If you are oblivious to the strict environment of Iran where journalists, protesters, students, relatives, marjas, etc. face consequences for expressing their opinion then you need to get out of your cave. If a marja can be put in house arrest for speaking his view then random blokes have no chance, and you think people are going to speak freely right after Iran was cracking down on it's opposition??
First, your perceptions are basically 180 degrees backwards from what basic common sense would tell you. An anonymous average private citizen has a much easier time speaking his mind than a public figure with fame / notoriety / influence because people care what a famous public figure says and not what Yusuf Six-Pack says. A well-connected public figure has a certain advantage in shielding himself from consequences, but is conversely taken more seriously because of his influence, his "Klout score" if you will. The second factor is the more determining factor in how much mouth flapping one can get away with.
Aside from that, however, as I have already pointed out, the pdf you linked to clearly shows a large stratified random sampling of Iranians having little apparent troubles expressing their opinions to researchers.
All polls in Iran are tainted, and when you have a small number like 1000 then it's not even worth discussing. If sampling 1000 individuals is as accurate as you make it seem then Presidents would be chosen by sampling 1000 random individuals rather than allowing everyone to vote.
It doesn't have anything to do with any sort of subjective opinion. It is objective, accepted, known, mathematical reality as taught in any stats textbook. If you get your methodology correct, there is a proven formula that tells you that with a given sample size, you will get a given accuracy and precision. It's statistics. If you take issue with this basic fact, you take issue with ALL opinion polling everywhere.
Incidentally, as an aside, I recall someone proposing precisely what you suggested about election by polls. Wired, I think. A few months back. It would never fly, mind, you; people like their quadrennial illusion of political potency - but it would, given a proper methodology, be remarkably accurate, not to mention a lot cheaper. If you don't believe that, check out the Real Clear Politics archives in the week before the 2008 US election and compare to the actual results. It's within a percent or two for most polls. And again, that's with about 1000 people.
Anyway, let me summarize your apparent argument, such as it is.
1. You in effect refuse to acknowledge the existence of statistics as a mathematical discipline with reliable results.
2. Even though, objectively, both Iranian and Western interviewers apparently have no trouble getting Iranians to speak their mind in polls, such cooperation is axiomatically impossible. Presumably, "cus you said so."
You couldn't even do a search with what I quoted..
Why would you expect someone to do that for you?
You're incrediby obnoxious.
In any case, the point on p 33 is addressed in the p. 3-4 section I mentioned earlier. To quote:
The idea here is that many respondents in Iran may say the opposite of what they think and do so
across various questions.
It should be noted that eight of the polls explored here were conducted before the election. While it is
true that Ahmadinejad was the sitting president, expressing support for another candidate was not at
that time a politically subversive act. The election itself was sanctioned by the government, and
Mousavi was clearly associated with the Iranian revolution. Further, most observers of Iran agree that
the weeks of the 2009 election campaign were the most open period Iranian society had experienced
in recent years. People were freely expressing support for candidates other than Ahmadinejad
without any negative consequences.
Polls conducted after the election, especially those conducted during the crackdown, are more rightly
subject to concern about possible self-censorship. However, it should be noted that respondents did
have the option of declining to answer questions rather than proffering false statements.
As we shall see, polls conducted during the three months after the election did find a smaller number
willing to say that they voted for Mousavi and, in the one conducted three months after the election, a
larger number declining to answer—something that could be attributed to self-censorship. However,
as we shall see, there was not a substantial increase in the numbers saying that they voted for
Ahmadinejad. Interestingly, this is the case even though in Western countries it is common for post-
election polls to show more saying they voted for the declared winner than said so before the vote,
and more than the actual vote tally—something that is called the “bandwagon effect.”
In addition, if we assume that respondents might be censoring themselves for fear that they are being
monitored and might be punished for making politically undesirable statements, we would expect that
responses to other sensitive questions would show this censoring effect. However, in a number of
cases majorities took positions that were arguably more sensitive than saying they did not vote for
Ahmadinejad. For example, in the WPO poll, conducted during the crackdown, respondents were
asked how much confidence they had in a number of institutions. For all institutions, a majority said
they had at least some confidence, but for some of the most politically sensitive institutions less than
half said they had a lot of confidence. For the Guardian Council—the institution most associated with
the regime itself—just 42% said they had a lot of confidence. Even for the institutions that might be
assumed to be monitoring the respondent’s responses, only modest numbers said they had a lot of
confidence—Ministry of Interior (38%) and the police (52%).
Furthermore, respondents showed a readiness to implicitly criticize the Guardian Council. In the press
there was much discussion of the fact that before the election took place, some members of the
council had openly declared for Ahmadinejad. In September WPO asked “Do you think it is
appropriate for members of the Guardian Council to support a candidate in an election, or do you
think they should always remain neutral?” An overwhelming majority (75%) said Council members
should always remain neutral.
Also, if one assumes that the fear of reprisals causes people to refrain from taking positions that are
less than laudatory of the government, then it follows that when the government has intensified its
crackdowns on dissent, full endorsement of the government should increase. However, if people are
answering candidly they are probably less likely to give their full endorsement. As we shall see
below, in a poll by GlobeScan conducted in the week after the election, a large number but less than a
majority (49%) said they were very satisfied with the current system of government. When WPO
asked the same question in early September--when government repression was more extensive and
systematic--the number saying they were very satisfied did not increase, but dropped 8 points to 41%.
The pattern of responses over time is also relevant to this issue. As we shall see in the first weeks of
the campaign there was a sharp decline in support for Ahmadinejad, which then strengthened
following the debate and leading up to election day. This weakens the argument that the Iranian
public was unwilling to express their views on the candidates. Most outside commentary about the
campaign noted the vigor of campaigners in both camps. It seems implausible that public frankness
suddenly peaked on June 1, but then receded sharply in the remaining ten days of the contest.
The commentary on pages 4-5 entitled "Could the poll data have been fabricated?"
is also instructive.
In part to address these concerns, the WPO poll was conducted by telephone, calling into Iran from a
nearby country. Fortunately, telephone penetration in Iran is high enough to make this feasible, with
slightly over 80% of households having a landline telephone. Thus the possibility of government
intervention was eliminated. The telephone interviewing was supervised by a WPO associate, and
analysis of the patterns of responses by different interviewers did not reveal any indication that any
interviewers were biasing the results.
Concerns about government fabrication or data-tampering can however be raised in connection with
the series of polls conducted by the survey unit at the University of Tehran. While the university is a
respected academic institution and is generally seen as being much more closely aligned with the
opposition than with the Ahmadinejad administration, it is possible that the government stepped in
and forced the researchers to put forward fabricated or falsified data. The same can be said for the
GlobeScan poll that was conducted by a fielding agency in Iran through telephone interviews.
First, as we shall see, the top-line answers to the key questions are largely consistent between the poll
that was conducted from outside Iran and those conducted inside Iran.
Further, substantial efforts were made to determine whether such fabrication or data-tampering
occurred. It should be noted that, while it is easy to manufacture findings for a single question, it not
easy to produce a credible dataset that includes multiple questions. There are logical relations
between answers on different questions, and one would expect to find these patterns reappearing
across different polls. In examining the patterns of relations between question answers within
specific polls, between polls conducted within Iran, and between polls conducted within Iran and
from the outside, we found that the patterns of responses were largely consistent.
As we shall see, the top-line findings from the various polls vary across time. Another effort,
discussed below, was to determine if these variations had any logical relation to external events over
the course of the election. As we shall see, we found that they did.
Edited by kadhim, 19 July 2012 - 02:56 PM.