Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Conspiracy?

The 'NO' was a blow to Pres. Santos, to liberals, to the FARC and to Colombia's international allies.
It couldn't lose, but it did.
But perhap the group which comes out looking worst in the vote's wake were the pollsters. Polls published in the weeks before the vote consistently showed the peace deal being approved by more than 60% of Colombian voters. In fact, the NO won, albeit by a sliver.

How is this possible? Abstention was high, so perhaps many SI voters, overconfident of victory, just stayed home. Or, maybe the pollsters didn't do their job identifying which eligible voters were actually likely to go to the polls.

But the most intriguing theory suggests conspiracy. Media, business and government all wanted desperately for this to pass. Some campaign experts belief that many voters want to be on the winning side. So, by making people believe that the deal was a sure winner, perhaps that would make the victory come true. Did these groups team up to fake, manipulate or release polls only if they showed SI winning?

If so, things didn't work out that way.

Even the New York Times seemed to take a SI victory for granted.
VOX has this interesting analysis about why the pollsters misread the vote so badly, and why NO won. All the propaganda made NO voters ashamed to tell pollsters their position, and the victorious signing ceremony, with Timochenko's prominent participation, may have generated a popular rejection. I also suspect that the signing ceremony's air of victory and fait accompli made many SI supporters overconfident, and so they didn't bother to vote.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Stuart Oswald said...

It's results like this and Brexit that give hope to people power and democracy. What's a crying shame is that some people cannot accept the majority verdict of their fellow countrymen. It's a sign of peoples' intolerance towards their own democracy. That their opinion is more important than another. Isn't their a thinking that perhaps a deal that can receive clear support will in fact achieve real peace rather than a give the criminals whatever they want. The good people of Colombia almost sold their country, dignity and law and order for a bunch of nutty murdering terrorists.

Miguel said...

Seems to me that in both the UK and Colombia, the losers did accept the majority vote.