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Saturday, July 30, 2005

I got Polled

I have always wanted to experience being Opinion Polled on politics (sad! yes I know). Growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, AFAIK, we hardly received phone calls for opinion polls. Now that I have settled in a middle-about suburb, we must be within the pollster demographics / geography. I missed the previous two calls but it was 3rd time lucky.

ACNielsen was conducting a not-so-maybe-so random phone poll on politics, current affairs and entertainment. Interestingly they were conducting multiple polls coupled with a marketing survey. Note: I choose to separate the opinion polls from the marketing surveys eventhough they can all be viewed as product preferences.

The first poll was about the preferred Prime Minister in the aftermath of the Bob Carr retirement. The questions were about John Howard vs Kim Beazley vs Bob Carr.

The second survey was on anti-terrorist crime prevention measures. Questions were about Shoot to Kill orders, National ID cards, CCTV Cameras in public places and the Detention and Deportation of terror suspects.

Finally the marketing survey was for the struggling cinema industry. The questions focused on the choice of films, cinema audio / video quality, pirate films, importance of customer services, etc.

Also, on polling and the outer suburbs......

As I mentioned previously, political polls were a rare occurrence in the outer suburbs. For all I know the rest of the family may have answered the phone when the pollsters rang but I had my fair share of the phone and cannot remember a single political poll. There were the usually annoying telemarketers but I've always wondered what kind of people they rang for opinion polls. Back in the day the outer suburbs were Labour strongholds, I wonder if this was a cause as it may have lead to lopsided poll result.

Lately however these suburbs have changed as the political compass has moved in the direction of the Liberal party. Some attribute this to the rise of the Aspirationals and their McMansion housing estates. I would also venture to say that there has been a rise in the number of people reaching maturity and paying off their home-loans, feeling a sense of economic security and taking an interest in, and feeling an affinity with, the (neo?)liberal political discourse. Interestingly, many migrants initially settle(d) in these suburbs.


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