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Who should I vote for?
February 4, 2008 11:38 AM   Subscribe

A little lost coming up to the Presidential Primary? The Electoral Compass is a brief set of questions that matches your choices with the candidate whose positions are the closest to yours. Discover your position in the political landscape for the US presidential election 2008.

Also: Political Compass
posted by nickyskye (125 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, at least I know this one won't match me up with Kucinich again.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:42 AM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yea, I was worried I'd be matched up with Kucinich too, at least it's up to date.
posted by splatta at 11:45 AM on February 4, 2008


Yeah, I guess me and Gravel are no longer a hot 'n heavy couple. I am tucked away in the upperest, leftest corner of the graph - allegedly Obama and I are 82% in substantive agreement.
posted by sneakin at 11:45 AM on February 4, 2008


Obama, the old one matched me with Kucinich also.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:46 AM on February 4, 2008


I got a split ticket: Emma Goldman and Bugs Bunny, but I think I'm going to go with Obama tomorrow, gotta be realistic.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:48 AM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hm. Got barack Obama as the one candidate who fits into my scope of answers:

100% agreement Gun control
75% agreement Environment
92% agreement Iraq
50% agreement Economy
83% agreement Income
50% agreement National security
92% agreement Family
67% agreement Immigration
100% agreement Health care
75% agreement Law and order
83% agreement Education
92% agreement Terrorism


Guess I'm backing the right guy, then.
posted by grubi at 11:48 AM on February 4, 2008


Pretty standard, though I was surprised by some things:

1) My ideal candidate based on gun control was Giuliani (!!!!!)

2) Obama (my match) appears to not have positions on such minor issues as Iraq, National Security, Health Care or the Economy. At least he's focusing on the important stuff: viral videos.

3) Despite the fact the questions are apparently from the Netherlands, they are all based on rightwing frames. For instance, several questions on illegal immigration (only a topic because of racists) and zero on unions. I guess they have to look where the light is, i.e. compare based on the statements they've made, not what the real issues should be.
posted by DU at 11:55 AM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I got a split ticket: Emma Goldman and Bugs Bunny, but I think I'm going to go with Obama tomorrow, gotta be realistic.

Divine_Wino: Good call. I never thought Bugs Bunny was electable anyway. He's let himself get caught in drag SO many times.
posted by sneakin at 11:56 AM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Divine_Wino: Good call. I never thought Bugs Bunny was electable anyway. He's let himself get caught in drag SO many times.

Probably would have helped if you'd have a word with Guiliani before his run...
posted by delmoi at 12:00 PM on February 4, 2008


Huh. The last one matched me up with Kucinich too. Obama this time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2008


There needs to be a third, 'batshitinsane' axis.
posted by Skorgu at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2008


Any Democrat. No Republican. But I knew that.
posted by pracowity at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is the Obama campaign funding this?
posted by jsavimbi at 12:03 PM on February 4, 2008


first thing I thought when I saw this post was "If this matches me up up with Ron Paul I'm going to fucking shoot somebody."
posted by shmegegge at 12:04 PM on February 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


By the way, I had a strange dream the night before last in which I was having an affair with Hillary Clinton. It involved a lot of sneaking around Washington DC, with quite a few near-catastrophes in which the senator and I were nearly caught in flagrante delicto in seedy hotels. Weirdly, the only thing that made me feel guilty in the dream was that I was planning on voting for Obama, and was terrified that Hillary might ask.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:05 PM on February 4, 2008 [18 favorites]


So, Obama wants to build that stupid fence between the US and Mexico? Huh?
posted by oddman at 12:06 PM on February 4, 2008


Hunh, I figured I'd get Clinton but got Obama instead, which is nice, too.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:08 PM on February 4, 2008


Please respond to the following propositions.

*blushes*
posted by JanetLand at 12:10 PM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I don't need this website to tell me how far to the left I am, I'm already a member of the Metafilter community
posted by poppo at 12:10 PM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am a convex combination of Obama and Ron Paul. Very nearly the midpoint, actually.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:13 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huckabee? That can't be right. Where's my semi-automatic rifle?

(just joshing...it picked the right fellow...now I'm just not sure if I can ever go back)
posted by ColdChef at 12:14 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I had an electoral GPS once, but it kept telling me to turn right.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 12:14 PM on February 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


Right on Obama like a pair of swim trunks.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:15 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was Kucinich, am now Obama.

(Is there an echo in here?)
posted by naoko at 12:16 PM on February 4, 2008


My position is sitting near my radio, slowly moving up my estimate for the date I will begin to hear the word "values" in every other sentence on NPR and shut it off during election coverage until elections are over.
posted by Tehanu at 12:16 PM on February 4, 2008


I figured Clinton and got Clinton.

My real-world preferences, from most to least preferable:

Obama>McCain>Clinton>Paul>Romney>Huckabee
posted by aerotive at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2008


Ok, is anyone getting Clinton? If not, why not? Metafilter might be a lefty echo-chamber, but it's not THAT much of an echo chamber.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2008


oh. nevermind!
posted by small_ruminant at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2008


I did my best to answer all the questions as if I were an idiotic fascist lunatic, and it says Mitt Romney is the candidate for me.

Something seems a bit weird about a political landscape in which Ron Paul is closest to the centre.
posted by sfenders at 12:21 PM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


a brief set of questions that matches your choices with the candidate whose positions are the closest to yours

Awesome, I love sites like these; it's such a better alternative to actually watching candidates on the trail or visiting their websites to hear and read their opinions on the issues in their own words instead of aggregated from various clips and speeches by a Dutch website. I have always felt the big problem with American electoral democracy is the way people just put too much thought into their vote.

Plus, this is like picking a candidate the way Scientologists test people for depression- and those always look like so much fun on the teevee!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:23 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


2) Obama (my match) appears to not have positions on such minor issues as Iraq, National Security, Health Care or the Economy. At least he's focusing on the important stuff: viral videos.
Did you click on "Compare candidate with your answers"? You ought to get a pop up with quotes from and links to the position papers on his website, including those regarding Iraq, National Security, Health Care and the Economy.
posted by thewrongparty at 12:26 PM on February 4, 2008


first thing I thought when I saw this post was "If this matches me up up with Ron Paul I'm going to fucking shoot somebody." --shmegegge

And do you know which candidate wants to guarantee the gun rights allowing you to do so? Ron Paul's obviously your man shmegegge!

Please don't shoot me...
posted by Bugg at 12:27 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Electoral Compass tells me I am closest on the issues to Hillary Clinton. Gak, I can't stand that woman!

The political compass says I am most closely aligned with Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. Good company!
posted by Daddy-O at 12:27 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to be with Gravel, according to these thingies, and now it's Obama. Which I already knew. But yeah, why aren't there more Clinton responses? What issue, according to this quiz, is she so very different from Obama on?
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:28 PM on February 4, 2008


Almost dead-on Ron Paul. Go figure.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:30 PM on February 4, 2008


Ok I actually took it, and it's kinda nifty. I like how I can switch different variables on and off and make it univariate or multivariate. It doesn't tell me anything I didn't already know, and many of the questions were ridiculously oversimplified. But it is an interesting graphical representation of all that.

I used to be with Gravel, according to these thingies, and now it's Obama. Which I already knew.

I like that. 86% of dogs support Obama in national polls. He is pro-bacon-flavored treats and longer naptimes, and the other 14% are too busy watching squirrels to be bothered with a poll.
posted by Tehanu at 12:33 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama>McCain>Clinton>Paul>Romney>Huckabee
posted by poppo at 12:36 PM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Weirdly, the only thing that made me feel guilty in the dream was that I was planning on voting for Obama, and was terrified that Hillary might ask.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:05 PM on February 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


Nothing to be afraid of AZ. Wouldn't be the first time someone cheated on her.
posted by googly at 12:36 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Your position in comparison with the candidates.
You have responded to 0 propositions. Based on the responses you provided, you are the closest to Hillary Clinton and you are the furthest away from Rudy Giuliani


There. I made it give me Hillary Clinton. So does this mean she's the closest to not having a position?
posted by Bugg at 12:37 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I keep getting Ron Paul. Am I screwed?
posted by jquinby at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2008


You have responded to 36 propositions. Based on the responses you provided, you are the closest to John Edwards and you are the furthest away from Fred Thompson

Interesting. This was exactly how I saw it, too. More or less how it broke for me in 2000. I was for Bradley but didn't mind voting for Gore in the general. Tomorrow morning, I will be proud to cast my vote for Obama.
posted by psmealey at 12:39 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama>McCain>Clinton>Paul>Romney>Huckabee

I do not think his mutant chameleon powers are quite that powerful.
posted by Tehanu at 12:40 PM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I used to be with Gravel, according to these thingies, and now it's Obama. Which I already knew. But yeah, why aren't there more Clinton responses? What issue, according to this quiz, is she so very different from Obama on?

I think the issue is that Obama is a bit further from the origin on the graph, so we're all falling, um, a bit out of the political mainstream, and Obama is the closest candidate, with Hillary just slightly inside -- so unless you're more conservative than Obama and Hillary but not conservative enough to be in the Ron Paul camp (which is a small band), you're probably going to get matched with Obama.
posted by spiderwire at 12:47 PM on February 4, 2008


I had 70% Obama and 70% Clinton, but it came up Obama. The fix is in!
posted by fusinski at 12:49 PM on February 4, 2008


What does it mean when it says that I agree more with Obama or Clinton, but that I think McCain would make a better president than either of them?
posted by Dave Faris at 12:50 PM on February 4, 2008


I think it means you've got Stockholm syndrome.
posted by psmealey at 12:51 PM on February 4, 2008 [22 favorites]


You have responded to 36 propositions. Based on the responses you provided, you are the closest to John Edwards and you are the furthest away from Fred Thompson

Which is interesting, because that is pretty much how I self identified.

Though I really differ in views on this issue:

All semi-automatic weapons should be banned
Your opinion: completely disagree
Opinion John Edwards: completely agree
Opinion Barack Obama: completely agree
Opinion Hillary Clinton: tend to agree

Only Richardson and I are on the same page here.
posted by quin at 12:51 PM on February 4, 2008


hah! quin, I had the same "problem" on the gun control issue.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:53 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama and Paul. Except I'm banned from voting...
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 12:55 PM on February 4, 2008


I didn't know more of the differences between Obama and Hillary, who I thought I'd vote for. I thought Obama was a person of greater integrity but, uh oh, more Christian. That scared me with him. But all this was quite wishy washy in terms of real studying anything about them. Where to begin getting the details? This little Electoral Compass thing gave me a kind of outline how to research the issues between Obama and Hillary. And I like that one can examine the other candidates' stands on issues as well, albeit very limited.

Does anyone know a site with the basic issues of each candidate outlined in a simple format? One that is worthy of checking out?
posted by nickyskye at 12:55 PM on February 4, 2008


I thought Obama was a person of greater integrity but, uh oh, more Christian.

For what it's worth, Obama is a UCC Christian, which is about as mellow and liberal as the denomiations get this side of Unitarian Universalism.
posted by psmealey at 12:59 PM on February 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a registered Independent, I can't vote tommorrow, so I'm going to stay home and get loaded instead.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Proposition 3:
The federal government should reduce income inequality
Your opinion: tend to disagree
Opinion Barack Obama: completely agree

Except this representation of Obama's opinion is disclosed to be based on his supporting expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which as I understand it is the answer to the proposition "The tax system should be more progressive," not, "The federal government should reduce income inequality"

So either Obama is avoiding the REAL ISSUE, or that's a stupid question.
posted by luser at 1:03 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think there is a difference between agreeing with someones stated positions and actually liking someone and wanting to vote for them. I might agree with a lot of what some of the candidates are saying, but there's no way I'd vote for them because I can't trust them/I don't respect them.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:04 PM on February 4, 2008


76% Obama, 75% Edwards, 72% Clinton (and best match on Republican side was Ron Paul at 56%). I'm kinda sad about losing Edwards. In any other year, he'd have been a great candidate, but we seem to be collectively enthralled with the idea of finally breaking a glass ceiling and electing a black guy or a woman -- and I'm cool with that, because I too think it's about time.

In fact, when I was in the Army and stationed in Izmir, Turkey in 1985-1986, I got a ballot for my home state. I had no clue what any of the candidates stood for, nor was there any internet or even television to help guide me on the issues. (Turkish TV showed a lot of Elvis movies with the dialogue dubbed over in Turkish, but the songs unaltered, kinda wack.) Still, I didn't want to not vote at all, so what I did that time was, I made a stand for gender equality, and anywhere there was a woman running for a particular office, I voted for her. I doubt it made any difference, but hey, at least I was able to figure out how to make a stand for *something* while being completely in the dark on the issues.
posted by jamstigator at 1:07 PM on February 4, 2008


As a registered Independent, I can't vote tommorrow, so I'm going to stay home and get loaded instead.

They also serve who only sit and self-sedate.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:14 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


ontheissues.org is a pretty good source - it includes real quotes from speeches or publications and attempts to map candidates' positions without bias.
posted by dosterm at 1:16 PM on February 4, 2008


I had by mistake clicked on what seems an ad to the left of the quiz and got a stop Hillary thing--by Dick Armey! remember that scumbag?
posted by Postroad at 1:17 PM on February 4, 2008


Christ, this wasn't put together by political scientists. There are too many questions which invite nuance in answers, where the goal should be bright line differences. Like, yeah, I do think Creationism should be taught in schools—it's a great illustration of the limits of science and what a credible source should be, etc. Does this mean that I want Creationism taught as a valid alternative to the theory of evolution? Hell no. But any reasonably educated person should be able to demolish a Creationist, and because of that it should be included.

Or the immigration questions—can illegal immigration be a threat to national security? Is it a threat? Sure, it can be and it is, but is it as big a threat as artificially delimiting labor markets and creating a shadowed mass of unofficial citizens? Nope. Does the death penalty deter crime? Sure, some of it. Is it worth the trade-off in abrogating personal rights and assigning the power of death to the state in an official capacity? No.

Finally, it gave me Clinton, even though I was roughly the same distance to either her or Obama, and the only thing that came out of it was that I probably shouldn't vote for Huckabee, which is fine, because he's a regressive superstitious lunatic, despite having some good points regarding children's healthcare.
posted by klangklangston at 1:23 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


ps—Political Compass's take.
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


here's the money shot from klangklangston's link:

When examining the chart it is important to note that although most of the candidates seem quite different, in substance they occupy a relatively restricted area within the universal political spectrum... While Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe. Similarly, Hillary Clinton is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while in any other western democracy her record is that of a moderate conservative.

I'd laugh, if it didn't make me want to cry a little.

I got Obama (as expected). I was a little surprised by how far left I've turned, considering I thought of myself as an economic and social conservative not too terribly long ago. (The Bush years have definitely pushed me farther to the left.)

Obama's the only candidate with a clear position on troop withdrawal from Iraq and with a Health Care proposal that establishes a truly national health care plan. These two points alone cut through all the glittery rhetoric for me.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:52 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh. Obama, pretty much dead on. Guess I'm also backing the right guy.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2008


The death penalty question I got was "The death penalty serves to reduce crime," which is a stupid question. Few dispute the death penalty reduces crime, but many would argue that that's irrelevant, that the state should not be in the business of directly ending lives.
posted by JHarris at 1:56 PM on February 4, 2008


Thanks! I was planning on voting for Obama, but now I know why!
posted by notmydesk at 2:09 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


[this is dutch]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:18 PM on February 4, 2008


Also, Obama>Clinton>Paul>McCain>Huckabee>Romney. No surprise to me.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:24 PM on February 4, 2008


I am "furthest away from Fred Thompson". I am intensely pleased.
posted by schwa at 2:25 PM on February 4, 2008


illegal immigration (only a topic because of racists)

Huh?
posted by freebird at 2:29 PM on February 4, 2008


Barack Obama
You have a substantive agreement of 72%
Hillary Clinton
You have a substantive agreement of 69%
Ron Paul
You have a substantive agreement of 57%

Left Libertarian IN DA HOUSE!

illegal immigration (only a topic because of racists)

Huh?


Immigration is not the real issue, illegal EMPLOYMENT is.
posted by panamax at 2:41 PM on February 4, 2008


The problem with something like this is that it assumes that one picks a candidate based purely on a calculation about agreement on "issues."

A candidate's personality, character, and political skills are vitally important when it comes to actually achieving the goals he or she articulates.

I think many left-leaning people actually do tend to select their candidates with a checklist of this kind. That may be why we've backed so many losers during the past 30 years.

Clinton's and Obama's positions and goals are similar in many respects. But I think Obama is vastly better equipped to 1) win the general election and 2) accomplish major change afterward. These variables don't show up on a quiz like this at all.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:52 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


It pinned me a couple of pixels south of Obama. While most of my answers were plotted in the extreme northwest his support of gun control threw me off. I suppose it's just a cultural idiosyncrasy of the south. I don't know anyone here who thinks banning guns is a rational position, even if the remainder of their political beliefs would let them fit in amongst Scandinavian liberals.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:02 PM on February 4, 2008


The only substantive difference between Obama and Clinton seem to be their respective health care plans; i.e., Clinton's plan requires universal coverage. Read properly -- she is more progressive, and should come out so on this little metric. I'm tired of all of the fawning over Obama. He is charming, but I suppose so is Bush -- I'd rather have affordable health care.
posted by Raoul de Noget at 3:03 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama's got the youth vote, I see.
posted by jonmc at 3:09 PM on February 4, 2008


Raoul de Noget. All due respect, but you're wrong.

Obama's health care plan is nearly identical to the one Bradley proposed in 2000 (lambasted by Gore as being too ambitious and costly). Hillary's is a hair more ambitious, but it's not going to go anywhere. She's in the pocket of big pharma, and doesn't have the political skill to pull off any major changes.

Been there. Done that.

Otherwise, there are major differences in approach and political abilities and allegiances. Hillary is beholden to K Street, Obama is not.

Also, Hillary, with her reckless voting on the Iraq and Iran resolutions has 0 credibility on foreign policy. She's been wrong since day one, and hasn't owned up to any of it.
posted by psmealey at 3:11 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I got Obama, which is nice, as I would've voted for him anyway. If I were registered in D.C. instead of NY. And had gotten my absentee ballot. Goddammit.

In any case, I like that this is based on positions on issues, discounting all the "Obama has no positions, he just has a cult of personality" rhetoric that's been flying around recently. Yes, he has a cult of personality around him, but I'm not certain that's necessarily a bad thing, when inspiring leaders have been so lacking in, well, the entire course of my lifetime. The closest thing I've had is Reagan (!) and until Obama appeared on stage at the 2004 DNC I was sure that I'd lust for the Clinton days for the rest of my natural existence. At that moment, it was clear that he'd run, however, and have been supporting ever since, because he could inspire, and that changes the national mood, which is about the most important thing a president can do, in my opinion.

Still, it's nice to know that I agree with him as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:29 PM on February 4, 2008


Primary season is torture.
posted by valentinepig at 3:30 PM on February 4, 2008


That's why we're trying to inflict in on the Middle East.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:32 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Clinton's health care plan isn't a "hair more ambitious" psmealey -- it mandates universal health care. The rest of what you are saying is standard empty political rhetoric -- everyone is a "Washington outsider" come election time. I would rather vote for a definitive issue than some impressionistic picture I've formed of a candidate from watching TV. But yes, Iraq and Iran -- that is a point.
posted by Raoul de Noget at 3:37 PM on February 4, 2008


I don't know anyone here who thinks banning guns is a rational position, even if the remainder of their political beliefs would let them fit in amongst Scandinavian liberals.

one's position on "gun control" tends to depend on whether or not you can fire your piece at an elevation and not really worry about hitting anything.
posted by panamax at 3:42 PM on February 4, 2008


Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.41


Awesome. I'm like an anarchist ultra-Ghandi.
posted by Eideteker at 3:49 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama's the only candidate... with a Health Care proposal that establishes a truly national health care plan

beg pardon?

the difference between the plans could well be the difference between achieving universal health coverage — a key progressive goal — and falling far short.

Few dispute the death penalty reduces crime

The death penalty was mentioned by fewer than 2% of the chiefs and followed twenty-five other areas of concern.

posted by Hat Maui at 3:51 PM on February 4, 2008


Confirmed my intended vote (Obama).
Is the Obama campaign funding this?
Maybe. Or maybe it's just that he's sane.
posted by Flunkie at 3:52 PM on February 4, 2008


Obama, no surprise there, but I can't vote until April so I doubt that I'll have any choice by then.
posted by octothorpe at 3:55 PM on February 4, 2008


Taking the "Political Compass" test now... this question has me flummoxed:
A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.
As the question is stated, I strongly disagree. A genuine free market requires a complete lack of restrictions.

However, I also strongly believe that a genuine free market is a completely fucking horrific idea in the first place.

I get the uneasy feeling that by clicking "strongly disagree", the test will think that I'm some batshit insane Randian.
posted by Flunkie at 3:59 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The death penalty question I got was "The death penalty serves to reduce crime," which is a stupid question. Few dispute the death penalty reduces crime, but many would argue that that's irrelevant, that the state should not be in the business of directly ending lives.
posted by JHarris at 1:56 PM on February 4


The death penalty may stop executed killers from killing again, but I don't think it deters anyone else. This site seems to back that up.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:02 PM on February 4, 2008


Raoul de Noget: I am voting for the better politician, rather than the ideal plan. An ideal plan in the hands of a mediocre, divisive politician is far less likely to succeed, IMO, than a very good, but not necessarily perfect, plan in the hands of a highly talented, persuasive leader. (None of these plans are single-payer, which is the best.)

My $0.02 on the "mandates" controversy: Obama has said that he'd be willing to eventually do mandates if young, healthy adults aren't signing up for his system in sufficient numbers to make the cost structure work. So essentially, he's down with mandates also; he just doesn't want to put them up front, like Clinton does.

It makes sense to me to transition to the new health care system as painlessly as possible, and then, when the majority of the public is on board and sees that it's nothing to be afraid of, apply pressure to the small remaining group of holdouts. This is the Obama style: build the largest possible coalition behind your goals, so that instead of change coming about purely due to top-down pressure, there is a popular mandate for change.

When 85% of the public is already inside the Obama system, there will be plenty of support for getting the other 25% into the risk pool.

If you don't think "mandates" will scare people away from Hillarycare, even people who wouldn't actually be subject to them, you must not be aware of the Republican demagoguery on the "death tax" over the last 15 years. A tiny minority of Americans are actually wealthy enough to pay estate taxes, but millions have been misled on this issue. Mandates would be no different.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 4:06 PM on February 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


eidetecker:
Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.41

Awesome. I'm like an anarchist ultra-Ghandi.
-6.88/-8.26, you reactionary fascist capitalist pig.
posted by Flunkie at 4:11 PM on February 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow. That would mean that 110 percent of Americans would eventually be covered by Obama's health care program.

I tease. Because I add.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:11 PM on February 4, 2008


"Clinton's health care plan isn't a "hair more ambitious" psmealey -- it mandates universal health care."

An unfunded mandate, too. It's a bad move to put the onus of health care on employers, rather than pursuing a single-payer model. On that level, while Obama's plan is further in name from what I want, Clinton's plan is a worse model. I'll roll the dice on incremental progress from Obama's plan more readily than I will for Clinton's.

Regarding the death penalty argument, there are two things to note: First off, economists like site-fave Levitt tacitly endorse the idea that the death penalty does work as a deterrent, just not to the extent that many of the backers pretend. Second, if it has deterred even one person, even by killing a recidivist, then the statement that the death penalty deters crime is true. The problem is that the question should be phrased as a value judgment, not a factual judgment: The death penalty is the best way to deter crime; the death penalty is an effective way to deter crime; the death penalty is a power that should be open to the state, etc.

It's those value judgments that I disagree with, rather than the proposal that the death penalty has stopped someone from something somewhere.
posted by klangklangston at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2008


I like Hillary but I have never never thught of her as a leftist! In fact the problem with such polls is that the underlying rat inAmerican politics is special interests.Take this chart and see how your candidates shape up on money each gets from Big Oil

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/shortsharpscience/2008/02/how-oily-is-your-candidate.html
posted by Postroad at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2008


Yes, yes. I'm far in the lower left quadrant, as I usually am, and all of the current candidates are in the upper right quadrant, as they usually are.

Is anyone else bothered that mainstream politics never seems to venture into the same territory as Ghandi and the Dalai Lama?
posted by mediocrates at 4:13 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


*Gandhi.

No, really. I respect the man. I just am incapable of remembering where to put that "h".
posted by mediocrates at 4:17 PM on February 4, 2008


economists like site-fave Levitt tacitly endorse the idea that the death penalty does work as a deterrent, just not to the extent that many of the backers pretend.

Levitt: I have a paper with Larry Katz and Ellen Shustorovich in 2003. We conclude that “…there is little systematic evidence that the execution rate influences crime rates..."
posted by Hat Maui at 4:23 PM on February 4, 2008


illegal immigration (only a topic because of racists)

Huh?

Immigration is not the real issue, illegal EMPLOYMENT is.


Huh? again.
posted by freebird at 4:32 PM on February 4, 2008


Is anyone else bothered that mainstream politics never seems to venture into the same territory as Ghandi and the Dalai Lama?

I don't think so. It seems like saying "is anyone bothered that plumbers and carpenters don't venture into the same territory as cutting-edge architects and demolitions experts?"

It's not their job, nor should it be.
posted by freebird at 4:48 PM on February 4, 2008


Well it matched me with Obama, but when I clicked Edwards' exed out picture, it was up over 85% on every answer. And he was my guy, so I guess I was listening. Want to know who will never be president? Just ask me who I'm voting for. I have a 100% track record on never backing the winner.
posted by nax at 5:13 PM on February 4, 2008


Astro Zombie: Oops.

That was a typo, not an effect of the Obama Reality Distortion Field.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:22 PM on February 4, 2008


"Levitt: I have a paper with Larry Katz and Ellen Shustorovich in 2003. We conclude that “…there is little systematic evidence that the execution rate influences crime rates...""

That's not what I recall from the Freakon book, but I'm willing to take your cite over my memory. It's tangential to my point about the question, however.

"Well it matched me with Obama, but when I clicked Edwards' exed out picture, it was up over 85% on every answer. And he was my guy, so I guess I was listening. Want to know who will never be president? Just ask me who I'm voting for. I have a 100% track record on never backing the winner."

So far this election cycle, I've planned on voting for Richardson, Kucinich and Edwards. That I'm now thinking Obama means that Clinton's a pretty solid lock, and Obama may drop out before tomorrow.
posted by klangklangston at 5:28 PM on February 4, 2008


I wish Kucinich were still on there.

Wait, my stances on the issues are FURTHEST from those of Mike Huckabee? Thank Jebus for this insightful web app.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:30 PM on February 4, 2008


I can't speak for the plumbers but I'm a edge-cutting carpenter who has worked with cutting-edge architects.

Maybe the plumbers like them. I don't know. I don't talk to plumbers.
posted by Huplescat at 5:30 PM on February 4, 2008


Not saying they shouldn't talk to each other, Huplescat - they need to. Just saying the guy spending all his time making budgets and schedules work may not be the guy you want actually running your table saw, and the best sheetrocker in the world might not know how to pick the color paint for it.

Similarly, the Revolutionary Spirit of the Age might not know shit about getting the budget right. The President's job is to keep the bus on the fucking road, not decide where it should be going.
posted by freebird at 5:42 PM on February 4, 2008


Wait, my stances on the issues are FURTHEST from those of Mike Huckabee? Thank Jebus for this insightful web app.

For you it's not insightful. But if it stops one "South Park Conservative" from voting for him (based on Colbert appearances or Chuck Norris endorsements) then it's not such a bad thing. Although, I think they're all in the Ron Paul camp these days.
posted by Gary at 5:51 PM on February 4, 2008


So far this election cycle, I've planned on voting for Richardson, Kucinich and Edwards. That I'm now thinking Obama means that Clinton's a pretty solid lock, and Obama may drop out before tomorrow.

I'm fuckin' sayin' yo.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:54 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's my neighbor. We differed most on immigration, which makes sense, since that political topic, I must say, doesn't effect me in any way. Or interest me. But, come on, Barak--you want to build that stupid fucking Mexico fence? Even if that would work (and it wouldn't, people can dig tunnels, ya know), how stupid is this? I'm gonna vote for the guy, and I agree with his positions generally, but I'll watch how that plays out.
posted by zardoz at 5:57 PM on February 4, 2008


"Semi-automatic "weapons should be banned? Yeah. That'll happen.

Not sure if whoever put together that survey fully understood the difference between semi-auto and automatic firearms. Like so many members of the public, I suppose.
posted by tkchrist at 5:58 PM on February 4, 2008


The South Park Conservative.

Now THERE is the idiocracy constituency.
posted by tkchrist at 6:00 PM on February 4, 2008


Just wanted to thank the posters in this thread for a civil conversation.
posted by nickyskye at 6:55 PM on February 4, 2008


Similarly, the Revolutionary Spirit of the Age might not know shit about getting the budget right. The President's job is to keep the bus on the fucking road, not decide where it should be going.

This doesn't track for me at all. Who's the visionary? Congress? The VP? Wolf Blitzer?
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:59 PM on February 4, 2008


This is who I got.

(disclaimer: made by me, nyt photo, askmefi inspiration)
posted by divabat at 7:23 PM on February 4, 2008


Just wanted to thank the posters in this thread for a civil conversation.

And I'd just like to say: You deserve to die! Die and go to hell and burn!

And thus the balance was restored.

I love Angelina Jolie! Does anyone else like Angelina Jolie!? She's got enormous lips!!

posted by spiderwire at 7:25 PM on February 4, 2008


Who's the visionary? Congress? The VP? Wolf Blitzer?

My point is that none of those people, almost by definition, should be looked to for truly new visions of what the world could be. If it gets to where you look to people in government for your revolution, you are well and truly fucked.
posted by freebird at 7:49 PM on February 4, 2008


Sure, I'll buy that, but I don't think I buy as far into it as you. I'll take a decent progressive vision over what's going on any day, regardless of the source.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:03 PM on February 4, 2008


This app is fun, but definitely isn't a substitute for reading about the issues and their positions. Three examples:

I took the statement "An additional carbon tax on fuel will effectively reduce pollution" literally, since as far as I know, economists largely agree that a carbon tax is functionally very similar to a cap and trade system (carbon taxes are probably easier to enforce than cap and trade, while cap and trade lets you precisely choose what quantity of emissions you want to allow- something I learned from Obama in a debate- but there's no disagreement that a carbon tax would effectively reduce pollution). I marked "completely agree", but since Obama and Clinton prefer cap and trade, they were summarized as "tend to disagree."

I also chose "tend to disagree" for the statement "The new president should begin to bring home all US troops from Iraq immediately" since I don't want literally every soldier brought home in one year, given the lingering potential for a humanitarian catastrophe... I support Obama's plan of bringing back the combat troops ASAP, and the remaining protective forces for U.S. civilians soon after. But they quote Obama's intention to bring all combat troops back in one year, and define that as strongly agreeing with bringing all troops back immediately.

They also say that Obama completely agrees with the statement "US law should obligate all companies to provide health care insurance for their workers" even though he specifically exempts small businesses, and mentions this in practically every debate.
posted by gsteff at 8:08 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The survey failed to capture that I "strongly disagree" with the two party system, while finding that I much prefer circuses, when everyone knows that I am a bread person.

Somehow I don't think the agree/disagree scale really captures the nuance of politics, and I certainly don't weight issues like gun control with the same importance as the environment (I do realize that you can turn off each issue in the app).
posted by kscottz at 8:39 PM on February 4, 2008


Not sure if whoever put together that survey fully understood the difference between semi-auto and automatic firearms. Like so many members of the public, I suppose.

That thought occurred to me, too.

The site said Ron Paul was the best match with my views, which is not a surprise to me.

It would be interesting if you could weight the issues and watch the dots move around. So, if you placed little importance on a candidate's stance on whether we should have gotten into Iraq in the first place (which is hardly relevant now that we're already there), it would move the dots closer to the center by however much the candidates differed... and if you really care about something like abortion or gun control, you can give those answers more weight, and watch the dots move further away from the center.
posted by bugmuncher at 8:46 PM on February 4, 2008


Somehow I don't think the agree/disagree scale really captures the nuance of politics, and I certainly don't weight issues like gun control with the same importance as the environment (I do realize that you can turn off each issue in the app).

Heh, I should have looked at the app more; I didn't see the part about turning off issues. Here's where i type LOL but I am not really laughing...
posted by bugmuncher at 8:49 PM on February 4, 2008


I can maybe understand this for the Republican side, but who the hell could be "a little lost" between all of two sort-of-samey candidates? They should have called it the Electoral Coin-Toss, it would have been a lot more honest.

Ah, Gravel, how I weep for thee. Tomorrow is for you, man! /pours out a 40
posted by vorfeed at 9:34 PM on February 4, 2008



Just wanted to thank the posters in this thread for a civil conversation.


At this point, I think it's safe to say: FART!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:18 PM on February 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


For instance, several questions on illegal immigration (only a topic because of racists) and zero on unions.

These issues are plainly entangled. Illegal immigration is of interest to the private sector because it provides an end-run around fair labor laws and the minimum wage - which are, of course, the product of unions and the labor movement.

Additionally, I don't think it's racist to point out that the US critically needs more PhDs and engineers - so much so that it's practically begging for immigration of that variety - and that a vast influx of unskilled slave labor is not really good for the economy in toto, whatever the benefits to a cadre of 21st century plantation owners.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:01 AM on February 5, 2008


bugmuncher: It would be interesting if you could weight the issues and watch the dots move around

There is an app like this, and I got to it through MeFi, but now I can't find the FPP. Anyone?

Plus, bugmuncher, have you met fourcheesemac (or Pastabagel? or kittens for breakfast? or flapjacks at Midnight? Shall I go on?) Now I know what to have for dinner tonight.
posted by nax at 7:31 AM on February 5, 2008


poppo: "Obama>McCain>Clinton>Paul>Romney>Huckabee"

The fact that McCain is viewed with suspicion by both liberals and conservatives is one of the reasons he appeals to me.
posted by aerotive at 9:35 AM on February 5, 2008


re: Obama>McCain>Clinton>Paul>Romney>Huckabee

Exactly. A vote for Hillary in the primary is almost a de facto endorsement of McCain in the presidential.
posted by tehloki at 12:03 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The fact that McCain is viewed with suspicion by both liberals and conservatives is one of the reasons he appeals to me.

Uh, so is Lyndon LaRouche...and, uh, Charles Manson...and, uh...HITLER!!!!!11!!12!!13!!!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:14 PM on February 5, 2008


The fact that McCain is viewed with suspicion by both liberals and conservatives is one of the reasons he appeals to me.

Horseshit.
posted by poppo at 3:47 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


A vote for Hillary in the primary is almost a de facto endorsement of McCain in the presidential.

Either way, we're screwed. On the one hand, you have an arrogant demagogue who voted for resolutions authorizing aggression against Iraq and more recently, Iran... and on the other hand, you have John McCain.

I implore the rest of my fellow democrats to see through the canard that Hillary has "more experience", or that she's more "pragmatic" and actually vote for the one person that has a shot to unify the country and beat the republican slime machine.
posted by psmealey at 7:14 AM on February 6, 2008


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