Political Polling Popularity?

Pivotfarm's picture

Originally Posted http://www.tothetick.com/political-polling-popularity

Popularity is something that can be determined by two things. Firstly, it doesn’t last! When too many people start liking you anyway, there is always someone that is there ready to knife you in the back. ‘Heil Caesar!’ soon turns into ‘Et tu, Brute’! Secondly, it depends on not what you tend to do but on what the other people (normally those that are voting for you) tend to think you are actually doing in the current circumstances. Popularity is nothing more then, in short, than an inherent social phenomenon that can rarely be explained and can rarely be understood. That doesn’t mean we can’t try, though!

Time and time again, we can look back in history, even our own recent history and say ‘why the heck did I vote for so-and-so’ or ‘he hasn’t done anything since he got into power’. Time goes on, and we forget, we reminisce and we end up seeing that person as being not quite as bad as they were at the time they were in power. French President François Hollande is banking on that right now, anyhow. He is grinning and baring it right now in the hope that the lowest popularity of the French Republic for a President will soon be a thing of the past. Or is he going to go down in history as the most unpopular President that France has ever had? Somebody said that his popularity wouldn’t increase as much as unemployment. 74% of the French are unhappy with him. But, that could have been predicted way before. The French nicknamed him ‘Mr. Flabby’. They thought they had it worse with former President Nicolas Sarkozy, but his ratings only hit rock bottom at 70% being unhappy in April 2011.

Have politicians got it wrong today. Is there too much spin, and not enough action. We’re talking about real action of course. Not just rhetoric. Not just the words we hear over and over again. The words that crop up in combinations these days are ‘resilience’, ‘getting back on track’, ‘going back to core values’, ‘unity’, ‘redefining economics’. Words, words, words. Where’s the action?

We have lists of the most ridiculous world leaders and influential people in our societies that are created. But, how can we rank their popularity against each other? If social networks are anything to go by, we could say that networks like Twitter can make or break people around the world. A US news agency once tweeted that there had been not one but two explosion at the White House in April this year. It was fake, but it brought about economic nose-dive and sent the markets into a tailspin. The Dow Jones dropped 140 points immediately. It might have picked up its losses after just a momentary blip that lasted nothing more than a few minutes, but the temporary loss was calculated at something like $135 billion by specialists. That’s a lot of dangerous money on the line when you get it wrong.

So, maybe Twitter is the answer to who is the most popular? Or, at least who makes us think they are the most active. Remember, it’s all about making people think you’re doing something, isn’t it? President Obama hits the top of the list in the world with the greatest number of tweets and followers. He has 24 million following him on average and that’s an improvement of 15 million since a year ago. Did all those people really follow him? Followers? Even the mere word makes us project them into a position of ‘leadership’, doesn’t it? They lead, we follow. We’re ‘followers’, not doers. But, they seem to forget that we can also ‘undo’ (them). Before Hugo Chavez died on March 5th this year, he was the second most active leader on Twitter. He used it as a media tool to fight against his opponents in the run up to the elections in Venezuela from his sick bed. He still had 20 million fewer followers than Obama though.

But, right now, who is popular in politics? Most European leaders have been retired to country estates or foreign countries in the wake of the political instability that has been our daily bread since the financial crisis took over our lives! Oh! That’s another word I should have added to the lips of the leaders of our countries. There were 11 EU leaders that have been ousted since 2008. Just to name but a meager few:

  •       June 5th 2011

Portugal waved goodbye to Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

  •       September 20th 2011

Slovenia had had enough of Prime Minister Borut Pahor.

  •       October 11th 2011

Slovakia got rid of Iveta Radi?ová.

  •       November 6th 2011

Greece saw George Papandreou resign.

  •       November 12th 2011

Italy kicked out Silvio Berlusconi.

  •       November 20th 2011

Spain voted heavily against Jose Zapatero.

  •       May 6th 2012

France wiped the floor with President Nicolas.

2011/2012 was definitely not the year that was. One that will be forgotten…or remain etched in the minds of those that had to step down or that were forced to.

Popularity ratings of most world leaders is on the wane. Is it the economic times and the financial troubles? The access to information? The rumors that spread like wildfire? The coming clean on this scandal and that scandal that gets revealed in our whistle-blowing age? Tittle-tattling is nothing new anyhow. Obama currently stands at below the average rating of all US Presidents (54% between 1938 and 2013), at 49%. His lowest rating was just 38% in 2011. He has a popularity rating of 49% today in May 2013, but he was at 69% in 2009. But, can we believe what we see in the polls? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran came in just after Queen Elizabeth II of England in a popularity poll for world leaders not so long ago.

When it comes to dishing the dirt, the politicians are always the ones in the firing line. They are the ones that take daily decisions (or don’t for that matter!) that affect our lives for better and for worse. But, hey we never got married. I didn’t say ‘I do’. So, it’s better to oust them as soon as they get too covered in the muck that’s being raked. A good mud-fight is always fun…what did a philosopher say one day ‘lupus est homo homini’, roughly translated as ‘Man is man’s wolf’? Woof! My bark is worse than my bite!

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overmedicatedundersexed's picture

some even think widely reported polling results are valid, yes many hear this pols says the voters like a and not b, another weapon to shape your world view , hey everybody likes this gal or guy get aboard global warming we all agree, gun control why it's the peoples will...simple minds.

AnAnonymous's picture

When it comes to be a servant to the 'american' King class aka WeThePeople aka the 'american' middle class, popularity does not matter.

It is part of the job for an 'american' servant to take the blame that should go to their master, the one that empowers the servant.

Servants to the 'american' middle class, be they corporations or politicians, know that.

A servant to the 'american' middle class needs one thing: serving well his master.

An 'american' corporation will take advantage or organize child labour, take the blame for as long as it is satisfying for the 'american' middle class.

The 'american' middle class will consume the cheap products, tell how sorry they feel for the poor kids and lay the blame on corporations.

Everyone is happy: the 'american' middle class does their consumption act they are renowned for and the corporation serves well his master.

The way it works in an 'american' society.

The current situation is bumpy for the servants though as there is no other 'american' solution to serve the 'american' middle class but to thin it, to reduce the number of middle classers so that the rest can thrive.

'Americans' are people of entitlements and they consider their 'american' middle class status an inborn priviledge.

So popularity of servants to the 'american' middle class will go down: all the infuriated former middle class 'americans' will bash their former servants. They have access to the polls instruments so they will pour their hatred on their servants.

Yet a minor detail as the servants and the 'american' middle class wait for the 'american' normalization of things.

When those former 'american' middle classers get used to their new status and understand that they are no longer part of the people an 'american' servant is supposed to serve, they adopt the 'american' normal and stop bashing the servant.
They will keep bashing other people, especially just right down to them, in fear of falling even more.

'Americanism' at work. Nothing new under the Sun. Same, same good ole 'americanism' since 1776, July, 4th.

nmewn's picture

AnAnonymous has taken up smoking little matterings of crack.

BeetleBailey's picture

Hey...AnAnon...still sleepin with that guy?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

'AnAnonymist' Chinese citizenism citizens are so full of themselves they are fighting desperately lost causes.

Lets open the dam of propaganda. Your long comment addresses none points, is without having ground, and is very zero.

Sparkey's picture

How to be popular and stay popular for a long time! All of life is a stage, why not let your character have a long run. Popularity may be over rated but for people who's character craves the adulation of the crowd, popularity is Mana from Heaven.

I've mentioned before about the correlation between mere Celebrity status and Star status, for all Stars are Celebrities yet not all celebrities are Stars, Politicians  seem to flirt with Stardom at times but true Stardom  seems never to want to dwell in the Politician role.

Lady Gaga is a Star I've often admired, last year Yahoo reported she was the eighth most influencial woman in the World, of course she was behind Hilliary but I wonder how far behind, not really very far at all, I'll bet!

Imagine!; if Gaga was secretary of State and went to NK and danced for Kim and all the koreans on NK TV The American Citizen's hearts would swell with pride, America's leadership  on display for all the World to see, with this kind of innovative stuff we might come to a peacefull solutin to some of our problems.

Nobody has ever really stayed popular except perhaps `Roscoe` Fatty  Arbuckle, there is a guy passing through time undimished, still good for a belly laugh, Politician roles don't seem to be able to hold the audiences the way a good comedian can, there is something which gets written in the script that won't let let the crowd love it for long.

Vegetius's picture

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
  -Samuel Johnson    

The great EU leadership, what a bunch of crooks; The MEPs seem to spend most of their time thinking up ways to steal shit from Brussels. 

One Member of the European Parliament I knew well always had between 5-10 laptops a year from the job on top of around 100,000 in expenses, he reckoned while in his cups that a man should if he was any good, pull 250,000 a year from the EU not including lobbying work. This is on top of that fine fat pension he was to get once he left.

As for members of differing European Parliaments best description is FULL RETARD, goes to show all because someone can give a good soundbite does not mean he’s that clever same goes for the media. So in short the reason people dislike their leaders is that their leaders are lapdogs for special interests who have bankrolled their election. 

 Same in the USA I guess, as this side of the pond but lets look forward to the day we see them dance a Tyburn Jig.

“A little rebellion is a good thing.
-  Thomas Jefferson  


willwork4food's picture

“A little rebellion is a good thing.

Well, they'll get what they want very soon. Funny thing is, they think they'll win. They won't.

NotApplicable's picture

You've just described every form of "representative government" that has ever existed.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Of all the above, Papandreou gets the prize for top hilarious video about himself

From his last days as prime minister, the terrific one-minute hit 'F-ck You Papandreou', with its lyrics to the tune of Falco's 'Amadeus':

« ... But Papandreou didn't give a sh-t, and then he said
'I'm gonna hold a referendum about this deal of yours'
And then the leaders of the Eurozone said 'F-ck you Papandreou' »


TrustWho's picture

Bank Guy, is Papandreou a hero or goat in Greece today?

shovelhead's picture

He better not be a goat...

He'll get eaten.

NotApplicable's picture

Well, this is about the stupidest contributer article I've seen here in a while.

What's next, a critique of the inner workings of Santa Claus?

As I posted in your other article, who gives a fuck about the Clown Show?

Don't you realize your support of the system only further empowers them? The idea that you can "throw the bums out" is childish beyond belief.

Simply put, there is an infinite supply of Al Qaeda "Number Twos." (or any other gang)

12ToothAssassin's picture

Was this entire article one run on sentence?