The results of an online poll run by the ABC’s The Drum was corrected this week due to an almost successful attempt to manipulate the results by means of multiple voting. The question that was asked was: How do you rate Tony Abbott’s first year as Prime Minister?
The final result shows a resounding “Overall bad”, see below:
But this wasn’t the result that was initially published. It was this:
I found the first results puzzling because when I voted, less than 24 hours before deadline, the percentage was at 93% “Overall bad”. Another matter that I found odd was the unusually high number of votes in the poll. I guessed (rightly, as it turned out) that there must have been some devious manipulation of the results.
Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one to suspect something irregular in the results, and Tweeter @johndory49 was one of those who acted quickly .
I give credit to the ABC Drum Team for their timely response to complaints made on this issue by investigating the problem and correcting the results. What was discovered? Well, this is almost unbelievable:
So, What we have here is a clear attempt by some people – and I think we may presume they were from the LNP side of the fence – to slant the results in favour of PM Abbott. I think it could even be justifiably called cheating (did I hear someone murmur “So, what’s new?”).
What have we learned from this episode? Well, for one thing: not to underestimate the capacity of the Abbott Government, its apparatchiks and supporters, to distort the truth by whatever means they have at their disposal. But the most important reminder is that we, the people who really care about truth and transparency in government, should be vigilant, and use all means within the law and within our rights, to expose misrepresentation and lies in government.