Wednesday, 18 November 2009


According to a YouGov poll published in the Daily Telegraph on 29/11/04:

  • 59% of voters thought that "most MPs make a lot of money by using public office improperly"

  • 78% agreed that "to win elections, most parliamentary candidates make promises they have no intention of keeping"

  • 85% believed that "most MPs will tell lies if they feel the truth would hurt them politically"

And all this before the MPs expenses scandal!


Nick said...

It's a difficult one this, as we need people who will represent us in Parliament or in the assemblies, and whatever the suspicions and innuendo's leveled at the political class, no-one is proposing that the representitive system is replaced. One of the Chartist demands, during the late ninteenth century, was for an annual election so that it would become difficult to orchestate abuse's of power, but it is unlikely that a government could put in place the necessary medium and long term planning under such a system.
Before I become hot under the collar regarding this poll I would like to know what was the exact format and wording of the questions asked? As we know that these sort of questions could well be desgned with inbuilt bias's which illicit a particular responce and so skew the results. It would aslo be interesting to discover if this poll was commissioned and if so who commissioned it, was it the Guardian for intance?
Finally a point that never seems to be made is that there were, quite inexplicably concidering the opportunities for malversation, a very large number of M.P.'s who signaly failed to place their noses in the trough. good for them.

About Interactive Democracy said...

Hi Nick
The poll was commissioned by The Telegraph in 2004, well before the recent expenses scandal. A similar poll may show much less respect for politicians now. But you're right, how the questions are worded can be a big influence on the results.
Even in ID we need credible politicians like those who resisted the temptation to fiddle their expenses. Good on them.

About Interactive Democracy said...

Polls have their problems. Apart from the inherent bias that can be written into a question they may not be applied to the right demographic, they may not be statistically significant and the data could be intentionally corrupted. Yet polls are seen by politicians to be one of the ways that they can understand the publics' intent. Far better to have a secure vote.