Scientific Voting

Comments like this chicken-or-crap essay pointed out by John Gruber notwithstanding, I’m still on the fence to a certain degree about this election. I’ve appreciated John McCain’s willingness to go against the party establishment the past few years, a reason I’ll be voting for our current senator as well. On the other hand, Barack Obama appears to have a solid technology platform and it’s undoubtable that he’s inspired a lot of people to take interest in politics.

At the end of the day, I want to make an informed decision and choose the candidate that aligns most closely with what I believe. Now, my most closely held beliefs may or may not be held by the candidates; in today’s political environment it’s almost impossible to tell what beliefs are genuine. (Not completely impossible, mind you, but those guys don’t typically win, endorsements or not.) As far as political beliefs go, it’s sometimes hard for me to tell just what I believe. Less government spending is good, abortion is bad, morals in general are kinda… not sure. After this policy and that boycott, I’m wondering how right the “Christian right” really is.

Sounds like a job for… a political quiz! Or rather, several. First stop is The Compass, a several-part quiz that shows where you are on a two-dimensional graph that compares social and financial issues. The postmodernist in me is actually quite proud of my position, but other people are not impressed. And it doesn’t help me pick a candidate.

Enter Glassbooth (found via TechCrunch). They’re supposedly nonpartisan and nonbiased, and I’m inclined to believe it. You first pick your most important issues and then rate your position. What I like most about it is that you have the option of remaining neutral on an issue if you so choose. It then compares how you feel about the issues with how the candidates feel about the same issues, and it gives you quotes and voting records to back it up.

So who am I voting for? Should I really have wondered in the first place? Actually, I’ve got more in common with Obama than the Libertarian candidate. Wonder how I would have compared with Ron Paul…

Evan Hildreth @oddevan