Madness to the method

Y’know, my obsessive interest in stems only partially driven by the fact that I’m jealous of their slick web design. Most of it is just befuddlement at the strange mix of truly incicive writing and just intolerable dribble they publish.

This last piece really made me laugh – some poll by some no-name polling firm cited by Venpres showing Chavez at 51% in the polls. OK, fair enough, just because the firm is new doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s lousy.

But then look at the question they asked:

“If the recall referendum were to take place tomorrow, would you confirm President Chavez in office? Yes or No”

Now, unless you’ve recently emerged from a persistent vegetative state, you know that for months the opposition has been waving little “Si!” signs, urging people to vote “Yes” to recalling Chavez. What the geniuses at Indaga have done is switched the question around so that “Yes” favors Chavez – and surprise surprise, yes gets 51%!

Now, yes, Greg, I know you’re not the main person in charge over there, but you’re the interlocutor I have. Try to think yourself back into that academic mindset, into the way of thinking you had to embrace to get that Fullbright. Now, think about it: would you have been able to get research design this dumb past any kind of peer review? You, Wilpert, who for years criticized polls that favored the opposition on methodological grounds…e tu, Greg?

But maybe I shouldn’t even pick you up on this point…you think you have 51%? Great! Lets vote!