GOOD OLD COLLINGWOOD - PREMIERS IN 2010Originally Posted by Irfan
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Focus groups/talkfests are all hot air.
The people want real action!
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They tested the focus-group bashing extensively with different focus groups and found it played very well.
Think you're possibly taking it a bit too personally - its not the methodology they're bashing, it's the pollies over-reliance on that one methodology.
There is an irony here...
The issue with focus groups isn't that they don't provide a representation of opinions, though of course as a method it has its limitations. The issue with using focus groups to determine policy is that it's pandering for votes usually on fairly shallow grounds rather than presenting a broader political philosophy and a vision for leadership.
Not to say that politicians shouldn't worry about votes or "what people want", but I don't look for leaders who think the best way to determine public policy is to ask a bunch of random people what issues they're most worked up about and follow their lead. We elect people to govern for us based on a presented system of belief and some general policies. The reason I'd rather the ALP ran the country instead of the Coalition isn't because of X or Y promise made during the campaign, it's because I think the general belief system of the party more closely mirrors my own, and I'm interested in what the parties actually think, not that someone told Tony Abbott to say "fair dinkum" a lot because it makes him seem like an ordinary bloke or hearing "stop the boats" and "he'll bring back workchoices" over and over.
Some parts of it are inevitable in modern politics and some are even good, but this campaign has been dominated way too much by that kind of policy guidance.
Last edited by FaaipDeOiad; 24-08-2010 at 03:52 AM.
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Yeah, I think it's more a buzz word by which people mean that it's been a shallow campaign based on vote pandering rather than broader issues. As Matt said, I don't think it's really about the methodology, but focus groups are part of how political strategists work out what's going to be successful and what's not.
The criticism isn't "focus groups are bad at determining information", it's "focus groups are a bad way to decide how to run the country".
Maybe focus groups are getting a bashing because:
a) Abbott didn't fit into the pigeon hole that labor and media commentators said he was destined to collapse into, and
b) Labor's ability to stick to its' convictions over the last 3 years being as weak as water, other than on stimulus spending to avoid recession, thus opening itself up to criticism.
Focus groups or not, the fact remains that the management of the Labor campaign was truly horrific leaks or no leaks.
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