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Guest post: polling hypocrisy

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, October 26th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

I read John Key’s criticism of Labour’s polling methods with a smiling interest. It’s not a good look is it, for a political party to phone up our good citizens of the blue and ask them a series of personal questions; especially when they maintain the guise of boni fide research company.

Rewind to 2002. I’m sitting in National Party HQ with a group of about 20 others, calling numbers from a list on behalf of National leader Bill English. But. We weren’t allowed to identify ourselves as the “National Party”. Instead, we were told to introduce ourselves as “Hi, this is Ms X calling on behalf of Gallagher Research, I was wondering if you would mind answering a series of questions…”

And I know that practice was continued well beyond then. The names of the companies changed, but the dishonesty continued.

I can understand why the Green volunteer dobbed the Labourites in, they were obviously principled. These days I consider myself too principled to support National, and I think John Key’s blatant hypocrisy needs to be exposed.

The Classical Liberal

43 comments on “Guest post: polling hypocrisy”

  1. The Nats have always been long on talking about integrity and short on living it. Their actions to date on climate change, resource management and public transport demonstrate clearly they will happily ignore the evidence, sacrifice the public good….and pour public money into the pockets of their cronies, donors and loyalists.

    The MMP referendum is to be held for no reason other than restoring National’s electoral advantage. This represents is a COLOSSAL failure of integrity by that party. It’s not about voters or the good of New Zealand. It’s all about them. It could not be more naked. On this scale – seeking to take meaningful votes away from hundreds of thousands of people – it verges on evil.

    I’ve voted for many parties over the years….but the one I’ve never been able to support is National. They let Muldoon run rampant while they sat on their hands. They let Birch gut democracy and public accountability in Health. They backed that. They have been stupid – or cynical – on climate change and all related resource and evironmental issues. On the subject or market efficacy, they have no regard for all the experiences of failure – here and overseas – when private companies screw up important services (rail, Air NZ) and walk away, leaving us all to pay for it.

    That National have the largest single chunk of voter support says something very sad about a large portion of the Kiwi state of mind: self-interested, ignorant, unconcerned with relevant facts or important details, insecure, arrogant……smug. When the shit hits the fan, it will be someone else’s fault. I know of several people who voted National who now – as a direct result of that vote – find themselves out of a job. The Age of Stupid.

    The one flaw in democracy is that voters can’t be held to account.

  2. Zetetic 2

    Ha. I don’t know if this practice is OK, probably not. It’s hilarious though that Key was on his high horse before checking his flanks were covered.

  3. I wonder if Farrar’s Curia Research tells its interviewees all about its political affiliations before commencing each interview?
    I know they don’t because they’ve called me for a political poll.

  4. Anne 4

    Contrary to media spin, Labour has not done anything unprincipled. It is common practice to use a christain name other than one’s own when conducting cold phone polling. Indeed it is official practice in some places like toll exchanges. It is a method used to safeguard the identity of the phone operators. Also, issue based phone polling – as this was – is covered by parliamentary funding so there was no irregularity there. The only possible question about the polling method lies in the use of a company name which no longer exists. Since we now know the National Party was doing exactly the same in 2002 – and probably in more recent years – then John Key’s criticism of Labour can be seen for what it is – a load of b——t!!

    I hope the Green Party member who ran to the media with this story has learnt to check out the facts first.

  5. SHG 5

    Does anyone have examples of National Party polling being conducted from Parliament using parliamentary resources?

    • Zetetic 5.1

      Key says the Parliamentary wing (which is funded with taxpayer dollars) does polling. Read the article. Whether they use telephones at parliament or their Parliamentary budget to fund Curia, makes no difference.

  6. Doug 6

    Using a struck-off company sounds dodgy even if Trevor Mallard was a Director at the time.

  7. Same old two legs good, four legs bad twaddle … same old supposed left moral superiority that is paraded here day after day.

    Yet when the evidence shows they’re just as bad as each other, the same old posters duck for cover.

    What a crock of a post. Rather than discuss the issue, 3/4 of the post tries the good old distraction strategy.

    Having said that, I have some sympathies for some here who rightly point out the weakness of the Nats (apart from a few) and the ongoing honeymoon they have. Yet the opposition continues to shoot itself in the foot like this.

    • felix 7.1

      So Key’s position on this matter is untenable? Is that what you’re saying in your roundabout way?

      • Daveski 7.1.1

        My point is that not one reference is made on this page to Mr Barker or even Mr Hughes.

        Strange that.

        I’m not the one preaching the moral superiority of the left. I also point out when the Nats when pooping in their own nests, it was pointed out the “they did it too” defence wasn’t addressing the issues.

        So forget Mr Key, what do you think of a Labour MP involved in telling lies?

        I look forward to another roundabout reply avoiding the issue.

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          I’m not at all impressed with Labour doing this. Why would I be? It looks rotten. If rules or laws have been breached then the appropriate investigations and processes should follow.

          I’m even less impressed with Key for trying to take the lily-white high ground in a shit-stained suit. Investigate all parties and lets get it all out in the open. Prosecute anyone found to be acting illegally and publicly shame those found to be acting legally but unethically.

          I’ve honestly got no idea what you think about any of these matters as it’s so bloody hard to get a straight opinion out of you these days. I’m sure you used to be a lot more forthright in your writing (even though you were always wrong:) )

          • Daveski 7.1.1.1.1

            Nah mate, it’s just me. Try getting a yes or no out of me at work 🙂

            The Nats have I believe largely blown genuine opportunities eg links with Maori and the Wira decision. I think Key has shown more leadership and commonsense than he’ll get credit for here but underneath it’s very thin and woefully so in parts.

            FWIW Barker’s transgression was minor but simply highlights the fascination with the trivial in politics rather than the policy. It’s the sizzle that matters, not the sausage.

            • Herodotus 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The transgression maybe minor. But as no one will admit to doing wrong, will go into hiding or blame someone else. It shows the depth of character of these individuals. And these people set agendas as to what THEY think is important to us. Just examine the postings (Especially Red Alert) not very much to give hope for NZ going forward where is the vision. Lab are still in denial from their election loss, they avoidedthe bullet that should have hit its target 3 years previously, yet did not learn from that. Split Enz got it right History Never Repeats, unfortunatley Labour took this title to literially !!

  8. Doug 8

    Where are the Unions? should be sticking up for workers in these hard times, Labour taking work off workers and conducting Polling on the cheap.

    Labour says it was using unpaid volunteers to conduct a phone poll of hundreds of people over three nights on issues around the cost of living, health, education and jobs.

  9. Doug 9

    Phillip Field was good at using unpaid workers also.

  10. Anne 10

    One more thing:
    Thank-you guest poster for revealing your experience and knowledge to The Standard. It takes guts to do something like that.

    Thanks too to Steve Withers for his excellent summary of the state of our present political landscape. I sort of differ on one point:

    “The one flaw in democracy is that voters can’t be held to account.”

    In a way they are – like your acquaintances who have lost their jobs. The trouble is, the rest of us have to suffer too.

    • SHG 10.1

      Thank-you guest poster for revealing your experience and knowledge to The Standard. It takes guts to do something like that.

      What, to post something totally unverifiable under an anonymous pseudonym? Damn. That’s some brave shit.

      • Scribe 10.1.1

        Thank you SHG for revealing some common sense on The Standard. It takes brains to do that.

  11. TightyRighty 11

    yes thank you guest poster, for appearing anonymously, and for making unsubstantiated allegations. could you prove your identity or that the events you have told of please? i’d like the ability to verify what you say as i don’t believe it. it smacks of spin and deflection.

      • TightyRighty 11.1.1

        don’t need to, this hasn’t been researched by a proper journalist, nor has it made it into a major paper, so probably has been subject to editorial oversight. until such allegations are substantiated, either by proof or by the classic liberal revealing their true identity,it’s all BS to me. upon such proof, i will graciously back down. Until then sprout, suck it, it’s just a anonymous allegation on a heavily left-wing blog, therefore, very suspect.

        • Paul 11.1.1.1

          really? probably you should check your facts – I read it in this morning’s paper before I found it mentioned here

    • rocky 11.2

      The details are fairly specific, so it would be easy to deny if it isn’t true.

  12. harald 12

    I agree with you rocky. No denial means it must be true.

  13. Herodotus 13

    What makes me sick about such posts is this:
    Many here try to justify such actions. If Labour were unfront why when all these mirrows and smoke screens, why did no one in the heiracy front up?
    Labours strategists need to be given a good kick up, or to be added to the unemployemnt ranks because they are not doing the job, and if Trev ever allowed constructive comments on HIS site them Labour could make some progress. I hear from this post and others that this is the way the industry works. Advertising, Politics, Used Car salesmen,all are DODGY. Next thing we will hear is justification on that lovely man fronting a promo for Channel 7 (Sky 97) is not politiking.
    In summary I hear this word INTEGRITY thrown all over the place, actions like this display NO integrity.

  14. weizguy 14

    Back at varsity, I used to work for a telemarketing company that did polling for ACT. It bordered on push-polling for Richard Prebble (I feel dirty thinking about it). We were told to say that we worked for “Compass Media”. We didn’t.

  15. JD 15

    “Back at varsity, I used to work for a telemarketing company that did polling for ACT. It bordered on push-polling for Richard Prebble (I feel dirty thinking about it). We were told to say that we worked for “Compass Media’. We didn’t.”

    Really. What was the name of the company and manager who ordered you to lie?

  16. TightyRighty 16

    What would a classic liberal be doing on the standard?

  17. RedLogix 17

    Total non-story. No-one is being disadvantaged or deceived in any material way by the use of false names in this polling process.

    No different than the fact that most bloggers post under false names.

    captcha = NAMINGS

    • TightyRighty 17.1

      I completely agree. So why is there a “them too” story here? it only makes sense if labour is embarrassed by being publicly shown to not be as coordinated as they once were under Helen.

  18. I think I will get my own “guest blogger” to write their own unsubstantiated expose on my blog. 🙂

    Having said that, I am not surprised, Labour and the Nats are one and the same – policy and attitude. 2 equal sides of the same political coin. Whenever Labour get back in again they will do the same and vice versa. The Standard will be outraged this time and the next time defend the actions.

  19. TightyRighty 19

    “These days I consider myself too principled to support National, and I think John Key’s blatant hypocrisy needs to be exposed”

    please expose it, it’s great that your soo principled that you need to do this. but don’t your principles extend to providing proof of your allegations? you know, just so no one thinks your full of it.

    and if you are full of it, does that mean your unprincipled?

  20. swimmer 20

    I thought the green volunteer was a backstabber! BTW not doing the greens any favours by doing this to Labour either.

  21. swimmer 21

    National did the same, they just didn’t get caught. I don’t think what they did was bad anyway, they just wanted unbiased results and giving a fake name is fine. No one stopped the green girl from using her real name.

  22. TightyRighty 22

    just saw the article on labour doing this on the news, tv1 news of course. no mention of national doing, no proof, no revealing of identities, as russell norman said tonight, “it’s lying, and lying is bad”. take that BS artist “the classic liberal”

  23. Gooner 23

    Tightyrighty, Norman also said ACT was “rich” and had lots of money. He is lying.

    Does anyone bother to report that or bother to report the fact the Greens outspent ACT in the last election?

    Norman is the liar.

  24. TightyRighty 24

    sorry gooner, thanks though, that’s a documented and proven piece of information, whereas the allegations about national in this and that other post that purports to be fact, aren’t.

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