Home > Fox News, Politics, Polling > 99% Of My Blog Visitors Say It Should Be Shut Down.

99% Of My Blog Visitors Say It Should Be Shut Down.

That is not true. Yet.


This is a poll on the FOX News website which seeks to gauge public reaction to the yesterday’s court decision to strike down California’s ban on gay marriage. What struck me was how anti- “finding out what people actually think” it was.

  • Political framing within the questions: The “No” option adds the phrase “Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman”, an argument for picking no. If they wanted to insert arguments, they could have and probably should have added “The ban violates the principle of equal rights whenever the power of the state is invoked” to the “Yes” option. It also takes for granted some people are against gay marriage for reasons other than “marriage = man + woman” such as “I don’t want to get married and the ban gives me a perfect excuse” [That is an actual argument].
  • I’m pretty sure that someone can be unsure without thinking the voter’s views should count for anything. You can’t give a “not sure” option and then give people their reason for not being sure. Also, the question makes it seem that voters’ views are important in constitutional matters. They do not even merit attention. A constitution enumerates and limits the functions and powers of groups within a political entity. These rules are set in stone, not amenable to anyone’s views and can only be amended through a qualified super-majority decision. In the US:

      Amending the Constitution is a two-part process: amendments must be proposed then ratified. Amendments can be proposed one of two ways. To date, all amendments, whether ratified or not, have been proposed by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress. Over 10,000 constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress since 1789; during the last several decades, between 100 and 200 have been offered in a typical congressional year. Most of these ideas never leave Congressional committee, and far fewer get proposed by the Congress for ratification.

      Alternatively, if two-thirds of the state legislatures demand one, Congress must call for a constitutional convention, which would have the power to propose amendments. As no such convention has been called, it is unclear how one would work in practice. In two instances—reapportionment in the 1960s and a balanced federal budget during the 1970s and 1980s—attempts to use this process have come extremely close to triggering a constitutional convention. The apportionment debate of the 1960s fell only one state short of the required number of states

      Regardless of how the amendment is proposed, it must also be ratified by three-fourths of states. Congress determines whether the state legislatures or special state conventions ratify the amendment. The 21st Amendment is the only one that employed state conventions for ratification.

A better, but not perfect poll:

Yes- Prop 8 violates the constitution / The ban violates the principle of equal rights whenever the power of the state is invoked

No- Prop 8 is constitutional / Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman

Not Sure



The poll is definitely not scientific as they themselves warn, but the question is why do broadcasters do these polls in the first place? They know they can’t be used to conclusively argue anything but still use them. My guess is that they use them to reinforce the beliefs that viewers already hold which explains the polls’ tendency to be skewed towards the view espoused by the broadcaster or host (this is especially true in the United States which has very ideological media which has captured their own).

  1. 06/08/2010 at 6:07 pm

    The author needs to check his reference facts before posting them on his site if he is to be believed at all. He cites Wikipedia as his source for his reference regarding Article V. A simple examination of that article shows that a specific single person on that site has repeatedly “edited” the article to reflect a specific agenda, one that is false and incorrect. The above is only a small sample of this. The author of that article says applications have been unsuccessful. That is a lie and public record proves this to be true. The over 700 examples of applications, far more than needed to cause a convention call can be read at http://www.foavc.org. Indeed if one reads the applications you’ll discover the issues cited each DID receive sufficient applications to cause a convention call even though a call is based on a simple numeric count of applying states. 49 states have applied, 34 is all that is required.

    • 06/08/2010 at 6:22 pm

      I accept that I did not check the Wikipedia reference. All I was trying to show was that constitutions are designed to make amendments difficult so that interests that might arise at some point cannot just change it. I was not commenting on any specific actions. Anyway thanks.

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