OUR SAY: Polls get the wrong people
"HI. THIS is a short survey to determine your .... *click*”
We've all been there. After a long day at work, you get home, sit down to dinner or your favourite television show, and the phone rings.
You're being polled.
Admittedly, especially in election time, I don't mind answering. I'm engaged and I like to be part of the "process”, but how well is that process working?
Not very well, if you take Saturday's result at first glance.
Responsible for the downfall of at least two of our recent prime ministers, polling numbers are waited on with bated breath, every minute percentage either way dissected in column inches and breathless reporting on a media eager to create a narrative in what is essentially a story about boring statistics.
And while the polls clearly state that are representative of only a few thousand people, who are those people? They're the ones who, like me, answer their phones and go through the process.
And the closer we got to the election, the worse it became. Targeted because of my liking for polls, I got a call every night in the week leading up. I could actually recognise who it was by the number.
In frustration, even I stopped answering. And there's the problem.
Our compulsory voting system finds those who don't answer the phone, and it's those that hold the key to Australia's psyche, not those of us who like to see a number up in lights.