Software Nerd

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Presidential Candidate Grid

After seeing the presidential candidate grid Myrhaf linked to, I decided to make my own little grid, with only the two top-runners of each party.


1. Top right corner is the best possible candidate we can expect today: fairly secular, and fairy "free-market"

2. Center of the grid is the "average voter".

3. On economics, I think Guliani is the best, Obama the worst. Hillary may be a tiny bit worse than Romney (particularly with a Democratic legislature)

4. On religion, Romney will almost certainly mean a religious shift in the SCOTUS. Guliani might; though he isn't personally religous, he might make a deal with the God-wing. For all the Democrat kow-towing to Christianity, their base won't let them shift too far on abortion and religion.

5. And the winner is... either Hillary or Guiliani, depending on how one makes the religion/socialist trade-off.

6. Biggest unknown: whether Guliani will challenge the God-wing, or pragmatically do a deal with them.


  • Your grid makes sense.

    By Blogger Myrhaf, at 3:00 PM  

  • I like it too. Although I think you have been too generous with your rankings of Obama and Clinton on the Economic scale. I mean Clinton is talking about confiscating the profits of oil companies.

    Also, Obama wants to "eliminate" nuclear weapons. If that means unilateral disarmament, what possible scale could accurately capture the magnitude of such evil.

    By Blogger madmax, at 7:26 PM  

  • Hm. I think you've been too generous with Obama on the religion scale. I think the guy's a true believer. Definitely more religious than Giuliani. Just my opinion. I like the graph, though.

    By Blogger Monica, at 8:10 PM  

  • Thanks for the comments, all.

    On religion... I agree with Monica. I tried to place Obama a little less-religious than I think he personally is, and I did the opposite with Guiliani. I did so, thinking that they would each be pushed a bit towards their party-position on common religious issues, if they are elected. In particular, when it comes to a SCOTUS choice, Guiliani will probably be pushed toward the religious side, and Obama toward the secular socialist side.

    On socialism... I think Romney in MA, and the Terminator in CA, are not too far from the centrist voter when it comes to health care. Mildly left of center.

    Hillary will be a little further left on Health care, but she's not very far from mainstream centrist thinking on most issues.

    Of course, if the legislature remains Democratic, we should assume all the "dots" to shift left.

    By Blogger softwareNerd, at 9:41 AM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:03 PM  

  • Guiliani will likely make the deal; that's the veiled threat in the God wing's recent "let's start our own party" posturing.

    As much as I'd like to see the religionists attempt to form their own party (not letting the door hit them in the ass on the way out), they have no reason to do so -- it's *their* house. They are the core of conservatism and of the Republican party.

    The non-God wing are the ones who should expect to find themselves booted out into the political wilderness once the theocrats have gathered enough clout to conclude that they don't need them anymore.

    By Anonymous Jim May, at 5:47 PM  

  • I agree Jim. Guiliani will probably make a deal regarding the SCOTUS. If he does that, the choice will probably end up being:

    1) Accept more government in medicine (quite likely if President and Legislature are DEM)

    2) Accept a SCOTUS judge who will be "blessed" by the Christians. (It would have to be someone not right of Roberts or Alito, to get by a DEM veto.)

    Of course, if Romney wins, we'll probably get both! Aarrgh!!!

    By Blogger softwareNerd, at 2:52 PM  

  • How should one go about making ordinal measurements in a political context? How can one say, for example, that Clinton is more or less socialistic than another candidate?

    By introspecting, I see that I have been simply relying on my subconscious to somewhow do the calculation and then print out a slip, so to speak, with the (ordinal) measurement printed on it.

    This is a methodology of "impression" -- as in, "I have the impression that Clinton is more statist than Giuliani." I don't accept this method for use in important issues. It's okay for deciding what to eat for dinner, but not for choosing a president who might greatly affect my life.

    When I challenge myself to prove that such a measurement is valid -- I can't, because I don't have an explicit method of doing so.

    I am not promoting philosophical skepticism. I do hold that one can make such measurements, for example, by counting up the number of Congressional bills someone has voted for.

    But that merely invites the question of what is the best measurable criterion to use?

    By Anonymous Burgess Laughlin, at 8:47 AM  

  • Hi Burgess,

    Thanks for the comment. It's a delight to hear from you.

    Good question, and I don't think I have an answer. Things like "the number of bills" is one aspect, but there's also the seriousness (i.e. scope) of single bills. And, scope itself could be measured in more than one way, I suppose: e.g., by the impact, or on a scale that goes from fundamental to particular.

    I suppose even when one considers two less than truthful individuals, one can often say "X is more deceitful than Y", without being able -- except with a lot of introspective work -- to list out a detailed argument for it.

    Back on the political grid, for instance, my own impression Obama and Clinton are than she will be less socialistic than he is. I cannot even remember specific things I've heard from either of them, but when can can say for instance that I concluded that he wants to move to a true national health care system as soon as possible, while she wants to do just a little more than what Republican Romney did in MA. Also, I judge her as being less "idealistic" about her socialism than Obama.

    By Blogger softwareNerd, at 4:25 PM  

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