Friday, July 15, 2005

Hearing the voice of the people?

N and I just received the "Legislative Survey 2005" from our state rep, the Republican minority leader and the rep for my district - Waikiki - Galen Fox. Right at the top it says:

"Your views are important to me. As your Representative, I do better when I know how you feel. Please take a moment...."

OK, so that's cool. My rep wants to know the opinion of his constituents on certain state matters. Good. But when you read the survey, it turns out he has no interest in getting honest opinions from us. Instead, the entire thing is designed to get bogus stats to back up his already formed opinions. Here are some of the questions:

"1. Many experts believe the proposed gasoline pricecap will cause shortages and boost prices at the pump. Do you support government price fixing for gasoline? Yes/No"
I happen not to be a big price-fixing supporter, but this question is clearly designed to get a predetermined answer. It reads "Pricecaps are stupid. Do you want them?"

"2. Hawaii residents pay the third highest state and local taxes in the country. Would you like to see state surpluses returned to taxpayers as tax cuts or used for goverment pay increases?"
Nother bogus question. It starts off saying taxes are too high in order to set the stage for the question. Then the question itself is both a false choice and vaguely worded. After all, the question could be "would you like a tax cut or to feed our homeless children" and then it mentions goverment pay increases, making you think of the fat cat state reps, when goverment pay might be increasing teacher salaries.

3. "Insurance companies believe car alarms no longer stop theft. Should we outlaw car alarms?" This one isn't horrible, but it clearly presents only one side. It also doesn't bring up the issue of whether or not government should get involved in outlawing something a car owner wants to put in the car. This question, by the way, is about car alarms going off at night.

There are a couple more like this where he tells you what to say and then asks what you think. Sounds like he has no interest in finding out our opinions at all.

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