Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Matchmaking 2008

When Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary, her edge was widely attributed to her getting emotional on TV the day before the vote. I am not a big Obama fan but I certainly do like him between the two of them, so I was pretty upset at the outcome. "How stupid can people get, to vote on the basis of ephemeral sentiments?!", I fumed. However, after some chintan, it occured to me that my preference for Obama over Clinton had no objective basis either; I liked him simply he seemed a nicer fellow.

Well then, how does one filter out all personal feelings and vote objectively? Enter the online matchmakers for the presidential candidates. There seems to be a whole bunch of hand-holding available out there - websites that will help you decide the best candidate for you, based on your opinion on political issues. I decided to try out one called SelectSmart.com.

All I had to do was choose between support/oppose/neither on a range of issues from Social Security through Stem Cell Research. Also, I could adjust a moving bar to indicate how strongly I felt about a particular issue. I ended up choosing "neither" on quite a few issues that I was not fully conversant with, while heavily weighing issues like Iraq, gay rights, and deficit spending.

Here is what the matchmaker found for me:

Theoretical Ideal Candidate - 100%
[D = Democrat, L = Libertarian, R = Republican]

1. Ron Paul (R) - 75%
2. Wayne Allan Root (L) - 66%
3. Alan Keyes (R) - 60%
4. Barack Obama (D) - 59%
5. Mitt Romney (R) - 56%
6. John McCain (R) - 52%
7. Mike Gravel (D) - 38%
8. Hillary Clinton (D) - 32%
9. Mike Huckabee (R) - 24%

Proves me wrong about Obama - my love for him was objective, after all!

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