, because he did not sell out to the United States and the Venezuelan elites. Had he sold out, Chávez would have become very rich from oil revenues, like the Saudi Royal Family, and he would have been honored by the United States in the way that Washington honors all its puppets: with visits to the White House. He could have become a dictator for life as long as he served Washington.

  13. How cool is this?

    Queensland University of Technology marketing students given assignment to develop campaign for Federal LNP candidate Bill Glasson

    THE Queensland University of Technology has been embroiled in a political controversy after a lecturer set her marketing students an assignment to develop a campaign to increase awareness of LNP candidate for Griffith Bill Glasson.
    Business school lecturer Louise Kelly invited Dr Glasson, whom she described as a friend, to address her students about his intentions and LNP policy.

    Dr Glasson was accompanied by his campaign manager and social media manager at the lecture, and provided students with pamphlets promoting his candidacy and the LNP.{…}

  14. Fran, exploiting others and using a privileged position to help our your mates? I guess the students really are learning lessons about the ‘real world’…

  15. @MrDenmore “Ruin Looms On Carbon Tax, Warns Bluescope Steel”: Herald Sun, March, 2011. Top stock in Australia last 9 months: Bluescope Steel up 106%

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