Pedro Magalhães

Margens de Erro

Sondagem CESOP, Outubro de 2008

Posted October 10th, 2008 at 8:00 am4 Comments

Realizada para o JN, a RTP e a RDP. O relatório-síntese do estudo pode ser descarregado aqui.

by Pedro Magalhães

Ohio e os comícios

Posted October 9th, 2008 at 3:32 pm4 Comments

McCain, Palin and Obama andam pelo Ohio por estes dias. Numa semana, as duas campanhas gastaram 4 milhões de dólares em publicidade só neste estado. Os dados sugerem que Obama tem, nesta fase, mais dinheiro para gastar que McCain, e que está a geri-lo de forma diferente. Os Democratas estão a gastar em estados antes vistos como improváveis mas onde as mudanças das últimas semanas sugerem a possibilidade de vitória. No Indiana, o rácio a favor de Obama em despesas de campanha é de 20 para 1.

Obama vem a Columbus amanhã. Pelas mailing lists da Universidade, circulam mensagens pedindo voluntários entre as 10 e as 16h de amanhã para gerir o comício. É assim que a coisa funciona. O dinheiro vai quase todo para os anúncios televisivos. Contudo, há cada vez menos pessoas que os vêem. Cada vez mais pessoas têm sistemas tipo TiVo, através dos quais gravam os programas que querem ver e saltam a publicidade. Anteontem, foi assim que assisti ao debate: com um atraso de alguns minutos em relação à emissão ao vivo, fazendo "pausa" para discutirmos pormenores, retomando depois o visionamento da gravação.

Os comícios de McCain e Palin estão tornar-se um bocado edgy. Antes de um ou outro chegarem, há discursos de figuras locais para aquecer a multidão, onde Obama é chamado "Barack Hussein Obama". Quando se lhes pede comentários, McCain e Palin dizem que não têm nada a ver com o assunto. Os discursos deles têm sido pontuados por gritos dos assistentes quando o nome de Obama é mencionado: "terrorist", "traitor" e coisas assim. Há dias, parece que alguém gritou "kill him", e um técnico de som da CNN, negro, foi insultado.

by Pedro Magalhães

Levar Sarah Palin a sério

Posted October 8th, 2008 at 6:56 pm4 Comments

O que eu queria dizer com "levar Sarah Palin a sério" é mais ou menos isto:

New York Times
Op-Ed Columnist
Palin’s Kind of Patriotism

Criticizing Sarah Palin is truly shooting fish in a barrel. But given the huge attention she is getting, you can’t just ignore what she has to say. And there was one thing she said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: “You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.”

What an awful statement. Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

I can understand someone saying that the government has no business bailing out the financial system, but I can’t understand someone arguing that we should do that but not pay for it with taxes. I can understand someone saying we have no business in Iraq, but I can’t understand someone who advocates staying in Iraq until “victory” declaring that paying taxes to fund that is not patriotic.

How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States? Do these people understand what serious trouble our country is in right now?
We are in the middle of an economic perfect storm, and we don’t know how much worse it’s going to get. People all over the world are hoarding cash, and no bank feels that it can fully trust anyone it is doing business with anywhere in the world. Did you notice that the government of Iceland just seized the country’s second-largest bank and today is begging Russia for a $5 billion loan to stave off “national bankruptcy.” What does that say? It tells you that financial globalization has gone so much farther and faster than regulatory institutions could govern it. Our crisis could bankrupt Iceland! Who knew?

And we have not yet even felt the full economic brunt here. I fear we may be at that moment just before the tsunami hits — when the birds take flight and the insects stop chirping because their acute senses can feel what is coming before humans can. At this moment, only good governance can save us. I am not sure that this crisis will end without every government in every major economy guaranteeing the creditworthiness of every financial institution it regulates. That may be the only way to get lending going again. Organizing something that big and complex will take some really smart governance and seasoned leadership.

Whether or not I agree with John McCain, he is of presidential timber. But putting the country in the position where a total novice like Sarah Palin could be asked to steer us through possibly the most serious economic crisis of our lives is flat out reckless. It is the opposite of conservative.

And please don’t tell me she will hire smart advisers. What happens when her two smartest advisers disagree?
And please also don’t tell me she is an “energy expert.” She is an energy expert exactly the same way the king of Saudi Arabia is an energy expert — by accident of residence. Palin happens to be governor of the Saudi Arabia of America — Alaska — and the only energy expertise she has is the same as the king of Saudi Arabia’s. It’s about how the windfall profits from the oil in their respective kingdoms should be divided between the oil companies and the people.

At least the king of Saudi Arabia, in advocating “drill baby drill,” is serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. My problem with Palin is that she is also serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. That’s not patriotic. Patriotic is offering a plan to build our economy — not by tax cuts or punching more holes in the ground, but by empowering more Americans to work in productive and innovative jobs. If Palin has that kind of a plan, I haven’t heard it.

by Pedro Magalhães

The heart of it all

Posted October 8th, 2008 at 4:47 am4 Comments

Por estes dias, estou em Columbus, Ohio, na minha alma mater.
CNN, quem ganhou o debate: Obama 54%, McCain 30%.

by Pedro Magalhães

Peço desculpa, mas não resisti. Cada um é melhor que o outro.

Posted October 6th, 2008 at 3:02 pm4 Comments

by Pedro Magalhães


Posted October 6th, 2008 at 2:46 pm4 Comments

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday is launching a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.

Tenho dúvidas sobre a sensatez político-eleitoral desta coisa. É certo que enfraquece McCain num ponto muito mais sensível e importante hoje do que a conversa de Palin sobre os Weathermen. Mas retira ainda mais a Obama a possibilidade de invocar superioridade moral no que respeita à "campanha negativa". E contradiz aquilo que o próprio disse há uns meses.

A campanha nem estava a ser particularmente negativa, pelo contrário...

by Pedro Magalhães

Avé Maria

Posted October 6th, 2008 at 12:16 pm4 Comments

O terceiro coelho que a candidatura de McCain tirou da cartola - depois de Sarah Palin e do "congelamento da campanha" - é o ataque às ligações de Obama a Bill Ayers, antigo líder dos Weathermen. Não é a primeira vez o assunto aparece: a candidatura de Hillary Clinton foi, aliás, a primeira a falar dele. Há uma breve análise dos factos num post antigo, de Fevereiro, de Noam Scheiber.

Não há muito a dizer, a não ser que cada coelho denuncia de forma crescente a percepção de que a eleição está perdida a não ser que se faça uma jogada desesperada. No futebol americano chama-se a isto um "hail Mary pass":

"a very long forward pass thrown near the end of a game where there is no probability for any other play to score points. This play is unlikely to be successful, because of the general inaccuracy of the pass and the defensive team's preparedness for the play makes it likely that it can intercept or knock down the ball."

Um dos passes bem sucedidos mais famosos de sempre é o "Flutie pass", num jogo entre Boston College e Miami:

by Pedro Magalhães

Os VP’s

Posted October 3rd, 2008 at 10:08 pm4 Comments

O debate esteve longe de ser o freak show que alguns previam. Cada um teve total liberdade de representar o papel que lhe tinha sido escrito. As sondagens, que dão clara vitória a Biden, não reflectem o que se passou em St. Louis. Reflectem sim o que se está a passar no resto do país: as predisposições de quem assistiu e o mood geral da campanha. O debate não mudou nada. E como não mudou nada, tornou o desfecho previsto no post abaixo um pouco, apenas um pouco, mais plausível.

by Pedro Magalhães

Momento "dedinho"

Posted October 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm4 Comments

E para não dizerem que só falo de política americana.

Posted October 2nd, 2008 at 3:40 pm4 Comments

Por razões profissionais, conheço algumas pessoas que trabalham na ERC. E talvez por isso, tendo a ser benévolo, não tanto com o seu desempenho mas, pelo menos, com alguma das suas intenções.

Mas isto da ERC, das funções que a lei lhe comete, da maneira como alguns dos seus vogais interpretam essas funções, das contabilidades que usam para as cumprir e (mais importante) das consequências que tiram delas, da divulgação das (delirantes e deprimentes, por parte de entrevistadores e entrevistados) entrevistas conduzidas a responsáveis políticos e dos media no âmbito de uma "investigação", da constante presença dos seus vogais nas colunas de opinião e das relações no interior da instituição está a transformar-se numa coisa - vamos dizer assim com algum pudor - que começa a resvalar rapidamente para o desastroso. Os mandatos têm cinco anos, e só terminam em 2011. Mas 2011 é tarde demais.

by Pedro Magalhães