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What most determines how you vote?

  1. Quality of character

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Position on issues (i.e. voting history, party affiliatation, campaign promises)

    12 vote(s)
    75.0%
  3. Other: Please specify

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. Jul 31, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Which carries the greatest influence on your preference for a political candidate: Your perception of the quality of character of a candidate, or the specifics of his or her political position on critical issues?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2004 #2

    Kerrie

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    particular issues are what motivate me to vote...i am a registered independent because to me, it does not matter who is what party, just the issues they promise are what motivates my vote...
     
  4. Jul 31, 2004 #3
    1. The political candidate must speak French and have the best interests for Quebec and Quebecois. (Not Stephen Harper)

    2. Must favour less taxes and businessmen as opposed to unions and the working class. (Liberal - not NDP).

    Edit: He also has to have a history of being a charitable person, and he must represent the 20% of anglophones in Quebec too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2004
  5. Jul 31, 2004 #4

    Gokul43201

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    It's much harder to judge the quality of character than to gain an insight on political views.

    So typically, I reserve judgement on the basis of character as a veto power only. If someone is a rotten scoundrel, dumb as a doorknob or weak as a candle-in-the-wind, he's out. If it's hard to make a black-or-white distinction on the basis of character, I focus on the candidates views and priorities.



    (Edit : Removed a response to Dagenais' post.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2004
  6. Jul 31, 2004 #5

    BobG

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    I use their stand on the issues as the first criteria just to weed out the field, but that's not the final criteria. The details will never turn out exactly like they were promised since time changes things. As long as the candidates are fairly close in position, my impression of their character takes priority.
     
  7. Jul 31, 2004 #6
    Voting based on "character" is pretty riduculous, except in rare cases of serious lapses of ethics. "Character" is just product that they package and sell to the electorate. Stances on issues are what are important for elected officials, and reveal more about actual character than image does.
     
  8. Jul 31, 2004 #7

    Gokul43201

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    BobG, will you pick a crazy, moronic, thieving scoundrel because he shares more common political opinions with you ?

    Clearly, you and I have different bars for what we would consider "acceptable risk-to-returns".
     
  9. Jul 31, 2004 #8

    Gokul43201

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    I'm sure that a third of this country will accuse Bush of 'serious lapses of ethics' and another third will accuse Kerry of the same.
     
  10. Jul 31, 2004 #9

    BobG

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    Well, there's certainly limits to either.

    Given a choice between Nixon or Kucinich - I'd have to go with Nixon (at least part of that is Kucinich's ineptitude when he was running Cleveland added on to his political views)

    Admittedly, there would have to be NO other reasonable candidates before I'd go to someone as extreme as Nixon. The term of 'fairly close' would get quite a bit looser.

    A more realistic picture would be Bush 2000, Kerry, Edwards, Dean, Sharpton, Kucinich (Bush 2004 has slid quite a ways to the right since 2000). I'd vote any of the first three over the last three in spite of the fact that I rate Bush even lower than Clinton in the character area.
     
  11. Jul 31, 2004 #10
    Now I'm curious as to what you were going to say...
     
  12. Aug 1, 2004 #11
    With regard to policies, perhaps. I know that there are those who demonize Kerry for his anti-Vietnam war stances in the 70s, but I think that they are rather few, but then, again, that is a policy stance, too. Perhaps bush's drug history is the biggest example, but that's pretty BIG! And I think that it affects his decision-making process.

    Like I said before, "character" is just the image that the campaign and the media protray. If you want to know the candidate's real character, look at his/her stances on the issues. These are more important than "being a family man", etc., which are irrelevant.
     
  13. Aug 1, 2004 #12

    Gokul43201

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    You can only judge stances on issues through voting records...and even then, it's really very tricky ! But there are events which tell quite obviously on one's character.
     
  14. Aug 1, 2004 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    When exactly do the politics of a candidate outweigh the issues of character? How "bad" is acceptable? When does a person cross the line? Would you prefer Carter or Nixon for president this November - were that the choice.
     
  15. Aug 1, 2004 #14

    BobG

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    Geez, that's such a tough choice.

    In 'normal' times, the choice would be easy - Carter. He was a competent president - he just picked a bad time to be president. But, as a leader for bad times, he was just such a morale killer. I'm almost sure the nation would abandon Iraq and let it turn into another Afghanistan if Carter were president.

    You do realize that Afghanistan is a country in name and border, only. There is no nation of Afghanistan if you're defining a nation as a group of united people with a common heritage. Afghanistan is just a bunch of mini-nations vying for the title of 'official government' (and the chance at controlling treaties and foreign aid, etc). As soon as the democratic elections are held and we get out, the old cycle in Afghanistan will start back up. They're not months away from democracy - they're decades away from being any kind of nation at all, whether it be democracy, communist, or dictatorship.

    Iraq, having three dominant groups, will never be quite as bad, even if everyone pulls out. But there's another difference as well. The only way we'll feel Afghanistan's pain is if another one of its mini-nations cozy up to some terrorist group to improve their standing. We'll feel every single bruise Iraq experiences because they are one of the oil producing countries.

    So, I'd have to say Nixon just because the next few years are more critical than usual.
     
  16. Aug 1, 2004 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    A true Machiavellian, I suspect. :biggrin:

    Bob votes prince.
    Any votes for saint?
     
  17. Aug 2, 2004 #16

    BobG

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    Obviously, a choice like that generates a low voter turnout.

    How about a presidential race like 1884, where the most popular campaign slogans were:

    Ma, Ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!

    and

    Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine

    From:
    http://www.presidentsusa.net/campaignslogans.html?NF=1
     
  18. Aug 2, 2004 #17

    amp

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    I went with other because NOT just one characteristic figures in the choice I make when I cast my vote. Choice #2 should have - keeps campaign promises where applicable. If character wasn't so embedded in this election I probably wouldn't give it much consideration but the secrecy and stonewalling of the current administration raises serious questions about the aggregate character, is it condescending, patronizing, arbitrary, foolish, impulsive, stubborn or tenacious? And importantly in-step/informed with respect to each other and the events happening thru-out the world in this new paradigm.
     
  19. Aug 13, 2004 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    I find that in the end I vote for the person.

    The issues change and often I have no way to know how much of the critical information relating to various issues may be at my disposal. For example, I couldn't possibly know if the Iraq invasion was justified until after the fact. So, if I trust the person in charge then I can rest assured that he will make the best choices. If I believe that he is driven by a deep desire to serve and to make the world a better place, and if I believe a person has the mental horsepower to be president, and if we also find a history of leadership in and by that person, then it is likely that I will support that candidate no matter [within reason] what the politics of the day may be.

    Would I prefer another candidate to choose from this year? Absolutely! But I see a person of high quality in Kerry. I have never seen this in Bush. For me it’s that simple. When I choose a candidate I don’t assume that I’m qualified to be president. I am not voting for the person who would be me. Even if I don’t agree with all of the choices made, I put my trust in the man [or maybe soon the woman] who I feel will make the best choices because they are best qualified.
     
  20. Aug 14, 2004 #19

    selfAdjoint

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    I don't expect moral purity from my candidates. I would mech rather have an intelligent lecher than a fool for a representative. And I think all politicians lie; if they didn't, if they told the absolute truth (as they saw it), they couldn't win a majority of the voters, because the voters in that large a sample will have different preferences, and if your "truth" pleases some, it will tee off others. So you either come up with a smooth statement that means nothing and stick with it like glue, or you waffle.
     
  21. Aug 14, 2004 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, I never said anything about moral purity. Little men lie about great things, and great men lie about little things?

    Also, are you saying that the person still matters more than the issues?
     
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