Sunday, February 24, 2013

How Easily Polls Are Manipulated

When asked if they want to cut government spending in generic terms, most Americans say yes. But when you get to specific spending programmes, only foreign aid has a plurality for reducing it (and even that with only a small margin . This reflects in part perhaps the belief that useless bureaucrats comprise a significant portion of government spending, but also that polls are easily manipulated depending on how you ask a certain question.

This great scene from "Yes, Prime Minister" about how easily you can get a specific person to both support and oppose the reintroduction of national service (military conscription).

BTW, you gotta love his example of how things don't happen just because prime ministers are keen on them "Neville Chamberlain was very keen on peace".