It seems likely that the main purpose of pre-election polls is not to evaluate public opinion but to try to change it.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) has received several questions and complaints from readers about how polling is used to disinform the polity, violate the right to an informed vote and manipulate election results. Polling is used to spread rumours and disinformation and then ask people questions about themselves. Poll results are proven inaccurate time and again. Why are they given such prominence during elections? Who pays for polls? Who makes decisions as to when they are released during elections?
People are bombarded with mass media saturation coverage of the so-called leaders. People calling themselves political analysts put their spin and counterspin on every election-related event. People hear an endless litany of campaign promises along with the results of constant polling. All of it deprives the people of their democratic right to think, discuss the concrete conditions of their lives and the performance of governments in office. They are deprived of the means to decide on the direction of the economic and political affairs of the country.
It is a very conscious self-serving attempt to convey that the issues have already been decided in backrooms by the “professional” politicians and “expert” advisors contracted by self-serving narrow private interests. The people’s ability to think and organize in their own interests, based on their direct experience in their daily lives, is of no value to these forces.
This is why the working people’s voice is silenced, why agendas and alternatives proposed by them are cast aside and even declared illegitimate. The aim of this anti-democratic electoral campaigning in which polling and “voting tools” play an integral part is to dampen the enthusiasm of those who are striving to work out their own views, policies, and agenda in order to decide on who should carry the banner of the people into the Parliament.
The only aim of what are called democratic elections in Canada is to get people to “pick a side” to determine, once again, which cartel party will form the next government to champion the narrow private interests which have integrated Canada into the U.S. war economy and war machine.
In this regard, the methods used by the polling companies and what are called “voting tools” are designed to disinform the polity. The disinformation is so that people never discuss their concerns, speak in their own name or advocate for their claims on society, discuss them, and organize their peers at work or in their communities to work out positions which favour them to provide these problems with solutions.
The MLPC calls on you to work out your own stands, based on your own experience and the conclusions you draw from it. Far from authorizing others over whom you exercise no control to speak in your name, discuss amongst your peers, draw warranted conclusions and speak in your own name!
Remember This? Role of Polling in Alberta’s 2012 Election
The wildly inaccurate pre-election polls in the Alberta 2012 election purported to show that the election was a “neck and neck” race between the ruling Progressive Conservatives (PCs) and the upstart Wildrose Party. With a month to go, the 24 polls that bombarded Alberta voters during that period suggested that Wildrose would win and even take majority power. Even the Ipsos Reid poll conducted on April 21, two days before voting day, put Wildrose at 41 per cent and the PCs at 32 per cent of the popular vote. Yet, in the end, all these polls, including the one by Ipsos Reid, proved to be very wrong. In the Alberta election, the PCs won 61 seats and the Wildrose won a mere 17 seats.
Albertans discussed the gaping difference between the pre-election polls and the actual election results. Most Albertans were not confused. Many suggested the polls were deliberately manipulated by Alberta’s ruling elite and their media to spread fear of Wildrose so that many “undecided,” “strategic,” and “new” voters would vote for the PCs and re-elect them, ensuring that the energy monopolies who run Alberta could keep in power a party that they were already used to doing business with.
The Party press wrote at that time: “It seems likely that the main purpose of pre-election polls is not to evaluate public opinion but to try to change it.”
Renewal Update, September 3, 2021
Renewal Update is the newsletter of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, the electoral name registered by Elections Canada of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) or CPC(M-L).
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