Friday, November 19, 2004


APSA – Election Special

Just home from The APSA Post-Election Conference: “Assessing the 2004 Election: What Happened and Why?”. The Panel discussion was held at American Council of Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Washington DC.
John Kingdon was the moderator of a field of panelists who referred to the candidates from the Republican party as “they” and Democrats as “we” just a few times too many to make it sell as a non-partisan event. And even if everybody on the panel didn’t use these fine semantic distinctions the framing of the questions definitely left no one wondering on which candidate the panelists had cast their votes.

Bring One Democrat pollster to the table. Bring One Democrat scientist blogger (Ruy Teixeira). Bring one journalist from The Washington Post. And just to add a little flavor of impartiality – a representative from The Campaign Finance Institute.
Add them all together with John Kingdon and – simsalabim – a political science panel – as objective as science can be. It is an understatement of the year to say that Democra…sorry… the political science community isn’t working very hard to try and hide its partisan framings of issues.
Why in the world did APSA not let a Republican pollster get on the panel? Two weeks after the election - when the evangelical vote has been analyzed over and over again, and found to be nothing more than a phantom in pollsters minds (see my earlier posts on the subject) - the APSA panel lets a Democrat pollster (who happens to be an old student of Kingdon) suggest that "born-again Christians" were behind the entire Bush victory.

Link: Donkey rising

One of the main difficulties with a broader theoretical scope, as I have tried to apply it in my research, is that APSA, AEA and The Public Choice Society are getting farther away from eachother. Not only in the way their members might be biased in ideological terms, but also in the way they use premises for their research.
I recommend this guide to help answer the question: Why are Public Choice scholars different?

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