Cyberwanderer’s Blog

January 11, 2008

2008 would be an eventful year

Happy New Year to everyone!

2008 has the potential to be more eventful than last year. Some of the upcoming events includes Olympic in China; U.S. Presidential election; high possibility of election in Canada; possible recession in U.S. which would almost certainly affect most of the countries in the world; Parliament and presidential election in Taiwan within several month of each other and before the Olympic.

Some people are concern about the Taiwan election because they fear that Taiwan’s current president might take advantage of China’s Olympic to cause trouble. I’ll talk more about this, along with questionable win of that president in the past election, in another post.

On the 11th day of the month, some of the top news so far:

U.S. Presidential Primaries Discrepancy

clinton-obama.jpgThe hotly contested U.S. presidential election primaries saw Hillary Clinton making a comeback in New Hampshire. In the blogosphere, one interesting topic was how Diebold machines result in more votes for Clinton than hand count one. If you put that into perspective with the fact that media was baffled as to why exit polls did not match the results, it raises some doubts and questions. Brad blog’s cites a lesser known Democratic presidential candidate who points out discrepancy in hand counted and Diebold machines. Nancy Tobi, a New Hampshire election integrity watchdog also expresses her concern. Clark’s blog uses data from to show the discrepancy.

Searching Google for news about exit poll discrepancy return few relevant results. Most news talk about how exit polls shows women voted for Clinton so that explains her win. Now there’s wide variety of reasons and excuses being used to explain why the exit polls predicted Obama will win but Clinton won instead. The news headlines became “NH exit polls explain surprises” as if exit polls have been right all along. A Toronto Star article explore some possible reason about polling error but does not mention raw exit poll overall result. The common reason for incorrect polls was the voter lied to the pollsters to give politically correct answer because Obama was black. I was not very satisfied with the answer so I checked out Chris Matthew’s youtube video (see video below after this post) where he talked about raw exit polls data and discrepancy. One thing that was said which stand out for me was the sample could have been wrong even in the exit polls. They might have underestimated the sample for women who turns out in large numbers to vote for Clinton.

Election Fraud Concern

The reason I was so interested in this is because I remember the last U.S. presidential election where exit polls shows Kerry have won but election result shows otherwise. They were quick to dismiss it as exit poll being wrong. The media said no more of this and remained quiet probably out of embarrassment. In other parts of the world like Ukraine, there was an election also and the exit polls prediction was different from the election result and it gave rise to people’s revolution which overthrew the elected government, claiming election fraud using exit polls as basis. Why is it then that in U.S., where exit polls have been used to accurately predict election results, suddenly becomes so unpredictable? Are the pollster in U.S. becoming incompetent?

Personally, I was leaning towards Clinton because I thought Obama’s popularity is a result of hype and hysteria. So I am not alleging Clinton won through fraud in voting machine. But one nagging question keeps coming up is why are pollster in U.S. becoming so incompetent? Coincidentally, it happens during a time when voting machines were introduced in U.S. elections. Coincidence or not, I think it won’t hurt for election watchdog group to keep an eye and do a thorough study on these voting machines to make sure there’s no machine error like the one shown in the HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy” (a video can be found on youtube – see embedded link after this post).

Other news:

Electric cars and cheap car

India’s Tata Motors introduced Nano – the world cheapest car at $2,500. A strip down very basic car.

GM reintroduced electric car after scrapping their EV1 (due to conflict with California zero emission law). Celebrity like Tom Hanks drove it before it was discontinued. CBS news article on March 11, 2003 mentioned

When the EV1 was introduced California was setting tough new standards for cutting air pollution from cars. But since then GM and other automakers have gone to court delaying those standards. With the immediate pressure gone, the EV1 is going too.

This became the topic of the movie “Who killed the electric car?” (see video of the trailer after this post). Now due to losing market shares, GM is trying to revive the electric car. This time they are calling it Volt. They hope to bring it into market by 2010.

Financial Post article:

GM took tons of heat for killing its first electric car, the EV1. Now it’s back with the Volt. Based on simple concepts, the Volt has revolutionary potential and an audacious 2010 launch target. Better yet: It counts former critics among its leading fans

Maybe financial difficulties in GM would finally make electric car a reality.

Chris Matthew’s HardBall on Exit Polls discrepancy

HBO’s Hacking democracy on voting machine

Who killed the electric car? trailer

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