Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Survey Says

An article in today's Daily Oklahoman describes the political gamut of candidate questionaires from a variety of issue interest groups but stops short of calling some surveys what they are, push polls (and we've all heard too many of those recently.)

While a vote on a specific piece of legislation must eventually be yes or no, that vote is preceded by much reading, discussion, and educating on the issue at hand. Many candidate questionaires are designed to push their agenda while masquerading as authoritative voter guides.

Reader beware. It's what's between the lines and in some cases what's not said that is the most informative about a candidate. Voters and citizens have a responsibility to examine candidates from multiple perspectives and to always consider the source and the questioner's motives. We will likely see more of this in the coming days. Use the information to fill in the blanks about a candidate and then verify your conclusions, not based on slick political campaign brochures or tv commercials, but by talking to the candidate, listening to them address questions in public community settings and yes, watching them interact with others.

Questionaires can be helpful or hurtful. Candidates must be authentic and credible and must not be boxed into simple yes and no answers to complex issues facing our state. So if the issue is complex look for reasoned, balanced questions and thoughtful answers, don't be fooled by shortcuts.

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