Saturday, June 24, 2006

Thompson's Wilderness Bill

The Times- Standard had a short mention of the latest push poll hitting the county. They ask your opinion on various aspects of Mike Thompson's proposal to create more wilderness areas in Northern California. This is the same one our very own Erik Kirk mentioned on his blog the other day.

I don't know that I would have bothered with an automated poll. I'd feel like a fool answering questions from a machine.

I kind of wish they'd have called me, though. Unlike Eric, I'm opposed to Thompson's wilderness bill. We have plenty of wilderness areas in this country as it is. No need for any more.


At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A push poll is designed to change your mind, takes 15 to 30 minutes and offers you several opportunities to change your opinion.

The Push Poll "format, according to the book, "The Polling and The Public," by Herbert Asher, is "a telemarketing technique in which telephone calls are used to canvas potential voters, feeding them false or misleading 'information'about a candidate under the pretense of taking a poll to see how this 'information' affects voter preferences.
"The intent is to disseminate campaign propaganda under the guise of conducting a legitimate public opinion poll," wrote Asher.
The National Council on Public Polls warns that such push polls are used not to collect information, but to "spread rumors and even outright lies about opponents.
"These efforts are not polls, but political manipulation trying to hide behind the smokescreen of a public opinion survey."
"'Push polls' are unethical and have been condemned by professional polling organizations," states the council on its Web site."
Pollsters Push Ratner Arena
by Jess Wisloski
March 26, 2005
The Brooklyn Papers

NCPP - National Council on Public Polls
How to determine if poll results are honest and useful. From the National Council on Public Polls.

20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results

16. What about "push polls?"
In recent years, some political campaigns and special-interest groups have used a technique called "push polls" to spread rumors and even outright lies about opponents. These efforts are not polls, but political manipulation trying to hide behind the smokescreen of a public opinion survey.

In a "push poll," a large number of people are called by telephone and asked to participate in a purported survey. The survey "questions" are really thinly-veiled accusations against an opponent or repetitions of rumors about a candidate's personal or professional behavior. The focus here is on making certain the respondent hears and understands the accusation in the question, not in gathering the respondent's opinions.

"Push polls" are unethical and have been condemned by professional polling organizations.

"Push polls" must be distinguished from some types of legitimate surveys done by political campaigns. At times, a campaign poll may ask a series of questions about contrasting issue positions of the candidates - or various things that could be said about a candidate, some of which are negative. These legitimate questions seek to gauge the public's reaction to a candidate's position or to a possible legitimate attack on a candidate's record.

A legitimate poll can be distinguished from a "push poll" usually by:

The number of calls made - a push poll makes thousands and thousands of calls, instead of hundreds for most surveys; The identity of who is making the telephone calls - a polling firm for a scientific survey as opposed to a telemarketing house or the campaign itself for a "push poll;" The lack of any true gathering of results in a "push poll," which has as its only objective the dissemination of false or misleading information.

Or - Push poll
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. ...Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants....

The main advantage of push polls is that they are an effective way of maligning an opponent ("pushing" voters away) while avoiding responsibility for the distorted or false information used in the push poll. They are risky for the same reason: if credible evidence emerges that the polls were ordered by a campaign, it would do serious damage to that campaign. ... push polls are most effective in elections with fewer voters, such as party primaries, or in close elections where a relatively small change in votes can mean victory or loss.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

A push poll need not be 15 minutes long, and in fact that would be a pretty lame push poll because few people would stay on the phone that long.

These questions were clearly designed to impart information in order to change your mind. There was no information to be gained that was of any use to anybody. I regard as a push poll any poll that is about disseminating information in the pretense of gathering it. I don't even think it has to be negative.

And this poll has gotten around to a lot of people already.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We have plenty of wilderness areas in this country as it is. No need for any more."

Yeah, let's pave over that shit and put big box stores everywhere!

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Fred said...

That's what proponents of wilderness areas always try to use to make their point. We're talking wilderness areas here. Places where motor vehicles aren't allowed or gas engines and the like.

We keep doing this and there's going to be few if any places the majority of people can go to enjoy themselves outdoors.

We're already having problems with this on the local level with more and more restrictions put on what can be done in the parks and beaches. It's getting the same with the national forests and parks and it's already that way with wilderness areas.

We keep adding more wildnerness areas and nobody's going to have a place to go fishing or cut firewood.

Never mind that that's just one more area no one is allowed to work in.

We have enough wilderness areas already.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't the stat something like 60% of land in CA is publicly owned?

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

anon 3:11 - I seriously doubt that. There's a map you can access over at my blog. If that map is accurate, there is no wilderness area in Humboldt County, unless the Trinity Alps wilderness crosses the county borderline.

There are pleny of parks you can drive ATVs into. We don't have to be able to drive over every inch of land to be able to enjoy it.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, i didn't say wilderness area, I said publicly owned.

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Federal public lands account for 28 percent of the Montana's geography.

In the state of Washington the percentage is 27 percent;

New Mexico: 34 percent;

Colorado: 36 percent;

Arizona: 45 percent;

California: 47 percent;

Wyoming: 50 percent;

Oregon: 60 percent;

Idaho: 62 percent; and

Nevada lands are a whopping 93 percent federally owned.

What percentage is state and county owned?

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, some of those states have a great deal of land that nobody wants - especially Nevada. However, I'm encouraged, or would be if "publicly owned" didn't include large amounts of land that are leased and "private" for all intents and purposes until they are stripped of material value.

Of course, ultimately the government owns ALL land. If you don't believe me, stop paying your property taxes.

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Federal land doesn't mean it is protected or wilderness. Los Alamos National Labs in NM is a huge tract of federal land where they make weapons and used to dump the "waste".

Most federal land is not protected wilderness.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't believe I said that. We're talking about a bill to add more wilderness areas to those we already have, not just more federal land.

Most federal land may NOT be protected wilderness, but more and more activities in national forests and parks are being restricted to the point that they might as well be wilderness areas.

The more land the government owns, the less land everyone else will have to work and play on, assuming the trend continues.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public lands like parks were set aside so that regular people would always have access to wilderness areas. So that it wouldn't be reserved only for the wealthy. The continued trend toward restriction of access to public land - land which the public pays for and agrees to set aside so that they will have access to it - is wrong. It defeats the purpose.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

Read this statement by eric carefully and help me out in understanding it: "However, I'm encouraged, or would be if "publicly owned" didn't include large amounts of land that are leased and "private" for all intents and purposes until they are stripped of material value."
What material value? Ever heard of royalties on mineral extraction paid to the treasury? What product does the govt produce that benefits society except the "aesthetic" enjoyment of a "progressive" elite?

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, pogo

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

pogo - the government itself doesn't mine the minerals. It doesn't even hire companies to do it. It leases the lands to private interests - and my understanding is that it is for a fixed rate, not a percentage.

And land is similarly leased out for logging, ranching, and other economic uses.

I'm not even opposed to it in all cases, but the government ought to be honest about the policy. We privatize the profits, while socializing the risk.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

Leases are routinely written for economic activities on both public and "private" land. With regard to mineral extraction (oil, gas etc.) the leasee pays the holder of the mineral rights a royalty. The leasee assumes ALL the risks involved in exploration, extraction and cleanup and pays a percentage of profits (if any) to the owner (govt). Grazing rights are usually handled on a flat fee lease that must be renewed periodicaly. Logging on federal land is handled similar to mineral extraction in that the govt allows harvesting and necessary infrastructure at the loggers expense and gets a percentage of the yield. The govt shares in the profit while assuming NO risks. In addition, taxes must be paid on all of these profits. Sorry eric. You have it backwards on this one.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

pogo - do you have a source, because the percentage thing is contrary to what I've read.

On the risk issue, if the land is destroyed, the government is stuck with it. If neighboring parties are impacted, the government is on the hook for liability. That's the risk.


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