A rational, if biased, decision making questionnaire on who to vote for
September 11, 2008
As a follow-up to my previous column about voting for the party based on reason instead of a candidate based on emotions, I put together a questionnaire to help those who are still undecided about who to vote for. Republicans, Democrats and independents can all use this.
Note that most of these questions are phrased with the qualifier of most likely which is why this is a forced choice questionnaire. Therefore the answer “neither” is not allowed.
However, in weighting your answers you should consider whether the question matters to you and how much. If the question doesn’t matter at all, don’t count it.
You can assign your own values to each question or just count them as if they are all of equal importance.
My pro-Democratic Party bias shows in how I phrased some of these questions. I’m sure I left out some questions where McCain and the Republicans can make a better case for themselves. Anyone who wants to add their own questions in the comments section is encouraged to do so.
- Which candidate do you want to shape the Supreme Court for years to come?
- Which candidate will be more likely to reverse the Bush efforts to create an imperial presidency (the unitary executive)?
- Which is more likely to use signing statements to subvert the intention of Congress in passing bills?
- Which will be be more likely to to be more serious about our image overseas (where the polls released today show that one has four times higher approval ratings than the other)?
- Which will be be more likely to be a statesman on the world stage
- Which is most capable to working effectively with world leaders?
- Which has the most native intelligence to understand complex situations?
- Which candidate is most likely to solicit advice from experts who disagree with him, and listen to and consider it with an open mind?
- Which will be more likely to assure that all Americans have the health care they need?
- Which will be more likely to maintain the separation of church and state in everything from political appointments to family planning grants to education policies?
- Which will be more likely to remove politics from the Justice Department?
- Which will be more likely to get us out of Iraq?
- Which will be more likely to keep us from engaging in preemptive wars?
- Whose theory of taxation and the economy do you agree with the most (tax cuts for the wealthy leads to jobs for the rest of us or more money in our pockets stimulates the economy)?
- Which president and party is most likely to implement an effective energy policy for the future?
- Which is more likely to make home ownership affordable for more Americans?
- Whose vice president will be most qualified to be president?
- Which president will work best with Congress?
- Which president is less likely to use religious or party affiliation in appointing people, for example to head agencies like FEMA or be U.S. attorneys, but will appoint the most competent?
- Who will be more likely to be calmer under stress?
- Which is most likely to either die in office of natural causes or suffer mental deterioration?
- Which candidate will be more likely to appoint highly qualified people from the other party to responsible positions, including of course National Security Director, Attorney General, Secretaries of State, Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury, and directors of the FBI, NSA and CIA?
- Which candidate respects women more?
- Which candidate has more empathy for people less fortunate than he is?
- Which is more accepting of alternative life styles including sexual preference?
- Which candidate’s public persona is more consistent with his private self?
- Which candidate understands the value of scientific research and education to both our society in general and to our economy?
- Which is most likely to pander to the religious right?
- Which is most likely to make decisions favoring special interest groups like mega-corporations, including big pharmacy and oil, and the NRA?
- Which candidate and party is most likely to stop the loss of jobs to companies based overseas?
- Which is more likely to improve the plight of those struggling to make ends meet?
- Which is more likely to make higher education affordable to more Americans?
- Which is more likely to assure veterans are able to get appropriate health care and educational benefits?
- Excluding terrorism, who has the best overall grasp of how the world – including the United States – has changed in the past 10 – 20 years?
- Who best understands the underlying causes of terrorism?
- Who is most likely to protect the United States from acts of terrorism?
- Who would you rather have at your house for an informal visit?