Generally speaking I’m not the sort of person who is very open to participating in research surveys. I understand the value of research and so in principle I agree with the thinking that informs surveys. However, I tend to find that most research surveys aim to measure a very narrow aspect of popular opinion and hence most polls are designed to be used as tools to push certain agendas. For example, according to Tamara Straus (2001), polls are used in the US to justify oppressive policies, attack opponents, etc.
In contrast, the rationale behind the ‘Reimagining Society Vision and Strategy Poll’ is revolutionary different to the thinking that underpins mainstream research surveys. The ‘Reimagining Society Vision and Strategy Poll’ wasn’t designed by ‘experts’ who claim to have a deeper understanding of social reality than ordinary people. The survey was designed by the same community it aims to poll. Furthermore, rather than rationalise a certain dogma, the survey aims to open possibilities for a more informed debate. It is not narrow in scope; it challenges one to reflect on one’s position. It is truly an intellectually stimulating exercise that aims to explore possibilities for practically implementing non-hierarchical, inclusive, participatory politics.
I found taking the ‘Reimagining Society Vision and Strategy Poll’ both exciting and educational.