With the 2012 presidential election season in full swing, websites that compile and organize information on candidates are cropping up everywhere.
These sites are increasingly mirroring dating sites’ format, like match.com or eHarmony.
You answer a series of questions about your political views and are shown which politician you’re most compatible with. Considering the back-and-forth attack ads between candidates, this “political soul mate” test seems to have some value.
Voter research organization Project Vote Smart created their own compatibility app which measures voters’ compatibility across every presidential candidate and congressional candidate. Profiles, voting records, and speeches are compiled for each politician too – like picking a significant other, voters should know all the facts before settling down with any of the candidates.
However, these surveys are only useful if politicians concretely state their views. Moving beyond surveys, Project Vote Smart also created the Political Courage Test. With the purpose of spreading information, the test asks candidates to concretely describe their respective stances on a variety of popular issues. This information is then made available to voters on the organization’s website.
The test, aptly named, has not been a favorite among candidates. According to the website, a majority of politicians – including Barack Obama and Ron Paul – have refused to take the test. Even though these politicians’ views can easily be inferred, a definite yes/no on tough issues seems to be out of the question.
Until more transparency is reached, voters will have to continue relying on organizations like Project Vote Smart to find their political partner.
Photo: uscentrist.org. Comedian Jon Stewart's Indecision 2012 logo.