Don’t Call Me At Dinnertime and I’ll Tell You No Lies

Have you ever lied to a pollster?

Me neither.

Okay, let's make a deal—I'll choose to believe you if you choose to believe me. And never mind the fact that anyone who would lie to a pollster might also lie about whether she had ever lied to a pollster.

Actually, I don't lie to pollsters. Suppose someone calls and wants to know my opinion on an issue—whether marijuana should be legalized, say, or whether the President is doing a good job. If I decide to answer the questions, I'll probably go ahead and tell them what I really think. That's assuming the caller is polite, the poll doesn't take too long, the questions appear reasonably unbiased, and I'm not in the middle of dinner.

For more specific questions, though, like which candidate I intend to vote for in a particular race, I generally decline to answer at all. For one thing, I tend to be suspicious about the impartiality of a great many polls. Framing questions so they are unbiased is incredibly difficult even if you're trying to be neutral—which, in my opinion, is often not the case. Maybe I'm just naturally contrary, but I prefer not to participate in what is essentially a marketing strategy for one candidate or another.

My second reason for not answering pollster's questions is, I hope, a bit more high-minded. One of the rights we have in this country is that of being able to vote in secret. I value the fact that no one, from an employer to a government official to my spouse, has the right to know how I vote unless I choose to tell them.

So why on earth should I share that information with some miscellaneous polling organization just because they happen to call and ask? If they want to find out how I'm going to vote, they can just wait until I get to the voting booth on Election Day.

After all, sometimes that's exactly what I do myself.

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Categories: Living Consciously | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me At Dinnertime and I’ll Tell You No Lies

  1. Frank

    It’s a darn good thing that politicians don’t know what I think of the lot. I have always thought them to be hypochrites of the worst kind, slinging mud at each other during elections and then buddying up. I will be glad when Nov. 2nd is here and gone and we can be shut of them. Grump,grump. Ginny will answer the polsters but I hang up on them.

  2. Kathleen

    There was a letter to the editor in our paper today about people running for office as “outsiders.” The writer (a SD legislator) asked, “If they hate politicians so much, why are they spending so much money trying to be one?”

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