Democracy and checks and balances | US election letters

US Military Comments Off

Gary Younge writes (10 November): “Most pundits said they wouldn’t do it; most pollsters insisted they couldn’t do it; everyone from the pope to Beyoncé said they shouldn’t do it. Now it’s done.” Indeed. One resounding message from the seismic electoral events of 2016 – Brexit and now Trump – is that democracy has been badly served by pundits and pollsters. In the aftermath of Brexit, many voters said they would have voted differently had they known how finely balanced the referendum was going to be, while significant numbers of Democrat-leaning non-voting Americans might have acted differently had they known the true strength of Trump’s support when making their fateful decision to stay away from the polling stations this Tuesday.

Without knowing the electorate’s true voting intentions, voters are blind. Worse, if provided with inaccurate information, they think they can see when in fact they cannot. People need to be able to make important decisions in an informed manner. Pollsters, psephologists and political scientists must, therefore, either get considerably better at assessing the voting intentions of the electorate, or stop attempting to do so altogether. The consequences of getting it wrong are too serious.
Professor Carenza Lewis

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Source: us-military
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