My congressman, Frank Wolf, sent out the following poll in e-mail as "State of the Union Survey." The poll is in italics, my comments are in normal text.
Do you believe our country is headed in the right direction?
How is this useful feedback, aside from giving your constituents a chance to vent?
You could easily have constituents who feel "Yes" because things are getting bogged down instead of passed and misconstrue it as "Yes" you should get the bills passed that your constituents in reality oppose. Do not ask vague questions and give yes and no as the answer options.
How should Congress proceed in 2010 on health care reform legislation?
o Start over and work on a new, bipartisan bill.
o Try to pass the current legislation.
There needs to be a third option "Focus on other priorities."
Does our country need a second economic stimulous bill?
Third option: unsure. That one would probably get 75% of the votes if it was there.
The misspelling of stimulus was in the original poll.
What do you favor to help spur the economy and reduce the deficit?
o Reducing Taxes
o Cutting Spending
getting tired of saying there need to be more options...
Reducing taxes and cutting spending are both ways to do the second half of the question. Spurring the economy is a bizarre concept and both of those options MAY do so, but increasing spending may also do so. Since from the question it's obvious your real focus was the deficit, why not ask the more important question of your constituents - "Which is more of a priority to you: helping the economy even if it means more government debt, or reducing the deficit?" I would actually choose "reducing spending" out of the options above, because I would choose the second one out of the question I'm asking.
I think he's trying to ask this in a way that lets him say, in 10 months, "I worked to help the economy by reducing spending." What reducing spending really does is only reduce spending, and the economy is only loosely tied to that unless you're talking about specific spending which for some bizarre reason is being used to HURT the economy.
Do you favor cap-and-trade energy policy?
Third option: yes to either cap-and-trade or hard limits, I don't really care which way you approach the greenhouse gas problem, just stop bickering about it and pass something already.
What is your number one priority for 2010?
I would jokingly say "getting rid of yes/no polls in favor of real dialogue with your constituents." Other than that, well, MINE are keeping my job and playing video games.