We, the people of Bangladesh, are eagerly anticipating the upcoming national election to be comprehensive and inclusive in our country. This is a matter that concerns our nation alone. However, we have noticed the unwarranted involvement of a foreign diplomat who seems to be jumping from one place to another – from the media to the Election Secretariat, and even engaging with NGOs that have questionable affiliations with powerful nations, all to spew nonsensical rhetoric. He seems to be attempting to dictate how our national polls should be conducted, without any authority or mandate, acting on behalf of his country’s vested interests.
His smiles appear disingenuous, suggesting that there might be ulterior motives behind his actions – morally reprehensible ones at that. Therefore, it is only fitting that we reprimand and strongly criticize him for his behavior.
In the historical context, let us briefly examine the U.S. presidential election:
It is widely known that voter fraud has been an issue in America. Following the 2020 election, President Donald Trump launched numerous lawsuits to review the results in battleground states, claiming that the election was tainted by “tremendous corruption and fraud.”
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, powerful networks called political machines often controlled local votes through cronyism, bribes, and manipulation of the voting process. This consolidated political, social, and financial power in the hands of a few individuals.
Various tactics were employed to suppress votes, especially in the South, including theft of ballot boxes, relocation of polling stations, burning of ballots, illegal arrests on election day, importing voters who did not reside in the precinct, wrongfully striking off names, fabricating reasons to avoid holding elections in precincts with a significant Black population, casting votes on behalf of deceased or fictitious individuals, ensuring that poll watchers and counters became intoxicated during the vote count, and organizing disruptive demonstrations to intimidate voters.
The allegations of fraud have had a detrimental impact on the U.S. election system.
Following foreign meddling allegations in the 2016 presidential election, concerns about voter suppression and unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud by undocumented immigrants loomed over the subsequent midterm contest, particularly in Georgia and other states.
Vote buying is the act of seeking to buy a voter’s vote in an upcoming election, which can take various forms, such as monetary exchanges or exchange for goods and services. Although this practice is illegal in many countries, it remains prevalent worldwide.
During the 19th century in some parts of the United States, competing parties engaged in secret vote buying, compensating voters with cash or covering their expenses, such as house payments or taxes. To maintain secrecy, parties would establish fully staffed vote-buying shops and employ runners to find potential voters and negotiate with them to vote in favor of their party.
In the U.S., voters may also receive money or rewards for voting in a particular way or not voting at all. In some jurisdictions, this practice is referred to as “electoral treating” and remains legal in places like the Seneca Nation of Indians.
In America, vote buying can manifest as “turnout buying,” where a broker pays for transportation to polling locations or incentivizes specific demographics that strongly support their party to vote. While this may not change the political preferences of the voters, it ensures a certain number of votes for their party.
The foreign diplomat we are referring to has no other purpose in our country but to dictate how our national polls should be conducted. He has established undercover connections with local individuals who aim to undermine the current government through covert means.
In his book “Mobocracy: How the Media’s Obsession with Polling Twists the News, Alters Elections, and Undermines Democracy,” Matt Robinson examines the problems arising from the media’s excessive reliance on polls in America. Despite significant issues with question wording, sampling error, and response bias, news organizations treat survey results as infallible. Consequently, pundits, the media, and voters create political narratives to justify these results, committing the logical fallacy of reasoning from effect to cause.
Media reports indicate that the 2020 presidential polls in the U.S. had the worst performance in decades.
A task force established by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) analyzed 2,858 polls, including 529 national presidential race polls and 1,572 state-level presidential polls. They discovered that the surveys overstated the margin between President Biden and former President Donald Trump by 3.9 points in the national popular vote and 4.3 percentage points in state polls.
Almost every state’s polls underestimated the support for Trump, with an average understatement of 3.3 percentage points. Similar issues affected polls for Senate and gubernatorial races.
The accuracy of issue polling could be compromised by the same problems that affected election polling, as support for Trump versus Biden correlates strongly with party affiliation and opinions on various issues.
Josh Clinton, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University and chair of the 19-member task force, noted, “There was a systematic error that was found in terms of the overstatement for Democratic support across the board.”
Now, it should be apparent to everyone what the true agenda of this foreign diplomat and his country is concerning our nation and our national polls. We should not place any trust in someone engaged in covert activities from hostile frontlines.
Let us focus on our own country’s affairs and refrain from interfering in the internal matters of others, including the meddling of outsiders like him.
We should remember the saying, ‘One black sheep spoils the whole flock.’ It is our collective responsibility to unite our voices and prevent any intrusion into the national affairs of his tainted country, with the aim of building a better and peaceful global society for all. Down with Uncle Sam and their local and foreign collaborators.”