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Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions

The Carbon Tax is melting down Australian politics. The spin is running wild and the falsity of “carbon pollution” (sic) preys on yet another political leader.

Two polls met head to head today, one showing 59% of Australians don’t want the tax, and other saying that 72% of Australians want government to negotiate with Greens on the carbon levy. It’s a PR war out there, and, humans being gregarious creatures, every side wants to be in the majority — it’s a critical mass type of thing.

It’s easy to figure out which poll is closer to the truth.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) poll asked 550 adults the simple question:  “Thinking about the carbon tax. Are you in favour or against the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia?”. 59% were against, 13% didn’t know. Making it 72% who are not for it.

Meanwhile, proving that you can get almost any result you want on a poll if you ask the right questions, Galaxy Research asked 1036 people, the complex, loaded double whammy:

Thinking now about some federal issues. All sides of Australian politics agree that there is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help address climate change. Do you believe that the best way to achieve this is to tax the big polluters or pay money to polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions?

Support tax: 58%
Support paying polluters: 17%
Undecided: 25%

The poll tells us nothing about climate change but definitively shows 42% of the public are not fooled by loaded questions. What’s surprising is that only 58% support the idea of taking money from monstrous self serving polluters. I mean really, if there were polluters out there, surely everyone would tick that box? Why aren’t they in jail?

Question 2 of the Galaxy poll asks if you would like a free gift from the biggest nastiest companies. Again, at least 33% of the public are smart enough, and honest enough, to turn it down.

Do you support or oppose a price on carbon that would tax the biggest polluting industries, returning all revenue to compensate households and businesses, and provide investment in climate change programs such as renewable energy?

Support: 66%
Oppose: 23%
Neither / Don’t know: 10%

Perhaps we can help Galaxy with it’s next round, after all, where can they go to from here?

How about: Thinking now about your children’s future and the devastating effects of sea level rise and heatstroke. Would you prefer to:

a/ pay 1000% more for electricity from other less efficient sources,

b/ get $1000 per year in compensation from giant multinational polluters mailed direct to your house,

c/ all of the above.

Not surprisingly, it’s hard to find the Galaxy “polluters” poll on the Galaxy site. They know it was a naked slab of push polling rather than market research. If I wanted to be taken seriously and I did a poll like that, I’d hide it too.

The Greens of course, don’t realize how obvious it looks and trumpet it from their site — they are so naive, they included both questions in full.

h/t Scaper and Pat. Ta!

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Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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45 comments to Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions

  • #
    Carl Chapman

    There are no “big polluters”, only lots of little polluters who add up to a big polluter, ignoring the fact that CO2 isn’t pollution anyway. Bob Brown might call a power station a “big polluter”, but every time he turns on the lights he’s using electricity from the power station.


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    pattoh

    I did not know the were all acolytes of Escher


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    Andy G

    I sort of hope the Lab/Greens actually believe their poll, and it gives them the guts to push for an election on the issue.;-)


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    Bulldust

    I’d link Yes Minister again, but I think we’ve all got the gist by now :) Who would have thought that there was something beyond lies, damned lies and statistics?


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    J.Hansford

    CO2 is not air Pollution……. Sorta reminds me of a rock song from some Aussie band….;-)


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  • #
    wes george

    Andy G,

    I agree. Let’s all encourage the radical Greens to believe their own delusional extremism.

    I just sent Bob Brown an email beseeching him to stand firmly against the Big Capitalist Fat Cat Polluters who are destroying Gaia with their deadly Carbon Poison just so that Greedy Bogans in their McMansions living in totally Unsustainable Suburbia can be part of the Obesity Epidemic…

    Polls show that 98% of fair dinkum Australians are willing to sacrifice the economy to Save The Planet! (Note: The latest numerical modeling suggests that these numbers may be underestimating support for a Carbon Poison Tax by 10 to 15%.)

    BTW, I mentioned that I am a big supporter of the terrorist group Hamas and told him to lay off the Anti-Zionist wing of his party. After the Carbon Poison Tax Victory, it’s time to round up the Jews!

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/a-party-of-ignorant-extremists/story-e6frgd0x-1226034965235


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    Caligula's Vet

    Polling is the new spin. My favourite Poll is still the Galaxy/WWF poll in Qld the week before PM Rudd was rolled. This was immediately after two state by – elections in Qld that were a disaster for Labor.The two part poll question was …. do you support a carbon trading scheme? … If not, would you support it if there was no cost to you?……. That question morphed into the lead headline for the Australian newspaper. …. Voters turn on Kevin Rudd for not introducing an ETS….. Rudd was rolled within the week and I still wonder if that headline influenced the cabinet meeting. Tricky Pollies, these WWF people.


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  • #
    Damian Allen

    I have One Request…..

    Can we all be more accurate when this tax is mentioned?

    It is a tax on PLANT FOOD ie. carbon DIOXIDE and not “carbon”.

    Thanks.


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  • #
    Albert

    I was surprised to read that a Galaxy Poll found 60% of Australians were in favor of a Carbon Tax when it’s obvious from the protests the reverse is more likely.
    So it was a loaded question.
    I know that you can employ a polling company to ask a question in such a way that the question will deliver the answer you seek.
    In Australia we’ve seen this with questions during a referendum. The Government will allow the referendum if they can get the result they want with tricky questions, leaving you little option but to tick the box they want ticked.


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  • #

    [...] polling with loaded questions. Two polls met head to head today, one showing 59% of Australians don’t want the tax, and other [...]


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  • #
    Ken Stewart

    Given the wording of the poll question, the result could be better headlined:
    “58% of Greens voters support Carbon Tax”.


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Off Thread but a worthwhile read over at Australian Climate Madness:

    Renewable energy is a WASTE OF MONEY; THE state that sold itself as the heartland of sustainability has been exposed as falling hopelessly behind its own renewable energy targets for most of the past decade.

    Victoria’s renewable energy record was savaged yesterday by the state’s auditor-general, who also highlighted how the former Labor government had failed to perform basic checks on key projects.

    Or go directly to the source of the article at the Australian.


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    Speedy

    Unfortunately, this is typical of what we have grown to expect from the Greens. Spin and B/S, while skirting the main issue, namely that they have ZERO evidence to show that mankind’s CO2 emissions have any harmful (or even measurable) effect on the environment.

    Shallow publicity stunts are all that the greens have got to offer.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    theRealUniverse

    Speedy no 12,
    Yes its true there is no evidence.
    This is an international scam of major proportions, not started by but used by the globalists and international banksters to reduce worlds population and get a new world govt run from the UN and CO2 tax on the western world is one of their plans although looks like backfiring somewhat up in the northern planet! (see the statement from Copenhagen to prove it). Trouble is as the MSM (main stream media) push it and most people get there info from the MSM they just believe like sheep or are totally confused hence stupid polls.


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  • #
    connolly

    Combet walks into a stormy reception from Port Kembla steelworkers.
    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/combet-jeered-as-anger-rises-on-tax/2126341.aspx

    And blames the Australian dollar!!! The revolt against the tax is happening in the ALP hearland
    At the next Federal election these workers and their community will have a say.


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  • #
    John F

    We all need to change or terminolgy as of today, it is an Oxygen tax 2 parts Oxygen 1 part Carbon lets be disciplined here Oxygen Tax ….. Oxygen Tax….. If we only talk Oxygen tax the message may get through


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  • #
    Ross

    The other day I highlighted an article by Doug Keenan that got printed in the Wall Street Journal , but the link got “caught up” in their pay wall. For those that did not work a way around the paywall WUWT have now put up the full article

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/06/warming-or-cooling-heads-or-tails/


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  • #
    Neville

    Here’s how to flush 12 billion down the toilet for little gain.

    But what will happen after Juliar get’s her co2 tax?
    Countless more billions flushed away forever and zip change to the climate and heaps of pain to businesses, taxpayers, the poor and the elderly.

    But how can we stop this fraud before the damage really begins?

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/12_billion_spent_for_next_to_no_cut_in_emissions/


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  • #
    pat

    thanx for locating the Galaxy “questions” jo.

    now AAP has “extreme weather experts” talking of “some fellows in Europe” making links where none exist:

    7 April: WA Today: AAP: Evan Schwarten: Climate change to bring more heatwaves
    Australia can expect more heatwaves, fewer cyclones and possibly more floods as a result of climate change, extreme weather experts say.
    Research meteorologist Dr John McBride from the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research told reporters in Cairns it was clear that the predicted rise in global temperatures would result in more heatwaves.
    “There will be more heatwaves, most certainly,” he said.
    However, he said the picture was less clear when it came to the impact of climate change on extreme rainfall events, or floods…
    “There are a number of people who believe that there will be more intense rain events, but even that is not really definitively proven because it’s partly beyond the abilities of climate models.”
    Associate Professor Kevin Walsh from Melbourne University said recent studies in Europe had shown a link between climate change and extreme weather but no such link had been established in Australia.
    “There is some recent work done by some fellows in Europe which suggests that climate change is already having an effect on extreme rainfall events in that part of the world,” he said…
    Associate Professor Walsh also said global warming was also likely to result in fewer cyclones, although it could also cause stronger cyclones to become more intense.
    Both men will address the CSIRO Greenhouse 2011 conference later this week.
    http://www.watoday.com.au/breaking-news-national/climate-change-to-bring-more-heatwaves-20110405-1d2px.html?from=age_ft


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    John

    How to get the survey results you want:

    Yes Prime Minister Survey
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gMcZic1d4U&feature=related


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    pat

    woke up this morning to 4BC in brisbane with Gillard stating i “believe” in global warming, i have “always believed” in global warming, but cannot find any document on that; however, how’s the following on 4BC’s home page, there will probably be new tweets (righthand side of page) by the time u go there, if u do, but u get the message:

    4BC Replay: Chief Climate Change Commissioner, Tim Flannery with Greg Cary 25 seconds ago

    4BC Flannery: Much disagreement in scientific community about whether recent weather events are due to climate change 10 minutes ago

    4BC Flannery comparing CO2 in the atmosphere to small amounts of Cadmium & Polonium in the human body 16 minutes ago

    4BC China’s cost of carbon is high – we should be doing the same: Flannery on #4bc.com.au 20 minutes ago

    4BC “Listen to Prof Garnaut as he has investigated the issue in depth & knows about the economic impacts of climate chng” Flannery 23 minutes ago


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    pat

    finally, i unwittingly turned on something called “hungry beast” on ABC last nite. cannot describe how dreadful the program is. had never even heard anyone mention it previously, and i’ve been boycotting Auntie over her full-on CAGW advocacy, but i gather it is produced by andrew denton and anita jacoby:

    this is one pathetic example of their biases, with not a word about the tens of billions of dollars spent so far on pushing CAGW down our throats:

    VIDEO: THE BEASTFILE: KOCH BROTHERS
    The Koch Brother are rabid free-market capitalists and anti-global warming campaigners. Which would all be fine, except for the names and fronts they seem to hide behind. The Koch’s are a case study in faking it on a massive scale…
    http://hungrybeast.abc.net.au/stories/beastfile-koch-brothers

    kids make better videos at home on youtube than this crap, yet ABC is putting it to air and paying for it with taxpayers’ dollars!!!

    where are u, maurice newman?


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  • #
    kevin moore

    Re Gillards Climate Change Policy and Sustainable Development,

    See: Agenda 21 Australia

    http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo/countr/austral/natur.htm

    And scroll down to “Atmosphere”.


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    Boiling Frog

    The weasel words in the questionnaires really crap me off.
    Big polluters- you know , the ones the TV always shwo when talking about anything carbon- the ones with the masses of steam belching out of the cooling towers.
    Secondly, there’s the “greenhouse” gases word. As recent research by GERHARD GERLICH and RALF D. TSCHEUSCHNER which shows the “greenhouse” analogy of our atmosphere is completely false and therefore the foundations of Climate Modelling is inaccurate.Among other things, they state(a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects,


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    Damian Allen

    “Hungry Beast” is an abc (Australians being Censored) politically correct leftist propaganda segment !!
    It is a thoroughly sickening and despicable “show”.
    It makes you fume that Australians hard earned taxpayers dollars are being wasted on such vile and offensive drivel!!


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    Damian Allen

    Falsification Of The Atmospheric Co2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics……

    http://www.worldscinet.com/ijmpb/23/2303/S021797920904984X.html


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    macha

    @24.
    Many will notice my comments keep referring back to the theme “its all about energy”. The link Kevin referenced also has an eneergy section.
    My interest is this; I wonder how the alternative “green” energy suppliers stack up against these existing government benchmark requirements….quoted below.

    “The best practice efficiency standards for new plant are:

    * Natural gas plant – 52% Thermal Efficiency Sent-out (hSO) – Higher Heating Value (HHV);
    * Black coal plant – 42% hSO HHV; and
    * Brown coal plant – 31% hSO HHV.

    Fat chance getting half as efficient in a Lab environment let alone in the field.


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  • #
    macha

    Damian @28. I think the paper is free from here.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    cheers


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  • #
    brc

    You’ve only got to read the comments on the various newspapers that published the greens-commissioned poll to see that nobody bought it.

    Basically – the question was : would you support taxing big companies if we give the money to you? Indeed it was surprising that the response wasn’t 100% in the affirmative, but maybe they actually phoned a mining CEO randomly.

    Very foolhardy of the greens to publish the questions – up until now the actual text was hidden from view and surrounded by PR. The papers didn’t fully fall for it- they ran headlines with ‘support with conditions’.

    But I guess the Greens just can’t help preaching to their choir.

    I agree, I hope it gives them the courage to push for a decisive election on the issue.


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  • #
    Jack Taylor

    There should be a few more years of incredulous spectating for me in this CAGW garbage. I listen to fools talk about how easy it would be to “go solar” and to use wind, while avoiding any consideration of the cost of backup systems when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine (usually in a worst case scenario: dangerously cold, winter’s morning). Equally, the earth conscious crowd are happy to push for wind power in remote areas, but conveniently forget to price the power transmission system to get the generated power to major centres: often exceeding $1M per mile.
    I watch white shoe photovoltaic companies and sales reps “sell” personal solar electricity to the wealthy, using 60% subsidies provided by the middle class. The sales reps tell homeowners that they needn’t consider the far more efficient solar thermal (water heating). An addition to the PV panels will supply all the electricity they need for an inefficient electric water heater. And why not? 60% rebates make an incredibly inefficient PV system look a lot more competitive to a solar water heater. Utter madness based on a rush to be the ONE to “save” the world.
    As for an appropriate comment on Bob and Julia’s new tax, the old adage comes to mind: “Never stand between a politician and a bucket of money.”


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  • #
    Albert

    Julia Gillard said with the carbon tax in place, they will look after those on low incomes and the poor.
    If you believe they will look after the poor, just ask pensioners why they are living below the poverty line.


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  • #
    crakar24

    John in 17,

    Just to add weight (pardon the pun) to your statement but Oxygen has a higher atomic number and obviously atomic weight than carbon so i agree whole heartedly with you.


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  • #

    Sorry, O/T again, but here’s George Monbiot: “The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong”. Somehow, this doesn’t apply to the theory of ‘global warming’ which he has championed, but to opponents of nuclear power:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world


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    brc

    Jack Taylor : The damage is already done. Already a whole raft of small businesses have been started and built around the solar rebates scheme. Dismantling the scheme now will result in howls of protest and job losses all round. Even a coalition government is going to find it hard to pull the plug on it because they started it originally. Meanwhile, the government grows with administrators to run the program and audit it, a burgeoning industry of PV sellers and installers grows around the market distortion and money and time is diverted from worthwhile causes like roads, hospitals and dams. As soon as the subsidy is wound back or cancelled a lot of people will lose a lot of money, because they followed false market signals that there was actually a market for home-based solar, when in fact, there was a market in free money from the government.

    We’ve already seen this with the insulation business, where legitimate businesses went down along with the new arrivals because the entire market for the next x years has been satiated with free insulation.

    The entire thing will end in tears, and the folly of a million solar panels quietly deteriorating in the weather will be there for years to see and remind us all why the government should stay out of the market. People won’t even pay to have them maintained if there is a problem, because it won’t be worth paying someone to go and look at them if they aren’t working. Homebuyers will start to mark down prices on houses with 10 year old solar knowing full well that it will cost more to remove them once they are dead than the small benefit they give in that time.


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  • #

    [...] Poll Wars: Lying with loaded questions [...]


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  • #
    scaper...

    Completely off topic, I suppose.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/bolt-to-front-sunday-morning-program-on-ten/story-e6frg996-1226035388879

    We finally have a voice against this so called science and the tax on mainstrean television!

    Will the warmists (Flannery et al) submit to a debate against real scientists?


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    crakar24

    Here is an article about extending Kyoto etc.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2011/04/us-no-climate-deal-without-all-aboard.html

    Funny how Australia does not get a mention, one wonders where Gillard gets the idea of “if we TAX they will follow” from.


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    theRealUniverse

    Boiling Frog: 25: good I posted about that on here and other sites.
    yes the falsified the LOT! AND no-one has refuted it because you CANT! the second law of thermodynamics! and the SB equation they’re stuffed up a creek the warmists!


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    Lawrie

    I agree with many above. When a survey gives you the result you want it also gives you the confidence to believe the result. Let the deluded claim that the overwhelming majority want a carbon dioxide tax and go to an election to claim the mandate.

    I think if the question related to a carbon dioxide tax the result would be considerably different. I spoke to some people recently who were unaware the tax was about beer bubbles and the fizz in lemonade. They changed their opinion when they were advised of the true meaning of a carbon tax. I did note that the Sydney rally T shirts were printed with No Carbon Dioxide Tax to make that point.


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  • #

    Even more astounding is this statement by George Monbiot, concerning his research into unjustified scaremongering by opponents of nuclear power: “Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change deniers…”. No, these are the habits of climate-change promoters – except for ‘scorning consensus’ – only real scientists scorn consensus.

    This influential columnist is now in favour of nuclear power because its opponents have exaggerated its danger, but also in favour of closing down everything else because of global warming. The good news he’s losing his credibility along with his marbles.


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    Terry Nadin

    I came across this site while trying to better understand the discrepancy between the published Galaxy and ACCI polls.

    Judging from the posts, it is clear there is overwhelming consensus that the Galaxy Poll is biased/skewed toward a pre-determined result that supports the client’s position i.e. that there is popular support for a carbon tax.

    Unfortunately, it is ACCI’s poll that is very questionable.

    Space precludes me from a detailed critique. Suffice to say that the seminal question “Thinking about a carbon tax. Are you in favour or against a carbon tax in Australia?” is flawed in that it assumes that respondents actually understand what a “Carbon tax” is and how it works. I suggest that this assumption is highly questionable.

    The Galaxy poll, on the other hand, makes no such assumption.

    I don’t know what ACCI paid for the research – hopefully not a lot because the results are, in a word, unreliable.

    A minor point – the ACCI question, mentioned above, is clearly designed to illicit a “yes”/”no” response. However, the response scale used (a 5 point Likert scale), includes degrees of agreement/disagreement plus a “don’t know/undecided” option. Likert scales are invariably used to “measure” attitudes e.g. to capital punishment e.g. “To what extent do you agree with the following statement – People found guilty of murder should be hanged.” The fact that a research company made such an elementary mistake is concerning to say the least.


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  • #

    Here’s an egregious example of push-poll questions, in a survey I was asked to complete tonight “for a communications company, working on a project to help them understand people’s thoughts on the federal government.”


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