I'm trying to clean up my office.  There's too much stuff that needs attending to, and it's getting lost in the paper shuffle.

Unfortunately, one of the things that needs attending to happens to be my sample ballot for the upcoming Florida presidential primary.  It inspired me to go online and try again to find help deciding for whom to vote.  Now that was depressing.  I suppose it doesn't matter, because the Democratic National Committee has chosen to play the bully and not count our votes. (They're still sore over 2000, I guess.)  What hurts so much that it's hard to think about is how opposed all of the Democratic candidates are, in their stated positions, to so many things I hold dear.  What I once believed to be the party of the little people seems bent on being the party of big government, big unions, big education, and big medicine—the bullies that are pushing around the little people I know.  "Litmus tests" on the issues are of questionable value, but it's hard to see all the candidates failing all of them.  Sigh.  I can't say I'm impressed by any of the Republicans, either, but some of them at least give lip service in favor of my positions.  So I could always cast my primary vote hoping to put forth the least electable candidate.  If I could figure out who that was.

Clinton the First wasn't as bad as he threatened to be, partly because it seems one must be extreme while campaigning, and partly because Congressional opposition kept him from accomplishing all his goals.  Perhaps my best hope is a similar stalemate.

There's always the temptation to set up a Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton - Bush line of presidents (all different people).  :)

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Edit
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You can try this website:
Answer the questions and they will show you how you match up with the candidates. I matched up best with someone I had never even heard of.
Dave did it after I did and I guess he must have much stronger opinions because he matched up with some people in the 60% or higher range, while I was mostly in the 30-40% area for most candidates.
Anyway, I found it interesting, but have not taken the time to really study the results.

Posted by dstb on Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 8:39 am

Very interesting. It showed me candidates I'd never heard of, too. My top choice was Duncan Hunter?? Actually, Mitt Romney was tied with him, which just goes to show how bad the field is, since we lived under him as governor and I would have called him a liberal in conservative clothing -- although that's Massachusetts for you.

Interestingly, Barack Obama was the highest of the Democrats, by quite a bit.

Then again, I'm not sure I can give the quiz much credence. It labelled my political philosophy as "hard core conservative," which I don't consider myself by any means. They divide the question up into Personal and Economic -- I scored very low on Personal and very high on Economic, putting me with the libertarians on economic issues, and against them on social ones. But I would have said I generally chose the more libertarian answer on both economic and social issues. How can they say that a low Personal score (below 40%) "means you believe that your standards of morality & safety should be enforced by government" and rank me at 16%, when I took a position opposing governmental regulation on almost every personal issue?

If I had time, it would be interesting to play with the answers to see what the biases are.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

There is a lot of information there, and going through different candidates to see where they directly don't match probably provides more insight than just the straight numbers.

Huckabee and I are mostly the same, but polar opposites on a couple questions, which probably leads to the lower score than I would have expected. (patriot act and military spending). Looking more carefully, I see their links are broken for some of the detailed explanations, some perhaps some of the answers are completely mis-recorded.

Alan Keyes 55%
Fred Thompson 53%
John McCain 45%
Ron Paul 43%
Mitt Romney 43%
Duncan Hunter 43%
Mike Huckabee 38%
John Cox 35%
Mike Gravel 30%
Rudy Giuliani 28%
Barack Obama 25%
John Edwards 25%
Hillary Clinton 23%
Cynthia McKinney 23%
Dennis Kucinich 18%

Posted by Jon Daley on Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 11:43 pm

I believe strongly in the importance of a secret ballot, so I won't reveal how Porter fared in this election, but I lost on both issues that were on my ballot. I knew I'd lose the primary, since I voted for Joe Biden and Florida's votes don't count, anyway. But I was very disappointed that the property tax "reform" constitutional amendment passed -- and by a large margin (64%-36%). I think people hear "tax reform" and think it must be good. But I predict the greatest beneficiaries of this will be real estate agents (since it give people incentive to move from house to house rather than staying where they are), and sooner or later we will all regret transferring to the state so much of one of the few areas in which we still had some local control.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 11:42 am

Dave Barry apparently noticed the profound research Floridians put into the referenda.

Posted by Stephan on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Dave Barry knows a lot about Florida from the inside. :)

To be fair, the tax amendment was certainly confusing, especially since several different versions were put forward over the past year, each having a different effect on different people. Even Porter, who understands the calculations and enjoys making them, couldn't keep up with them all. Not everyone has a degree in economics, and still fewer understand the practical implications of economic decision-making. Still, I would think most people could at least ask qui bono? and show some concern for giving up yet one more vestige of local control.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 5:58 pm

What bothered me about the Florida primary was finding out that McCain gets all the votes in a "winner-take-all" primary - just like all the electoral votes are given out. Our high-school physics teacher (tenth grade) kept warning us not to plug rounded-off intermediate results into the final calculation. It would seem that the folks who designed our voting system flunked high-school physics, which does nothing to boost my confidence in it.

Aside from that, I suppose that Porter's flying now, or soon, and I hope everything works out with your flights!

Posted by Stephan on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Well, if it makes you feel any better, the Republicans decided to punish Florida for having an "early" primary by cutting our votes in half. Better than totally disenfranchising us, like the Democrats, but still gives McCain less than he "should have" earned.

The "rounding off" is a problem in more ways than one. People in states with later primaries have restricted choices because some candidates have dropped out, discouraged by earlier results. (That even happened here, with our new, earlier date.) For some states the race has been decided before they even get a chance to vote.

So I agree it's not good. But I hope we'll be very careful before replacing it with something that might end up worse.

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, February 01, 2008 at 2:39 am

Oh, and thanks for your prayers and good wishes. Porter wasn't flying when you wrote, which is why I'm writing this at nearly 3 a.m. But he's here, and we're very, very grateful for that. Many flights were cancelled altogether.

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, February 01, 2008 at 2:41 am

Funny, a month after I voted for the primary, I finally see this blog, and I went to that website to check out how my opinions meet up with the candidates.

I was originally rooting for Fred Thompson, and when he dropped out, settled for who I perceived as the next best candidate who matched up with my views, Mitt Romney.

The results of my quiz?

Fred Thompson 68%
Mitt Romney 63%
Duncan Hunter 60%


John McCain 53%

Which is undoubtably why I'm so lukewarm on his nomination. Blah. Where di all of the conservative / libertarians go?

Oh, and a couple more ...

Barak Obama 18%
Hillary Clinton 8%

Can I write in Ronald Reagan? Even dead he's a better choice than anyone else in the running.

Posted by Bill on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:02 am

"Where did all of the libertarians go?"

As a friend from church says, "a vote for anyone but Ron Paul is a vote for Hillary". "Ron Paul is still in the race - if all the people who don't vote for him because they think he can't win, did vote for him, he would win."

I haven't talked to him in the last couple of months - so I don't know if he would still say that.

Posted by Jon Daley on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 11:53 am

Ron Paul doesn't have good hair, so he can't win. Votes have nothing to do with it.

Posted by Stephan on Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 3:22 am

So I finally filled things out, and gee whiz, guess why I am having such a hard time with these elections? Percentages below represent agreement.

Bob Barr
Libertarian nominee for President; Former Republican Representative Total 35%
Social 38%
Economic 33%

Chuck Baldwin
Contitution Party nominee for President Biographical Profile
Total 33%
Social 56%
Economic 17%

Barack Obama
Democratic nominee for President Biographical Profile
Total 33%
Social 25%
Economic 38%

John McCain
Republican nominee for President Biographical Profile
Total 30%
Social 31%
Economic 29%

Posted by Stephan on Wednesday, October 08, 2008 at 1:32 am