Do the Greeks have a good idea here?

Yes, I know they’ve messed up their economy pretty badly, and now they are adding a level of political chaos that threatens do suck plenty of (relatively) innocent bystanders into the vortex. But, reading a Motley Fool article about the Greek election (coming this Sunday) a sentence jumped out at me:

“Greek law prohibits opinion polls from being released within two weeks of an election.”

Is this a good idea? I suspect the Greeks aren’t the only ones that do it. It might be deemed to violate freedom of speech, press and the personhood of corporations, but I kinda like it. What think?

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Lance Groth on 06/15/2012 - 05:07 pm.

    Yes!

    And I would add another clause: No more than one poll a week. I hate the constant polling almost as much as I hate “reality” t.v. Both are a complete waste of time.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/15/2012 - 05:27 pm.

    employment

    It would put a lot of people out of work.

    And I could think of a few other things that might also be banned in regard to elections.
    As you say, it would raise some serious first amendment issues, particularly now that corporations (including, I assume, pollsters) are people.
    It would not fall under election practices or campaign regulations, either, so these could not be used as leverage for regulation.

    Maybe we could follow the Greek example of violence towards ones political enemies and go back to the Burr–Hamilton duel.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/15/2012 - 07:00 pm.

    No polls on election eve

    I like it.

    Let voters make up their own minds, based on their own knowledge – or the lack thereof – and let the chips fall where they may. Even the best polls typically have a margin of error of 3 or 4 percent – more than enough to cover the winning margin in a moderately tight race. The only speech being limited in that instance would seem to be that of the poll itself, which courts might well rule to be constitutionally insignificant.

    I’ve also read that in some countries (Britain?), campaigns are limited to 6 weeks’ time. That, too, seems a good idea. A worthwhile idea that can’t be communicated in 6 weeks might not really be all that worthwhile. Whether it’s worthwhile or not, we’re approaching “perpetual campaign” mode, which benefits polling companies and political consultants, but pretty much no one else.

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/16/2012 - 09:20 am.

      I really like limiting campaign time

      Personally, I really like limiting campaign time. These days after an election cycle completes, the next campaign cycle starts after the speeches, sometimes before the speeches. Politician have the art of wasting time down to an art. Limiting campaigns would cause a problem for the politicians. It would give them all that extra time to do what they are elected to do, the business of the state. In reality all they need is about one weeks time to do the states business, which is about how much they spend on it now. Everything else in the legislative session is nothing more than posturing, throwing up fuzz balls to see what sticks, and sexual escapades. Short election cycles will be a boon for a few wealthy individuals because they won’t have to fork out big bucks to buy elections anymore. It will be much cheaper for them. The extra money they will have can donated to help pay down the debt or create the jobs they are supposed to be creating. Before the legislators adjourn sine die they will need a little extra time to vote themselves a pay raise.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/16/2012 - 09:40 am.

    Logical conclusion

    If we carry the argument to its logical conclusion and make the right assumptions about constitutionality, we should outlaw private political polls altogether as an infringement on the states’ rights to govern elections.

  5. Submitted by Brian Simon on 06/18/2012 - 12:34 pm.

    wrong problem

    The polling is annoying, but killing it wouldn’t change much. As for the perpetual campaign, it is not as insidious as the perpetual fundraising cycle. I’d ban fundraising outside a small window & reverse SCOTUS decisions that equate 1) money with speech and 2) corporations with citizens.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/18/2012 - 04:39 pm.

    It’s instructive to see lefties

    try to outdo each other in how they would go about banning free speech.

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