Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Out the Vote

I've been interested in politics for as long as I can remember. I recall a pretty heated debate between my neighbor/early childhood best friend, Tim, over which presidential candidate was best: Bill Clinton or Bob Dole. I was for Clinton, all the way (after a brief entanglement with Ross Perot in our second grade classroom elections), and Tim was a Dole devotee. I'm pretty sure the argument went something like this:

Me: Well, my parents are voting for Bill Clinton, because he's the president!
Tim: Bob Dole's better!
Me: No he's not! Bill Clinton is better!
Tim: Bill Clinton has a big nose!

I'm sure you can all tell who won that argument.

My interest for all things poltical only grew from there, and eventually I stopped liking certain politicians just because my parents supported them (though I've always hung to the left of things, much like my parents). While next year's elections are, well, a year and more away, that hasn't stopped me (or the media) from thinking about who is running for president and who I'm going to vote for.

Like a lot of people, I've pretty much only looked at the candidates from the two major parties. While I love the idea of there actually being a third (or fourth or fifth or sixth, etc.) party out there, I haven't had much faith in the actual electability of a third party candidate. But my feelings are starting to change on that front. To me, elections are more than just voting for choice #1 or choice #2, it's a chance to really see what you believe in, where you want this country to go, and what you can do to be proactive.

So, one of the ways I'm learning more about myself as a voter and what's important to me as well as the many different candidates out there, Democrat, Republican, and otherwise, is through this non-profit site, Basically, you take a quiz on where you stand on particular issues and the site matches you with candidates who's views are similar (they've taken the quiz as well), in addition to quotes and voting records backing up those views.

In a word: Amazing.

Even if I don't end up voting for the candidate I most closely matched up with (Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, if you're wondering), it's awesome to know more about who is out there. The site also gives you other candidates you match up with, though maybe not as closely.

And for the record, I'm not being perked or something by this particular group--I just think they are really, really cool and am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge of who's out there and wants to run our country.

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