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The key opinion polls we never carry out

By -Ted Malanda | April 7th 2013

By Ted Malanda

Beats me why we invest so much money and time running opinion polls on who is likely to win the presidency.

The experts will differ, but I think polls are no different from the ancient — and not so ancient — African who visits the witchdoctor each morning to enquire, “When I go to the shamba, will the hoe cut my toe?”

So what? Point is at some point, the bugger’s toe would get cut with a hoe. What will be will be. In the manner that man is born to die, that a baby must be male or female, a new president must emerge. We could foretell it months earlier, or wait till the deal is done, but fact is we must have a new leader.

Opinion polls only matter in countries where leaders stand for something, where they have definite opinions about their neighbours, gay rights, nuclear war, global warming and such. But in a country like ours where a leader spends his term trying to split a nonexistent potato among querulous tribes, who becomes the leader doesn’t really matter anyway.

That’s why I think pollsters should focus on more pertinent issues. A few examples will suffice.

Kenya is generally assumed to be a religious society — Christian to be precise. But if an opinion poll was conducted to establish how many citizens regularly go to places of worship, the results would frighten the clergy to death.

If the researchers were to probe deeper, it might emerge that going to heaven is hardly the reason the few who visit places of worship (to ogle at gorgeous choir members) go there in the first place.

Another opinion poll that would cause shudders across the land is relationship oriented. Of course, we see lots of loving couples all over the place. But if a poll was conducted, it would emerge that most people not only can’t stand their mates, but also believe getting hitched to them was the worst mistake they ever made in life.

In actual fact, nearly everyone spends their lives swooning over their teenage love and saying how hopeless their husband or wife is.

And speaking of love, while the Supreme Court was conducting its business last week, the whole nation was riveted on the dramatics of what was assumed to be a matter of life and death. But I can wager that if a poll was conducted, it might emerge that several of those dark suited lawyers were probably daydreaming about some chick they met in campus.

Of course, this is debatable, but I have a hunch that nearly every Kenyan of sound mind, who is aged 18 years of age and over, has bribed a government official and can’t stand politicians unless it is their kinsman’s turn to eat.

Anyone willing to fund these polls?


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