Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Drudge Primary has just changed how politics is done.

The Drudge Report is making his own news. A just- posted on-line primary poll is getting 3000 hits a minute. After only half an hour he has posted the largest pre-presidential poll yet with a breakout for New Hampshire voters.  His readership passes thirty million a day and is not linked to any party.  Check back later. In one day for free he could sample 10% of the adult population the United States.

We sample the electorate once every four years in Canada and  used to send MP's by train from every corner of the dominion to Bytown equipped with a meeting hall and access to telegraph but not telephone.  If sampling is on a large enough scale to hard-to-game, a layer of management in Otawa will someday be deleted.  It's easy to fake a small sample but not a big one.  It's easy to fill a ditch with water but not easy to change the height of the Fraser River where it meets the sea.  Drudge is sampling on such a fantastic scale that it's like he's measuring the mouth of the Fraser instead of McIntyre Creek to identify the marketplace of opinion.  Why is an electoral vote called a decision but a voter's judgement expressed on-line called only an opinion?

Democracy will be getting messier as more hundreds of thousands of citizens find a way to be active stakeholders in the decisions of government.

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