By Joshua Sager
Throughout the last few weeks, I have been disseminating an online issue survey across all Occupy Boston email lists, websites, feeds and social media. Over 260 people have replied to my survey, giving me a sample of Occupier' views on over 60 issues, from which to draw conclusions. Before you read the results, keep these four points in mind:
- I understand that not everybody took the survey, but I took a large sample size from as diverse a group as I could in order to achieve a representative sample. I wrote, administered, and analyzed the survey on my own, thus it is limited by the resources/time available to me.
- These results are only speaking as to the aggregate views of the occupation on an issue by issue basis; they are not intended to be used as a definitive guide for deciding upon the demands of our group.
- The results are simply a tool intended to help all working groups with their work (EX. ideas/spp can use them to guess which proposals will pass the GA before they bring them up. FSU can use the results in order to target lessons to points of interest, etc...)
- All answers are rough due to the huge size of the 99% as well as the several biases inherent in all surveys. I tried to minimize bias and maximize exposure, but there will always be some error in this type of survey.
My analysis of the survey results included three levels: Support Intensity, Block Override Potential, and Average Support.
In the first level of analysis for my survey results, I found the ratio of respondents that support any single idea to those who don't support it. I divided the answers into three brackets: low, Middle, and high. The low bracket (score of 0-3) is composed of the people who would not support the proposal in any way and would likely be difficult to persuade otherwise. The middle bracket (score of 4-6) is composed of the people who are on the fence and could possible be swayed to the one side or the other. The high bracket (score of 7+) is composed of the people who will support the proposal no matter what. By finding the ratio between those who would support a proposal and those who wouldn't, I can estimate the aggregate levels of support for every included issue. Any issue that has a high ratio of support to oppose is largely uncontroversial and identifiable as a common ideal for the protesters.
The second level of analysis is intended to determine whether the answer to a survey question could pass the general assembly if there were a block enforced. In our process, a block is the most extreme opposition to a proposal in the GA [General Assembly]. If a block is imposed, there is a 90% required consensus in order to push the blocked proposal through the GA. In order to determine whether a measure would push past a block, I calculated the ratio between the frequency of the high bracket of support and the frequency of the block score. Any ratio larger than 9 indicates that the measure could push past a block (90%), but due to the margin of error in my study, I consider any ratio under 15 to have potential for blocking.
The third level of analysis for my survey is intended to determine the average level of support for every issue. I use a simply arithmetic mean calculation to determine the average level of support and apply the low/medium/high support brackets. An average support of over 7 indicates a high average support for an issue while an average of under 4 indicates low levels of support.
All survey results are open source and are available to be used by any Occupy Boston working group, writer, or individual member; I only ask that you do not alter or misrepresent my survey in order to change the results or to portray it as the official voice of the occupation.
Occupy Boston Issues SurveyNOTE: THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL OR BINDING SURVEY. I AM DOING THIS AS AN INDIVIDUAL TO PRESENT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SO THAT THERE CAN BE A MORE REFINED DISCUSSION ON OUR EVENTUAL GOALS AND PRINCIPLES. As we have yet to decide upon a set mission statement or series of guiding principles, I am sending this survey out in order to gauge the views of the Occupy Boston protesters. I have attempted to represent every major issue that I have encountered while talking with the other Occupy Boston protesters over the past ten days and put them into a rating system. Please use the below form to make your opinions on the issues known so that I can bring this to the GA in the future. If you know anybody who is unable to attend the protests, please send this to them because odds are, they are part of the 99% as well and deserve to have their voices heard. Thanks, Joshua Sager Contacts for suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The link below is to the survey itself, which is to be used in order to interpret the answers.
spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US& formkey= dHhSSGl1dnVsVFVaOTlUa3RFck04RH c6MQ#gid=0
Thank you to everybody who participated in my survey or gave me feedback. Again, all questions, comments, or responses are welcome and appreciated.
I can be contacted through several means:
Occupy Boston: ask for Josh at the media tent