I think we can all agree that this is the most contentious election in recent history, but, in addition, I think it might also be the most important one, too. So I was thinking this morning that it would be nice to have quick access to candidate information and their opinions on various issues. After scouring the web, I’ve located some good resources that I think would be helpful for all voters to have. Keep in mind that some of these, while still representing “facts”, can certainly be written with a personal bias. You’ll just have to parse that out yourself.
First Choice 2004 by Public Agenda
This is the most comprehensive “guide” I’ve found. Instead of just presenting the positions, it walks you through the process of trying to determine your position and then helping you figure out who most closely matches your thoughts. The site says “First Choice 2004 is designed to help you make the most of your vote by having strong, informed opinions about what those choices might be. With these guides, you can find out more about the problems facing the nation and be better armed when considering the plans politicians put forward.”
CNN Candidate Comparison
This is a fairly nice effort at compiling and presenting the information in a candidate- or comparison-view. The “positions” presented are basically one-liners. I’d like to have the ability to delve deeper into specific topics.
NPR: The Candidates on the Issues
This is a fairly nice composite of a wide range of issues. Each issue (Abortion, Immigration, Iraq, etc.) contains a brief synopsis of their views with audio links to relevant stories. It’s a good place to start, though I have noticed some interesting shading of the information.
WHIO.TV Candidate Comparison
While this compilation covers some of the same topics, most of the entries have been provided by the candidates themselves, mostly, it appears, from various position papers. The problem? Their views consist mainly of rhetoric and are nearly impossible to interpret in the form of “If I’m elected, I’ll…” Not real helpful, but a decent place to start.
PriceGrabber Election Comparison
In a clever twist on their stated role as the primary location for comparison shopping, PriceGrabber provides a very brief view of the candidates.
A Proposed Math Quiz for Candidates
Okay, this has nothing to do with their positions on various issues, but it’s a must-read. For them, and for you.