Thursday, June 15, 2006

The World Cup does not stop the publication of opinion polls

As I am hearing the German anthem in some café (no, I am just waiting for an appointment and typing a post, I am not even on sight of a TV screen) I run across the latest Eugenio Escuela Poll. Now, before I trash this poll let me remind the reader that the only pollster in Venezuela of which I consider the results worth of note is Keller and associates. Otherwise, since August 2004 and the Tascon list I think there is no way that a pollster can get it right in Venezuela. The reason I like Keller is that he looks at trends more than actual numbers: trends in today’s Venezuela is about the only thing one can measure with some, little but some, accuracy.

Now, about the poll at hand.

My first gripe is that it gives results in two decimals. That is, for example, 47.99% of the potential electors are “certain to vote”. 47.99%? Such precision? I mean, even a single decimal in Venezuela these days gives me pause, but two decimals?....

The other gripe is, as usual, the glaring inconsistencies that one gets in every single poll one can read (except of course the highly prestigious serious and respectable and transparent North American Imaginary Virtual Establishment, a.k.a. NAOR who any time soon should give Chavez 95% of voting intentions). For example in today’s case we can see that over all Chavez still gets numbers. Heck, even the CNE get almost a 50% favorable opinion (49.20% “trust” the CNE to be as accurate as the poll).

However there is a very interesting sub question that contradicts everything else in that poll. The question is “What type of government should exist in Venezuela?” Those are the possible replies and their precise results (and I am not kidding! My translation)

Democracy US style.........................................37.18%
Democracy European style.............................11.82%
Democracy Venezuela pre-Chavez style....... 8.47%

This three rather anti Chavez styles get together a 57.47%.

Huh?

The more pro Chavez options get respectively:

Democracy as now ..............................................17.33%
Bolivarian Democracy (what about “now”?)......5.43%
Participatory democracy ......................................2.00%
Democratic left (again, what about “now”?) ......1.36%
Democracy Venezuelan style (???) .....................1.40%

And off the wall options (I am putting it all because, really, I find them hilarious)

Government Cuba style .............................................................2.96%
Military Right Dictatorship ........................................................1.50%
Military Left Dictatorship ..........................................................1.20%
Does not know (??? What? Monarchy was not an option?) ..9.35%

Who thinks of such opinion polls? Who pays for that garbage?

Now that I think of it, I better watch Germany Poland, it definitely makes more sense!

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