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Ever have one of those arguments where you just go round and round in circles until you finally realise that you actually agreed but had both based your opinions on different information? Ever read an article or watch/listen to a news report and get annoyed because they only reported half the story or didn’t realise the significance of a certain aspect? Ever feel like you can’t really have an opinion on something because you know you’re missing some key information?

In statistics, missing data, or missing values, occur when no data value is stored for the variable in the current observation. Missing data are a common occurrence and can have a significant effect on the conclusions that can be drawn from the data. In politics, the same thing happens. If we are missing part of the story, our conclusions can be way off. This blog is, in its initial incarnation, a place for me to fill in some of the gaps. There are some things I know which others seem not to. There are events I attend which are either not fully covered by the media or not covered at all. There are things people tell me which they are not willing to report on themselves. Posts here will be intermittent as I will only post when I really have something to add to the conversation and the time to do it justice.

Ultimately, I would like the blog to become community property. Many of you have your own stories to tell…your own specialist backgrounds. There is currently nowhere for us to share our knowledge other than shouting at idiots in the comments section or starting our own blogs. Perhaps this may become the place where we go to get informed, well researched backgrounders to the political conversations of the day. A place for clarifying concepts and correcting misconceptions. A place to both learn and teach, where we as adults are not afraid to ask questions.

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