Polling and politics

 

A chara, – Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has described as “sinister” and “bizarre” Sinn Féin’s use of fake pollsters to obtain voter data.

What I find sinister and bizarre is Mr Harris’s deafening silence since it has emerged that Fine Gael engaged in the very same tactics.

The dearth of integrity in Irish politics is depressing. – Is mise,

SIMON O’CONNOR,

Crumlin,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – Simon Harris has described the undercover polling by Sinn Féin as sinister and bizarre.

Now that his party Fine Gael has admitted to doing the exact same thing, even with fake polling company cards, what steps will he take to ensure this sinister and bizarre act by Fine Gael will not happen again and that anyone who did engage in this act is held responsible? – Yours, etc,

CONOR COOKE,

Dundrum,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – In the run-up to some recent elections, people who identified themselves respectively as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Green party members turned up on my doorstep seeking my vote for whatever candidate they professed to support. Unusually refreshing was their cheerful disowning of hallowed party policies and a frank admission that a parachutist’s inclusion didn’t enhance the party ticket. What impressed me most was their willingness to spend valuable canvassing time discussing points I raised.

In the light of the current furore about party members passing themselves off as pollsters, my election-time experience raises the possibility of equally heinous impostures. Do pollsters masquerade as party volunteers? – Yours, etc,

COLM GALLAGHER,

Portmarnock,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – To remove the need for data collection, I will not be voting for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or the Green Party in any forthcoming election. I expect I am not alone. – Yours, etc,

NOREEN KELLY,

Ballincollig,

Cork.

Sir, – Tell me the truth when you knock on my door. So whenever you hear the limp and mealy-mouthed excuse “Everyone was doing it ”, you do have to wonder. What is ” everyone” doing now, with search algorithms, databases and IT professionals? I fear that this “cute hoor” approach is the tip of an ugly iceberg. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL DEASY,

Carrigart,

Co Donegal.

Sir, – Good luck with anyone ever trusting a polling company in the future. – Yours, etc,

HELEN NOONAN,

Ranelagh,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – Politicians giving dishonest answers is nothing new. The fact that several parties also ask dishonest questions is something of a surprise. I can see complications for genuine pollsters.

Before they get to ask their questions they may have to answer the classic, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of . . . ?” – Yours, etc,

KEVIN O’SULLIVAN,

Phibsborough,

Dublin 7.