political surveys from our country’s leaders

19 09 2007

A while back I received a couple of surveys, one from a major political party, the other from the Senate Majority Leader.  I had a problem with both of them.  Let’s look at a few of the questions.

Do you believe the $70 billion the federal government currently spends on education is enough?

The choices are Yes, No, or Undecided.  I think the question is too vague.  In my opinion, reform is needed in our public schools, but I’m not sure that the problem is the amount of money.  If you say Yes, they might think they’re doing enough; if you say No, they might throw more money at the problem.  But the main problem is that the money needs to be better spent.  Plus, this question is assuming the reader has a basic understanding of how the money is spent and allocated.  (On a related note, I will say that I think teachers should be paid better, because their job is very important to the future of our country and society.)

Another question :

Do you believe we are spending enough to combat domestic and global HIV/AIDS?

But it doesn’t tell how much we are spending, nor are there any statistics on how bad the problem is.  So again, how am I supposed to answer that?

There was also this question :

Do you favor balancing the federal budget by cutting wasteful government spending?

Well, of course!  I suspect everyone would like the government to balance the federal budget and to cut back wasteful government spending.  What are they trying to accomplish with that question?  I imagine it’s mainly for bragging to the other party that they want to do what’s right.  But from what I see, both parties are wasteful with government money.  Besides, bringing up the question sounds good, but how about providing some solutions and plans for following through with them?  What do they consider “wasteful”?  Will they be cutting their allocation to education or the military?  Their question is just about useless without more information.

I’m glad our country’s leaders are making at least some effort to get a pulse of what American citizens want.  However, this survey isn’t as good as it seems (and I’ve already found numerous issues I have with it).  The last question of the survey by the Senate Majority Leader asks whether you’d like to enclose money to support the party.  If you choose No, it says, “I do not wish to participate in this vital … survey.  However, I am returning my Survey Document, along with a generous donation…”  This isn’t right.  It’s good that they’re asking questions via a survey, but I shouldn’t be forced to send them money for them to listen to my opinions.  I realize they have to process the returned surveys to aggregate the answers, but that can all be done by a computer, so what’s the deal?  If they’re going to go through the trouble of sending me this info, why won’t they listen to my opinions without requiring me to make a donation?

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3 responses

19 09 2007
Fab

It sounds like they want to create the illusion that they are listening when the “survey” is nothing more than a fundraising letter with a question/ answer session to make you feel important, as if your voice is actually being heard.

19 09 2007
Beppo

That’s what I thought… and I wonder if they had been better off just not doing anything instead of making some people realize that they don’t care what we think unless we give them money. Although, I also wonder how many people even thought about it…

19 09 2007
Sambo

You can take any survey and ask the right questions the right way and prove anything u want to –example DO U SUPPORT WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE ???? U would probable say YES –sounds OK—- Same question — DO U SUPPORT THE METHOD OF BIRTH CONTROL THAT KILLS YOUR UNBORN CHILD ?? Of course not !!!Same question -just worded differently– ALSO –did u know that eating carrots is very deadly ??? It has been proven that at least 95% of all people who have ate carrots will die with in the next 100 years !!!!!!! Food for thought —

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