Andrew Dickens: Un-democratic polls, and the real crisis facing humanity

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 1:24PM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Labour Party have rated an impressive 60 per cent in the latest Newshub-Reid research poll. (Photo / Getty)

Andrew Dickens: Un-democratic polls, and the real crisis facing humanity

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 1:24PM

COMMENT:

I’ve never been a fan of polls.

I find them to be very unhelpful for democracy. Actually they’re worse than that.  Tthey deeply undermine democracy.

They reduce the competition of ideas and beliefs and principles to a ranking game without analysis or cogent thought.

They are lazy journalism which is why they are supported by media outlets.  It’s easier to write about someone’s popularity and how it has plunged or rocketed than it is to investigate the policies that person represents.

They have no context and so they mislead.

Parties enjoying  a high poll number can see their supporters become complacent. Their opponents can be convinced to give up because what’s the point? Parties riding high can attract votes simply because of a human desire to be on the side of the winners.

So as everyone always says.  There’s only 1 poll that matters so let’s just have that one.  Give the world some mystery.  Let’s find out on the night of September the 19th.

Meanwhile, last Sunday I had brunch with a respected QC. The conversation naturally truned to the globe and Covid.

He said that he regrets Covid’s rise because it detracts from the real crisis facing humanity which is climate change.

So I asked him what sort of crisis that might look like.

He said that the first impact of climate change on humanity will not be from the climate changing but from humans fighting each other.

As a lawyer he is already seeing businesses preparing to minimise their exposure.  To move the liabilities.

Insurers wanting to increase premiums or refuse insurance.

He’s seeing developers preparing briefs in case developments are flooded or profits diminished by droughts that should have been expected by regulatory authorities.

Activists looking to sue the super polluters.

He said it doesn’t matter if you believe in climate change or not, this will happen.

Meanwhile he has seen little concrete change of behaviour or energy use that will prevent it growing in importance.

So while Covid has distracted us from the looming challengers there’s no way they’ve gone away. And with many economises struggling the carbon fires that provide the energy to grow are being ramped back up.