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Sunday, November 21, 2010


A release from C-SPAN
As the incoming leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives consider measures “making the House more transparent and accountable,” C-SPAN asked voters about what institutional changes might make Congress more accessible.

Penn Schoen Berland conducted a poll for C-SPAN, asking 1,200 Americans who voted in the 2010 mid-term elections about “possible institutional changes Congress could make to be more approachable to everyday people.”

The poll demonstrated that respondents were familiar with the workings of Congress. A third of respondents (34% -- an estimated 79 million adults) said they watched C-SPAN in the past year. Of those C-SPAN viewers, essentially seven in ten, 69% (an estimated 54 million adults) reported watching C-SPAN coverage of the House of Representatives.

Asked to express their interest in a list of ten potential changes that could increase Congressional accessibility, here are the top five that respondents said would be most useful for a “more responsive and open Congress,” ranked by popularity:

1) Use everyday language when talking about legislation (84% support)
2) Publish bills online (83% support)
3) Issue alerts when major votes are coming up (80% support)
4) Allow TV cameras to show the entire chamber (76% support)
5) Have actual policy debates where both sides speak (76% support)