• Sat
  • Aug 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:45pm
CommentInsight & Opinion
LEADER

Hong Kong needs professional, not 'patriotic', pollsters

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 4:02am

One day, the son of a tycoon criticised Hong Kong's most prominent political pollster in front of national leaders for conducting "unpatriotic" surveys. The next day, two leading government figures came out and defended the pollster, Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, saying his surveys at the University of Hong Kong were fair and useful. It's not clear why Peter Lee Ka-kit, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, decided to launch his attack last week during a meeting attended by Zhang Dejiang , one of seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee and chairman of the National People's Congress.

The vice-chairman of billionaire Lee Shau-kee's property empire Henderson Land Development, the younger Lee said the HKU's public opinion programme - of which Chung was the director - published poll results that were "unpatriotic" and "unfavourable to the central and local governments at critical moments".

It's clear the government never liked Chung's work because it often shows the unpopularity of the chief executive and policy officials. Back in 2000, the then Tung Chee-hwa administration had a political scandal on its hands after revelations that pressure was put on Chung to discontinue his polls. Realising the sensitivity of Lee's attack, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Executive Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun praised Chung's work instead. That was a quick exercise in damage control.

It's true that Chung's polls frequently focus on the chief executive and top ministers. But he also polls and exposes the unpopularity of political parties and lawmakers, including prominent pan-democrats. The problem is that there are so few full-time pollsters in Hong Kong, so the HKU polling centre inevitably gets all the media attention. It's really a question of professional standards rather than bias. What Hong Kong needs is more professional, not "patriotic", pollsters.

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3rdView
This is my comments on Ming Pao for the report on polls for the Occupy Central's opinion:
美麗可愛的學術自由!
萬能的的民意傾向!
對強調學術自由的港大民研大張旗鼓做的佔中人民意傾向,得百分百支持”同意普選要符合《公民權利及政治權利國際公約》中的「普及和平等」原則”
這跟對一班小四學生問以後唔使考試,每星期去狄士尼樂園!問住劏房者馬上上樓入住公居!問有樓出租免差銄三年的“民意結果”有何參考價值?有何“學術”價值?和北韓今次大選預期結果有甚麼兩樣?
鍾庭耀先生當年大鑼大鼓的向傳媒申訴有人施壓妨礙學術自由!今天鍾先生可否說明一下個人的政治理念和政治聯系和資金回報酬勞是否有違學術獨立公正中立專業的道德要求!
在傳媒來說重覆報導這些無意義的所謂調查結果,是否有新聞重要性!有否持平說明這些可能影嚮公正的新聞報導!
在大家恥笑共產黨的宣傳手法和利用紅衛兵以達政治目的的時候,我們是否面無愧色的用同樣方式挑起單純的青少年來達得自己或金主的目的?
3rdView
“The problem is that there are so few full-time pollsters in Hong Kong, so the HKU polling centre inevitably gets all the media attention. “
And Mr Chung and the "Academics" condemn Mr Lee’s call for new Pollsters from Chinese University and others to expand the polling efforts and provide comparisons!
ann.wei.121
"Patriotic" has been re-defined in communist China. You are "un-patriotic" if the one who holds power says so, to hell whether you mean good for the nation. Liu Xiao Bo is a good example.
johnyuan
My previous posting stating that Dr. Chung’s polls is more reflection of types of work (or role) than performance of the polled. They are not much of real value.
I will add the followings to further my questioning over Dr. Chung’s political polls:
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1. The result of the poll is reported as approval rating of the politicians. The vehicle that establishes a rating must about an event that has or hasn’t taken place. Yet a single or few events of the polled period to get a rating is precarious. Perhaps it is the event or the issues which are being addressed and not the politician of his larger performance.
2. The polls by Dr. Chong seem to take place too frequent that if the polls are conducted properly at some international professional level. Poor organization of a poll renders poll results undependable and meaningless. Proper polling is expansive and time consuming.
.
Dr. Chong is operating under a very short memory span of Hong Kong politicians that he must carry out so many polls. But the results shouldn’t be taken as approval rating of the politicians by Hong Kong people.
When come to frequent polling to reflect specific event and issues, I think SCMP’s polling is quite good as far as within a very limited set of people – its readers. But SCMP never claim those polling is an approval rating of a person unless it meant to be.
.
I will advise Dr. Chung to defend his polling in SCMP and not letting SCMP do so with useless takes.
johnyuan
Correction:
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Dr. Chong is operating under a very short memory span of Hong Kong politicians should be:
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Dr. Chung is operating under a very short memory span of Hong Kong people about politicians
DinGao
Who do they poll and how do they poll? If they cold call, they must have a lot of failed calls. People calling me and saying Wei? get cut off as most of them are trying to get me to take out a bank loan.
johnyuan
I will advise any political poll that its poll result if for public publication, it should be accompanied by information of the context of the poll. The media should be required to print the context. The public have every right to know the context from which to make judgment of the poll result.
johnyuan
‘It's true that Chung's polls frequently focus on the chief executive and top ministers. But he also polls and exposes the unpopularity of political parties and lawmakers, including prominent pan-democrats. The problem is that there are so few full-time pollsters in Hong Kong, so the HKU polling centre inevitably gets all the media attention. It's really a question of professional standards rather than bias. What Hong Kong needs is more professional, not "patriotic", pollsters.’
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The editorial deflected the media’s selected use of political poll results of which SCMP practices also. In the same breadth asking for more professional pollsters to overcome the misuse of Chung’s polls is missing the logic in cause and effect.
.
This editorial is gibberish of no professional standard fitting to be in any editorial. Yes, Hong Kong also needs professional to run newspapers as well.
 
 
 
 
 

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