Doyle poll questions (and answers) have an impact

by Rob Roper

For forty-two years, Senator Bill Doyle of Washington County has been asking Vermonters their opinions on topical issues via his Town Meeting Day survey. There is nothing scientific about the results, but since several thousand Vermonters typically respond (sometimes more than once) the “Doyle Poll” does carry influence in the State House.

For example, in 2008, the survey’s results were cited by supporters of Same Sex Marriage. In 2009 and 2010, it was opponents of Vermont Yankee.

This year’s poll posits some big questions:

· Should Vermont Yankee’s license be renewed in 2012?

· Should Vermont legalize Physician Assisted Suicide?

· Should Vermonters be required to buy health insurance?

· Should there be a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat DUI offenders?

· In order to encourage wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are you willing to pay higher prices? (Of course that last question should be worded, “are you willing to pay THREE TO FIVE TIMES MORE for electricity.)

And some smaller questions, though no less emotional:

· Should Vermont continue to require the use of motorcycle helmets?

· Should Vermont legislature encourage bicycling and walking?

· Should Vermont’s bottle deposit law be expanded to include all bottled beverages?

· Should Vermont have a four year term for governor?

· And, Do you have confidence in Governor Shumlin?

The Doyle Survey is anonymous. It is distributed on a regular 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. Instructions on how to participate are on the form.

If any of these issues are important to you, take a moment to find, fill out and turn the Doyle Survey in. Your participation could mean the difference between a good news cycle for your cause and a bad one.