Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Sankei Shimbun misleads...

...but that is not news.

However, even the writers and editors of the Sankei need to have some minimal standards, don't they?

Don't they?

Here is the writeup of a weekend poll, published in the Monday, August 20 edition of the Sankei Shimbun.

The results of the "Which party will you vote for in the next election?" question are pretty astonishing. Just a shade below 35% of those polled said they would vote for the Democratic Party of Japan--easily the highest support numbers ever for the DPJ ever--while only 19% say they would vote for the Liberal Democratic Party. Evidently winning an election (and making a few impossible-to-keep promises to the over-represented rural voters too) goes a long way toward making the DPJ a legitimate political alternative.

The results of the "Who would be the appropriate person to follow Abe Shinzō as Prime Minister?" question are also good news for the DPJ leadership. Ozawa Ichirō tops the list with 19.4% support, followed by, get this, Aso Tarō and Fukuda Yasuo tied at 12.8%, Koizumi Jun'ichirō at 10.0%, Koike Yuriko at 3.0% and Tanigaki Sadakazu at 2.4% (somebody out there loves you, Sadakazu-kun!).

Of course, all the breathing human candidates are trumped by the morose "There are no appropriate persons around" who clocks in with 26.4% support.

One should not get too excited about the poll. The Sankei does not indicate how the polling was done. The pollsters also only asked 500 persons their opinions. One really needs to ask about 1000 likely voters at random their views in order to get to a close approximation of actual public opinion.

The above is just filler, however. What I really wanted to talk about is question #3.

Can we please get a closeup of the title of the box item reporting the results of the survey?

"76% of those polled find their lives have been made worse by reforms"


76% think reforms have made their lives worse? How does that gibe with Koizumi Jun'ichirō's continuing relative popularity?

OK, can we go 10 centimeters down the page to the actual question asked?

"Have your daily lives improved under the reform policy lines pursued by the Koizumi and Abe administrations?"

Have they improved? 76.4% say no. But that is not the same as 76.4% say their lives have grown more difficult.

And what is this business of conflating the Koizumi and Abe reforms, as if they were in any similar? What major economic reform has been passed under the Abe Cabinet? How are we not to know that any good established by the reforms of Mr. K have not been frittered away by Escalator Boy, leaving the people no better or worse off than before?

However you look at it, the the assertion made in the title cannot be supported byt actual questioned asked.

What opinion can the Sankei editors have of their readership?

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