Be an Informed Voter
Anyone who goes to the polls and votes without knowing what the candidates believe in is doing a disservice to their country and their community. Sometimes it’s hard – well, it’s always remarkably difficult – to figure out where candidates actually stand on the issue just from listening to them speak or debate or from their ads on TV. Half of what they say is confusing or contradictory and half the issues you may care about are never even mentioned.
This means that responsible voters need to go out and seek the information they need to make a meaningful choice. One quick and effective way to do that is to look at issue questionaires and ratings from organizations which have queried the candidates on key issues and tabulated the answers. You don’t have to agree with the group which asked the questions to benefit from the answers. In fact, sometimes looking at the questions and answers from groups you’re opposed to is particularly enlightening.
One nice, easy to access set of issue ratings can be found on the Free Market Foundation’s website. They may have questionable allegiances and dubious positions and be rather humorously misnamed, but they do ask the basic questions of all the candidates from local to national races and seem to have gotten a surprisingly high level of response. If you plan to vote – and you’d better – scanning through these ratings can help clarify things for you and rapidly get you basic information especially on those down-ballot races where you’ve never heard of the candidates. You might also find out some surprising things about what candidates you thought you agreed with actually believe.
The issue questionaire results are at: http://www.freemarket.org/