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Opinion Polls Distort Democratic Process – Peters

The media obsession with opinion polls leading up to General Elections is distorting the democratic process, said the New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Mr Peters last night introduced a Private Members’ Bill aimed at restricting the publication of opinion polls for one month before a General Election.

“Since the introduction of opinion polls, there has been widespread debate on whether they affect the democratic process through influencing voters thereby distorting the democratic process.

“There is documented evidence that the results of opinion polls DO influence some voters and that some polls can be manipulated to influence results.

“This is a non-partisan issue. Although we have political differences every Member shares common concern over the importance of democracy.

“Although this move might be seen by some as restricting one freedom, it guarantees another by preserving the integrity of the democratic process,” said Mr Peters.

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