Sunday, October 23, 2011

Do you want no tolls, or no tolls, or are you unsure?

So I got this campaign flyer legislative report from my Assemblymember, Marge Markey, in the mail the other day. It had a "what do you think" survey at the end. In general, I think these things are great. For example, I'm glad that Marge wants to know whether I think there should be more state oversight of the MTA:

As a matter of fact, not only do I think there should be more state oversight, I think there should be more accountability so that the State legislature can't cut the MTA's budget and then hold rallies against the MTA. So that's a good question. But now how about this one:

We all know that bridge and tunnel tolls are used to pay for all kinds of things beyond the maintenance of those bridges and tunnels. So using them only to maintain the bridges and tunnels means either saving them up (not always a bad idea) or reducing the tolls. Basically, the question boils down to: "Should tolls be rolled back, or should tolls be rolled back?" Then there's question 6:

Basically, the first option says that transit improvements should be funded by increased transit fares, not tolls. The second says that there should be no tolls. So the question is, "Do you want no tolls, or no tolls, or are you unsure?"

This is why I've long argued that it was a stupid idea to frame bridge tolls as paying for transit improvements. The obvious response is, "No, those transit users should pay for their own fucking improvements!" The fact is that we've already promised to reconstruct every single bridge on the BQE, including hundreds of thousands to replace the Kosciuszko, with no toll funding whatsoever. We've already done major reconstructions on most of the East River Bridges. Why are our transit improvements being held hostage to a bullshit artist like Marge Markey, while we use our income and sales tax dollars to write blank checks to repave every street in the city?

Oh yeah, and Marge Markey is a bullshit artist. Come on, Marge.


JN said...

This is called "push polling." It's a technique whereby supposed "poll" questions are specifically designed to persuade or elicit the response desired by the author. Politicians' offices seem to be especially bad at putting these out. (You can only imagine the kind of crap that comes out of my Repub. Congressman's office. "Do you support socialist health reform, even if it means Obama will go on a kitten-killing rampage?")

Cap'n Transit said...

It's worse than push-polling, JN. In push-polling there's actually a difference between the choices they give you, even if it's "free choice" vs. "death panels." In this survey there is no option to choose the death panels.

jamesinclair said...

Push polling gives a choice, this just plain old bullshit.

Push polling:
Concerning abortion are you:
Pro life of innocent babies
Pro murder of innocent babies

This questionnaire would have said:

Concerning abortion do you think that:
It should be banned to save innocent babies
It should not be allowed