The Issues Issue

From The Caucus, the New York Times' political blog:

At this point, we're pretty much used to politicians being cagey about, say, their friend Jack, their page Jordan or their mothers' Judaism, not to mention what exactly they've got in their freezers.

In fact, when they get sick of us asking those types of questions, they usually admonish us to "get back to the issues."

But fewer candidates are willing to do that, either, according to a new study of every candidate for United States Senate, House of Representatives, governor and state legislatures.

Only 48 percent of federal candidates, 43 percent of gubernatorial candidates and 26 percent of state legislative candidates answered "yes" to Project Vote Smart's National Political Awareness Test. The question: Are you willing to tell citizens your positions on the issues you will most likely face on their behalf?
This figure is the lowest in 10 years.

How stupid does a politician have to be to say 'no' when asked "would you tell your constituents your position on the issues?" Well, the problem is that Vote Smart won't give the politician a 'yes' unless the politician actually fills out an extensive questionnaire detailing their position.

Only 48%, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, filled out the survey. Less than half! I'm tempted to say that there's something wrong with our political system, but it seems that there's something wrong with our politicians.

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