Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Tomorrow belongs to me

I was interested to note that the EU wants to talk to us and hear what we have to say, (via, Hat Tip, etc. The Englishman's Castle).

What also interested me was the method that they are going to use, Deliberative polling. This method involves getting a group of averagely ignorant citizens, giving them information and then asking their opinions after discussion. Deliberative polling is not very widely used at present, largely because it is inherently more expensive and difficult to do than simply asking people what they think.

What concerns me is that there are problems with the methodology itself. Group dynamics will tend to produce consensus opinions, either within the whole group or opposing factions within the group. This produces fewer results with more support but misses considerable information that is simply shouted down, if a few people have different opinions they will tend to give these up so as not to feel foolish, even if they are right. The worst case scenario, and most amusing form of groupthink is the Abeline Paradox. The Paradox results in everyone acting against their own and the group' interests but whatever happens your results will not simply be those of individuals but of a particular group under artificial circumstances.

The second problem that I have relates to the briefing materials. Considering how much propaganda the EU pumps out I suspect that even if they tried to make the material impartial they would fail dismally. As an admittedly partisan group I don't believe that Tomorrow's Europe will be impartial in doing the poll let alone reporting it. Any possible Anti EU sentiment will be buried and they will then present us with an "Impartial Poll" that massively supports the corrupt, lying, theiving shysters.

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