You may be familiar with the online political predictor called Intrade. Participants buy or sell shares regarding political candidates and as a game-like poll of sorts (no money changes hands) it supposedly has a track record of predicting the end results of U.S. presidential races. In an article featured on the very fine political news and commentary blog The Iowa Republican, contributor Robert E. White PhD., who teaches management at the University of Iowa, refers to Intrade’s ongoing results for an article titled “The Identity Of The “Most Electable” Republican Is Still Up For Grabs.”
The articles title would seem to make an accurate statement if even for the wrong reason (suggesting special political credence for the Irish based Intrade online site). It seems to us here at Veritas that at a similar stage in the process, and the existence of Intrade back then, Ronald Reagan would have registered low on the Intrade “exchange.” So what is the use compared to other polls?
Its predictor qualities at best seem akin to the self fulfilling prophesies entwined with so called technical trading or perhaps the ability to manipulate the results through concerted effort, an organizational effort that can be reflective of considerable grassroots support, but more likely just some then current superficial enthusiasm.
The “stock exchange” concept for political races seems silly because there is even more susceptibility to manipulation when real money does not change hands, there is no penalty for not doing due diligence and investing accordingly. The results of Intrade are still dependent on what the dominant media is saying (or not saying) about the individual candidates. It is an online poll influenced like others by other polls and what the media says in them or about them. Certainly stock prices are manipulated by media reports but not effectively for long, which is not true of liberal media’s domination of political reporting.
The concept is not much better than buying into a trend that is manipulated by an interested party . . . the liberal media . . . it requires no serious analysis of the” financials” so to speak of the company ( i.e policies) no reliably objective audit is required. Intrade in our estimation is basically a poll of polls and unlike a true stock exchange where lying by the companies’ principles (i.e. candidates) or auditors (the media) is not allowed. Candidates and the media get away with lying, indeed rely on the ability to cover up “material information” that would not be allowed by stock regulations. In politics, with politicians and the liberal media, withholding material information is their stock in trade.
We do not concede even that the presidential nomination can be compared to an IPO, while both are manipulable, the due diligence of real money is not required to be polled in politics and yet the stakes are even higher with politics for the economy as a whole. And with IPO’s one can “purchase” more than one as a hedge.
The Iowa caucuses are more akin to an actual audit and then people putting their “money” (time and effort) where their mouths are. In short, short Intrade as at best it is just a “mouthing” of other polls.