Thursday, July 19, 2007

More on the Civitas Poll

In light of responses to the previous post concerning Civitas, here are some more of the results from their poll, which had been promised anyway.

The question about donating the money given to people by Jim Black to charity was not worth mentioning because its such an over simplification of the issue. Just because Jim Black gave money to other candidates doesn't mean that money is tainted as well. And of course when you mention donating money to charity in a question there will be a lot of support. I really don't think donating money to charity that was given illegally reflects well on people's intentions. I also don't care either way if the money is donated to charity or not, its not a bad idea in principle. The problem is that the real issue isn't what to do with the money, but dealing with ways to stop corruption in the first place, regardless of party. Giving the money to charity isn't going to solve anything, therefore, its not a useful issue. One more thing. Only 4% of people in this poll listed "Government corruption" as "the most important issue facing...North Carolina." That's another reason I didn't mention that result in my previous post that hit on the major parts of the poll.

Another question that asked about global warming as a state or national/international issue was very poorly worded in my view. Here's what the question asked:
Do you think state government should enact new laws to control global warming in North Carolina or is it a problem that can best be solved through national and international action?
I think that is it a problem that can be solved through national and international action but I also believe that NC should enact some laws to help control it. I'm sure a lot more people feel that way as well and there was no way for people to voice that opinion. Had the question asked if NC should enact laws or if it should not do anything and leave the issue for national/international action, the results might have been different.

A question was asked about "a state program that would provide clean needles to illegal drug users using taxpayer dollars." I don't see why this question was included in the survey because its not really an issue. Provisions like this are added to bills in the legislature by the hundreds, its a fact of how of government works. The only reason the question is in the poll is to stir up the conservative base, while the majority of voters are ambivalent about it.

There were also several questions concerning health care costs. One asked about mandates that require coverage for counseling and alcohol and drug abuse that raise insurance premiums. People overwhelming support tailoring their own needs in order to reduce health care costs, but what the question did not mention is that that would result in extremely high rates for people who did need insurance to cover their needs. The same concept comes up in the question about a high risk insurance pool for the chronically ill. Though it would reduce costs for most people, the chronically ill would have to pay an inordinate amount for health care. The point is that our system works on the fact that everyone sacrifices in order to help those who need it, which some people don't agree with in principle. However, the questions didn't address the lower cost of health coverage at the expense of others, which is something to consider.

One last point. Jack Hawke made a big deal about how Congress' approval is lower than President Bush's but people still say they would vote for a Democrat is the the congressional election were held today. He seemed baffled by why that was, even though its painfully obvious. People aren't mad at the Democrats in the leadership, they're mad because the Republicans won't allow the Congress to vote to get out of Iraq. That is really the only issue that people are giving any credence to right now. An overwhelming majority of the state and the nation wants us to leave Iraq, and all people see is the effort to which Republicans in Congress are going to stop that from happening, and they hate them for it. That is why Congress has such low approval ratings. The fact that Republicans at Civitas are unwilling to see that is alarming and shows just how blinded by ideology they are. They are too busy hating everything Democrats do to see what's really going on: people are abandoning their party because they hate the War, plain and simple. Until the War ends in any real fashion, any other issue will take a back seat.

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