segunda-feira, janeiro 16, 2006

Talvez o post mais importante deste blogue nos últimos meses

À vossa e minha atenção, um excerto de um artigo no último e magnífico número especial da Public Opinion Quarterly dedicado às sondagens eleitorais:

The use of polls can extend beyond reason. U.S. elections have reached that point. As reported by the American press, a campaign is a spectacular struggle: rapid followers, do-or-die encounters, strategy, tactics, winners, and losers. A campaign, to be sure, is all of these things, but it is more than these things. It is an opportunity to choose the nation's leadership. (...) America's poll-driven election coverage squeezes out content that would inform voter's judgment.

Poll-driven stories also distort the public's perceptions of the candidates. (...) Candidates are strategists, of course. But the fact that they dramatize their appeals and tailor their messages is nothing new. Such maneuvers are as old as politics itself. What is new is the penetrating intensity with which candidates' activities are exposed, dissected, and criticized. And it should occasion no surprise that as candidates have increasingly been portrayed as master of strategy and manipulation, Americans would think less highly of them.

Nor should it occasion surprise that American have soured on campaigns. Elections have become negative affairs filled with horse-race commentary and analysis. (...) Polling cannot be blamed for all or even most of the ills of American campaigns. But this powerful technique has taken its place alongside big money, negative advertising, attack journalism, and other developments that in combination have diminished American elections.

In Thomas E. Patterson, "Of Polls, Mountains: U.S. Journalists and their Use of Election Surveys", Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 69, nº 5, pp. 716-724.

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