IndyKids and Political Compass

It’s remarkable that McCain and Obama agree on the Wall Street bailout, increasing the military, civil liberties restrictions (Patriot Act re-authorization, FISA), corporate trade deals, support for Israel, increased militarization of Afghanistan, threats (“all options on the table”) against Iran, against a single-payer health care system. On many of these issues, they are opposed by a majority of the U.S. public and most of the main independent and third party candidates. Yet, because most of the public is stuck in partisan boxes and the big media outlets have refused to cover non-establishment candidates, they remain in single digits. This of course is the problem VotePact solves.

It unfairly ignores Chuck Baldwin and has a number of flaws, but IndyKids still puts mainstream media to shame in breaking down some of the positions of various candidates, esp see their PDF newspaper, though the type is a little small. Reminds me of Jesus saying of children: “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Would be happy to link to other breakdowns of positions of various candidates.

Also, the Political Compass gives their assessment of the various 2008 presidential candidates along their two-dimensional axis. Some of their analysis is dubious in my view, but they make some worthwhile comments:

While Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader are depicted on the extreme left in an American context, they would simply be mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape of Europe [to say nothing of the rest of the planet]. Similarly, Obama is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while elsewhere in the west his record is that of a moderate conservative viagra without prescription. For example, in the case of the death penalty he is not an uncompromising abolitionist, while mainstream conservatives in all other western democracies are deeply opposed to capital punishment. The Democratic party’s presidential candidate also reneged on his commitment to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He sided with the ultra conservative bloc in the Supreme Court against the Washington DC handgun ban and for capital punishment in child rape cases. He supports President Bush’s faith-based initiatives and is reported in Fortune to have said that NAFTA isn’t so bad.

It’s not at all transparent how Political Compass determined the placement of the candidates on their chart. They list Baldwin and Barr as surprisingly close to McCain. It’s not clear if they are taking stated positions of politicians at face value — Biden says he’s against the Iraq war, but voted for it and voted for funding it, for example, Barr somewhat similarly states positions today very different than what he has voted for — or if they are extracting stances based on the candidate’s record.

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