Sunday, 21 February 2016

Some interesting thoughts on campaign door knocking and other political news and views

Will a Five-Minute Discussion Change Your Mind? A Countrywide Experiment on Voter Choice in France - Existing evidence on the impact of door-to-door canvassing comes from small-scale experiments that assign treatment at the individual level (at which voter choices are difficult to measure) and assume greater control over canvassers' selection and behavior than is typical to most campaigns. This paper takes a different approach by assigning entire precincts to either a control group or a treatment group in a countrywide experiment during François Hollande's campaign in the 2012 French presidential elections. Overall, activists supporting the Parti Socialiste's candidate knocked on five million doors. Visits did not affect voter turnout but increased Hollande's vote share in the first round at the expense of his right-wing opponents and accounted for one fifth of his victory margin in the second round. This impact largely persisted in later elections, suggesting that even brief one-on-one discussions can have a large and lasting persuasion effect.

Larry Summers: I’m more convinced of secular stagnation than ever before - I would put the odds of a U.S. recession at about 1/3 over the next year and at over ½ over the next 2 years. ... I would put the odds of a U.S. recession at about 1/3 over the next year and at over ½ over the next 2 years.

The party crashers: Is the new populism about the message or the medium? - The American party system is not only a creation of the press; it is dependent on it. It is currently fashionable, indispensable, even, to malign the press, whether liberal or conservative. “That’s the media game,” Sanders said, dismissing a question that Cooper had asked him during CNN’s town hall. “That’s what the media talks about. Who cares?” But when the press is in the throes of change, so is the party system. And the national weal had better watch out. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, that the accelerating and atomizing forces of this latest communications revolution will bring about the end of the party system and the beginning of a new and wobblier political institution. With our phones in our hands and our eyes on our phones, each of us is a reporter, each a photographer, unedited and ill judged, chatting, snapping, tweeting, and posting, yikking and yakking. At some point, does each of us become a party of one?

The golden generation - Why China’s super-rich send their children abroad.
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