January 16th, 2008 Richard
I learned of this electoral compass site via twitter with a post from my friend Charles Hope, a very bright guy, who is a co-founder of blip.tv.
It doesn’t take long to answer the questions and I turned out to be awfully strong in social liberalism and economically left. Below is a screen shot of my profile, also showing candidates. (Ok, actually I added the picture and my name – the site just shows the pencil.) I was closest to Barack Obama, though I was disappointed to see the site did not even include Dennis Kucinich, and my guess is that I would be closer to his views.
In any case, this is not a political blog, except as it relates to web issues, and, lord knows, I could not survive in the Ozarks at a technological university if I didn’t appreciate and get along with conservatives. However, I’m not secret about my views (this is America, damn it and mainly I thought the site was very well designed, functionally intuitive, and appears to do a good job of summarizing candidates views relative to mine.
Of course, the big question is, who created this site, and how much do I trust them to represent my views or the candidates? With a little effort (clicking on an obscure disclaimer button at the bottom of the page) I found that site isn’t even a US site, but is the work of a company called Kieskompas BV, located in the Netherlands. Further, they say that the data may be used for “scientific research” and may be published in “the media”, though I doubt seriously that this will involve any peer review, the cornerstone of academic scholarship and, of course, there is the other big question as to who they will sell these data too. Anyway, I thought it was a cool tool, though, of course, you must take these things with a grain of salt.
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