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A Guide To The '08 Presidential Election
& Where The Candidates Stand On The Issues
Open Thread - Please Give Your US $.02 
4th-Jan-2008 10:02 pm
I'd like to get some feedback from all of you watching this community as well as the members on what information you would like to see posted from here on out, and what kind of content you're looking for.

At the moment, I am the lone contributor with guestbloggers on the way to write about the issues dear to them, but I would like to know where you all would like to see this community go and what your hopes/interests/desires for it are. Opinion pieces? Candidate endorsements and "Why I Am Supporting ____ ____ In The 2008 Election" style essays?

Comment and let me know what you're thinking so that changes can be made. This is a communal effort, I really want this community to take off and be something that benefits those who wish to learn more!
Comments 
5th-Jan-2008 03:27 am (UTC)
1) I'd like to see some head-to-head comparisons on where the candidates stand on individual issues, e.g. climate change, health care, etc.

2) I'd also like to hear from other comm members on their choices for ideal running mates.

3) I always enjoy participating in opinion polls, whether on the candidates themselves, specific issues, predictions, etc.
6th-Jan-2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
1) This is also a section of the sidebar, under Candidate Profiles, where you'll find issues related links for each candidate. Did you mean to say you'd like to see future posts on individual issues with a list of each candidate's stance? The post is located here.

2) I posted a poll asking members to vote on their ideal candidate, perhaps I should do something similar again soon.

3) Good, it's a great way to get/give feedback.

Thanks for the input!

Edited at 2008-01-06 07:35 pm (UTC)
5th-Jan-2008 04:49 am (UTC)
1)I would like to see the candidates' stand on individual issues as well.

2)I would also like to hear about their stands on issues in the past in whatever public office they have served.

3)I really don't think candidate endorsements and such will be conducive to an impartial look at the candidates.

4)Polls are great if they are relevant and limited in scope and subject (and not repeated every week).

5)I'd like to see the entire stories behind what the media reports. Certain things tend to be, shall we say, "enhanced as needed" when the entire story needs to be told.

I look forward to seeing this community grow.
6th-Jan-2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
1) & 2) are answered in the reply above.

3) I agree, but I think it is vital to get the opinions of our community members as to why they endorse their chosen candidates - as long as it doesn't involve mudslinging against the others. I see no harm in that, but will only consider it with support from a majority of community members.

4) ABSOLUTELY - couldn't agree more!

5) I agree, and think we should find ways/means/sources to verify content and present things in a concise, unaltered manner.

Thanks for your input!
5th-Jan-2008 04:57 am (UTC)
I'm finding it extremely hard to find unbiased opinions of the candidates to write on any specific issues. Maybe some suggestions of where more unbiased news might be on them.

I also feel nervous about posting anything in here, for fear of sounding like I'm ranting, or not contributing, but I am going to link to the community tonight in my personal LJ. Perhaps if every Friday, or whatever day it was a bit like an open forum of comments about candidates, and the issues being raised. Tell me if that sounds good.
6th-Jan-2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Presenting the facts in an unemotional way and sticking to the core issues is the best way to go about that. In reporting the facts only, you leave out the room for partisan hackery and the influence of personal opinion.

I'll be posting a new open thread when I finish these replies, explaining what an open thread actually is - I encourage you and all other members with posting access to post open threads with subjects of your choice to solicit opinions whenever you feel it necessary. There is a wealth of info already posted previously by myself, dig through it and find what interests you. That's pretty much what I hear you suggesting, so grab the ball and run with it! If you want to do this on Fridays or any other day (Humpday Wednesday might even be good, it's right in the middle!) then I think that should begin as your own personal project/contribution. Answer the comments as you like, I'll offer my US $.02 when I feel like it. Excellent place to start, and others may follow your lead.

Thanks for the input!

6th-Jan-2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
If I may butt in just to give two suggestions ...

I'm a reporter and have been one for several years. I am by no means the high authority on what is trustworthy, 100 percent, and what is not (well, okay, maybe I CAN make a big list of the latter), but having looked at a lot of media outlets for ideas and help over the years, I can give you a couple of sources if you don't already frequent them.

NPR is usually good for presenting more than one POV on an issue (as is PBS news). I think it's very difficult to say that there's any media outlet that won't let at least a little bias creep in, but IMO those may be the closest you can get.

Also, Reuters.com has been a good source for me to find things over the years that I'd glimpsed or heard about somewhere else but couldn't find "legitimate news" confirmation. The AP provides similar wire service, but for various reasons I tend to rate Reuters higher. That's just me.
6th-Jan-2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
You, my love, are spot on - I use both NPR and Reuters (and occasionally BBC News) for most of my news browsing. AP sometimes falls a bit flat for me as well.
5th-Jan-2008 05:08 am (UTC)
Jude, is the first part of my entry tonight in my own journal something you would consider adaptable for vote_smart ? I look at it as something that says "Look at a candidate's background, what s/he says, what baggage s/he brings with, and who will be coming along with the White House moving van. You're voting for the person, but also for the team and philosophy that swirls around that person...make sure you know what THEY are, too."
6th-Jan-2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
I think there is a way, but only in the context of an unbiased view into things about the candidates that should be held to scrutiny and further inspection/analysis. It treads dangerously close to Swiftboating of candidates in other media outlets, but I think you're outstanding at presenting a thing in its most refined and purely honest way, stripped and distilled of all unnecessary details that trivialize a thing and make it open for ridicule.

Let me know if you need any help in composing or editing stuff, or just proofreading for any inconsistencies that might evade you.

Thanks for your input, D!
5th-Jan-2008 05:53 am (UTC)
I'm personally more interested in the facts, past history, and current stances of the candidates and their staff. I'm not really all that interested in opinions on why X person is voting for Y candidate because... well, that's their opinion and I want to be able to form my own. Unfortunately, it's all but impossible to find anything that isn't biased by personal or corporate opinions.

Please note, I'm not saying I don't want this community to have opinion-pieces, I'm just personally not interested in them.
6th-Jan-2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
This is precisely why I'm obsessing over impartial information and a means of openly presenting the facts/issues in as plain and honest a way as possible. I want this to be a means of teaching, learning, and an exchange of ideas that never crosses over into becoming a political indoctrination or political proselyting, just a presentation of needed facts and resources so that people can make up their OWN minds.

Thanks for your input!
5th-Jan-2008 07:09 am (UTC)
Anonymous
I'm looking for more ways to compare and contrast primary candidates right now. For example, Huckabee is under fire right now for pardoning prisoners. But, how does he measure up to other governors in this respect? Stuff like that. We get these facts and stories about people but we get no context or perspective so we can see how reasonable or unreasonable decisions they have made or positions they have taken are.

I know that sounds vague, but I feel kind of lost in being able to sift through the sound bites in order to paint an accurate picture of each candidate.
5th-Jan-2008 07:10 am (UTC)
Whoops, that was me. I don't know why I was signed out.
6th-Jan-2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Fair enough, and I think once we find sources to verify this info and present it fairly we can begin doing that. Any suggestions on places to look are welcome!

Thanks for your input!
6th-Jan-2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Actually, I recently found a site called factcheck.org. Don't know much about it, but it seems to be a good site.
6th-Jan-2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
EXACTLY
the sort of thing I'm looking to use as a tool for verifying info, I had this link but lost it - thanks so much!
6th-Jan-2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
No prob, glad to help =)
5th-Jan-2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
Obama and Edwards are very much about change, but I am really interested in knowing a little more about how each of them actually plans to make the change happen. At least a hint at their gameplan. Right now it just sounds a little empty to me.
6th-Jan-2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Check out the candidate profiles, see if that leads you to anything and if not, let me know - I'll point you in a better direction. The candidates' names in each section is a link to their personal campaign site, which may tell the tale for you. Also, bear in mind that it is the nature of politicians to be as likable as possible, so a lot of what you may be hearing is processed as empty rhetoric. This is why I always seek out my would be elected officials as a constituent, and ask them to explain to me why I should vote for them. I'm not just going to give it willy-nilly, work for it and earn it like everyone else does. They should ALL be told as much.

Thanks for the input!

Edited at 2008-01-06 08:15 pm (UTC)
5th-Jan-2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
I agree that personal opinion is not as useful for a site such as this - it tends to boil down to "You can't possibly not vote for my favorite candidate" at the end.

I second the request for context - how have other people in the same position behaved in the past? Was this or that action an aberration or the norm? Who are the people this candidate relies upon for their stances/advice/opinions? What is their story?

Facts are harder to skew than opinions, and facts are also a lot harder to come by.
6th-Jan-2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Indeed, which is why I want this community to be driven by people who make it a living thing, and resource the information we give out so that those coming here to learn get the best info possible, unvarnished by unnecessary details that trivialize the truly important things.

Thanks for your input!
5th-Jan-2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna agree with the pack--where do the candidates stand on individual issues, and how have they voted in the past?

If you can highlight that, rather than massive smear campaigns, you'll be head-and-shoulders above the mainstream media in the coming months. (The smear campaigns have so far been kept to a minimum, but as we get closer to Election Day, I expect things to get brutal, what with the Clinton machine, the Chicago political machine, and the New York political machine in the fray.)
5th-Jan-2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Your sidebar of candidates is a Godsend.
6th-Jan-2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
I appreciate that, I'm pretty proud of it myself!
6th-Jan-2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
That's where the trackers and issues links come in handy! I agree that we need a lot more source info to compare and contrast, and measure it against reliable fact checkers.

Thanks for your input!
6th-Jan-2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
If I just couldn't find it or overlooked it, but I wondered if you had the link for THOMAS (the Library of Congress) on the site. It's an impartial listing of current officeholders and their addresses and committees, explanations of basic governmental functions, committee functions, and - perhaps most importantly - it lists all bills and resolutions in their entirety and the pertinent information on each (who introduced, cosponsors, voting records, committee calendar, etc.). I don't remember where I first learned of this site years ago, but it's helped me write more articles than I can list; I would really be lost without it some weeks.

(Why is it I can search for 45 minutes, never find something, and find it AS SOON AS I say "I can't find it here?" Oh well - I can still serve as an endorsement for the site, at least!)

Edited at 2008-01-06 09:05 pm (UTC)
6th-Jan-2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
Yes Ma'am - in the sidebar, under CongressTrack: Status of Appropriations!
(Deleted comment)
7th-Jan-2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
I'm interested in opinion pieces as well later in the year, once more information and campaign experience comes in to play, and I can have people writing pieces about their candidate of choice SANS mudslinging or showing the shortcomings of the other challengers.

There will be NO partisan hackery in community posts, but I'm sure you'll find plenty in open thread comments sooner or later.

Thanks for the input, my brother!
(Deleted comment)
7th-Jan-2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
One of these days I'll actually do something with my Facebook account, so as of right now, no.
(Deleted comment)
30th-Jan-2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
Umm, this isn't really a suggestion for the community, but I thought people might find this link interesting/funny/maybe helpful:

Type designers decode the presidential candidates: What font says 'Change'?
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