Brian Edwards Media

Just a Crazy Thought

Here’s a crazy thought: let’s ban political journalists from delivering ‘who won/who lost’ judgements on election debates.

Why? Because their judgements are worth no more than yours or mine, but their professional status invites us to assume that they are and to be guided by those judgements.

This leads to what you might call ‘a pre-election vote count’.

Let’s say there are ten political journalists covering the election debates. On average six give the overall win to candidate A, four to candidate B. A bit like a boxing match, except that the judges announce their chosen winner before the fight starts.

Well, this may not affect the hardcore supporter of either major party, but the wavering or undecided voter may well be guided by by these ‘expert opinions’ delivered before the final bell.

It’s simple psychology really. We all want to be on the winning side. And if a majority of pundits are calling it for Party A… Well, you’re swimming against the tide, aren’t you, if you vote for any other party.

Doesn’t that amount to undue influence?

As I said: just a crazy thought.


  1. Yes, I completely agree, so therefore your thought isn’t crazy…

    Same goes with their analyses of policies and how the campaign is going. I get fed up with reading so and so’s opinions which are you state are no more valid than your or mine.


  3. Matthew Hooten Worst behaved commentator still gets a option to express his opinion and we are expected to take it on the chin.I think your summation hits this nail on the head.

  4. Yep agree.

    And extend the same principle to (say) Rachael Stewart or her ilk. (NZH 7th Sept “Men in Suits” for eg)

    A “bit” of (declared?) partisan observation is OK but unbalanced opinionated and insulting views … aint journalism … or “fair”! comment.

    Same for the polly “Journalist” pundits.

  5. Totally. You might want to extend the ban on polls, too, while you’re at it. Let’s say….three months out? That’ll work.

    • They already have a ban on publication of polls within a month of voting day in some Scandinavian countries and have done for some decades. How that works in the internet age I don’t know. I’m not sure it can but it would be a relief to try it. There’s quite a lot of research to show that it influences voting behaviour significantly

  6. I’ll vote for you, Brian. Just promise me that you won’t have a change of heart once you take your seat in the House.