Friday, April 21, 2006

Integrity of Candidates in Political Campaigns

I am tired of political campaigns that do not talk about the issues facing voters. Today it seems that the only thing most political candidates for office want to talk about is how their opponent (s) have made decisions that are bad for their constituents. These statements are often made without any specific details. When this occurs the statements are often unverifiable and should be ignored. When a political candidate or anyone else makes a statement that cannot be verified, the statement carries no weight or truth in the content. Some methods a candidate may suggest to verify are to review the records of the senator or representative or government official. These are usually available on the Internet through government web sites.

Making statements that cannot be validated are not worth the time taken to make them or the expense to publish them in newspapers or on the Internet. Sometimes statements made by candidates are factual but the information to support them may not be available for verification purposes to the general public. Candidates usually know this and make statements to discredit their opponents. They know that the information to support decisions may not be available to the public without causing security concerns. Many times people try to focus on issues about their opponents to take the focus away from their qualifications or the lack of them.

Candidates who use this kind of tactic should be ignored. Using this tactic may also be an attempt to bring more exposure to them but the tactic backfires as for as I am concerned. It shows a lack of knowledge and respect for the voters. This tactic is used regardless of party affiliation and the response to it should be the same. Candidates must focus on the issues by identifying their position and the position of their opponent (s). This helps to identify the differences between them to allow the voters to make a comparison between them. Another aspect of integrity in the political campaign is candidates many times never answer the question directly and try to provide a vague reply. Sometimes this is necessary dependant upon the subject of the question. Documentation is the key to determining the validity of information transmitted and answers received. This may be by any method whether it is newspapers, television, radio or the Internet. These types of resources do qualify as documentation only if specific sources for the information is identified such as hard records not words by others.

There are many instances where an incumbent in office makes decisions, which we feel are bad but if we had access to the information they use to make those decisions, we may feel differently. Candidates running for office trying to unseat an incumbent know this and try to use this to their advantage. This is wrong. Making statements, which cannot be verified through public information, to support decisions, should be ignored.

To summarize, voters want to hear candidate’s position on the issues not efforts to place their opponents in an unfavorable perspective. When this occurs it takes away from the issues and forces some candidates to respond to allegations. Most candidates would or should discuss the issues that are important to voters. They should not have to spend time responding to allegations made by their opponents. The above information applies to local, state and federal office holders and is not restricted to senators and representatives.


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