Free the Politicians

A recent survey of politicians found that they are as frustrated as the rest of us with the corruption of modern politics. The University of Maryland interviewed 7,500 winning and losing candidates for election and found that most candidates want the focus of campaigning more on the substance of policy ideas and were frustrated by the media's tendency to focus on personal foibles and insider clashes. Pollster Dave Beattie found that new candidates were shocked to discover that "they could not communicate with voters through the press," and as a result were forced to increase their advertising budgets and the amount of time they had to spend raising money to pay for more ads. Analyst Allen Churchill agreed: "The severity of press criticism was surprisingly high, even among recent electoral winners who enjoyed newspaper and editorial support," he said. "What they were that the failures of the news media are making it extremely difficult for candidates to run positive, issue-oriented campaigns that engage the public and, in turn, can be held accountable to the public."