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Will your candidates show political courage?

23 May 2012

Spring is here, and with it comes Political Courage Test season...

Every election year, Project Vote Smart uses the Political Courage Test (PCT) to measure the willingness of candidates to provide their positions on key issues. The questions are simple, straightforward, and address a number of issue areas known to be at the top of the mind of voters and most likely to come up in the next legislative session. Most importantly, there are no right or wrong answers: if candidates decide to fill out the Test, they “pass,” and get a chance to show their constituents that they have some Political Courage. Of course, you, as a voter, benefit by receiving valuable information directly from the candidates, minus the campaign fluff.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes the Test. Over the past 20 years, more and more candidates on both sides of the aisle are being advised not to take the PCT. It's not because we ask “gotcha” questions, and it's not because the test is slanted – rather, the Test is overseen by hundreds of journalists, political scientists and advisers from across the political spectrum to ensure impartiality. The fact is candidates are just increasingly unwilling to tell voters where they stand on the issues, ALL the issues. Doing so opens them up to “opposition research” and it's a whole lot easier to attack your opponent than it is to have a civil discourse on the facts.


Our next deadline for state legislative, gubernatorial and congressional candidates in ARIZONAOHIOALABAMAMISSISSIPPIILLINOISMARYLAND and PENNSYLVANIA is May 30th!  The results from those states will be available shortly after the deadline.

Being tested soon...
And our Political Courage Test department is working hard, compiling tests to send to candidates in other states very remember to contact your representatives and tell them you want to see their answers!


Related tags: Arkansas, blog, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, New-Jersey, North-Carolina, Oregon, Texas, West-Virginia

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