Letter to the editor: Letter writer makes semantic arguments about my Come to the Table interpretations

Bruce Menzel

Maarten Meinders’ recent response to my critique of the Come to the Table questionnaire sent to current town council candidates gives me an excuse for reiterating my main points. My opinions are:

  • The questionnaire and its results may be useful for the group’s internal discussions but are inappropriate as a public-education service because they take a rightward political slant.
  • Some questions, especially those dealing with locally hot topics, are phrased so as to cause wariness by candidates with liberal views.
  • The response rate to the questionnaire was low (37%), and the actual responses reflect only the views of conservative candidates.
  • The non-respondents were primarily liberals who mistrusted the motivations behind the survey.

Again, these are my interpretations alone. Meinders’ letter misses the contextual aspects I raised and instead makes semantic arguments against some of my terminology. I take responsibility for possibly confusing wording. Interested readers are referred to the web version of the questionnaire, my original letter and also to that of Meinders for its inventive rhetoric.

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