10/01/2007 11:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Different Perspective on Disclosure

Last Friday, in my semi-regular "remainders" wrap of interesting poll
blogs of the week, I neglected to link to an interesting
from Kathy Frankovic of CBS News, which has an interesting twist on our
recent focus on disclosure.

She writes of the laws in "at
least 30 countries
" other countries that prohibit the publication of pre-election
poll results, but then also points out the unusual new law in Greece:

In Greece, however, the restriction on
reporting pre-election polls was brand new, and it also carried disclosure
requirements. A published opinion poll there has to be based on at least 1,000
interviews; and the questionnaire, the collected data and the survey report
must be deposited with a special public committee.

After noting that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
would prevent any such prior restraint in our country, she considers that
disclosure requirement:

The Greek law's requirement of disclosure is something that professional survey
research organizations have long desired. The American Association for Public
Opinion Research (AAPOR), the
National Council on Public Polls (NCPP),
and the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), among others, require
disclosure of information that would allow a reader or listener to judge the
value of a poll.

However, these organizations also
oppose government restrictions on publication of pre-election polls. (The
Internet has made those restrictions more difficult to enforce. How could the
French government enforce its law prohibiting the publication of poll results,
if those results appeared on Web site based in Switzerland?)

She goes on to consider the implications of a lack of pre-election
polling in the last two weeks of the Greek campaign. It's worth reading
in full