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Presidential Candidates '08 - Where They Stand

Presidential Candidates '08 - Where They Stand

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Published by Joseph Ryan
How to use the Internet to compare the presidential candidates' positions on major issues
How to use the Internet to compare the presidential candidates' positions on major issues

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Published by: Joseph Ryan on Nov 21, 2007
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06/16/2009

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Presidential Candidates '08: Where They StandWithout doubt it's important to vote in the upcoming 2008 U.S. presidentialelection, yet it's even more important to cast an informed vote. This meanscomparing presidential candidates in terms of where they stand on the issues
 fortunately, this is something which is easy and simple to accomplish on the Web,if you know the best online resources.One might hope that, this time around, the Internet will loosen up the decades-oldstranglehold TV has had on the public consciousness where presidential voting isconcerned. After all, do we really want the next president to be the candidate whomakes the best TV impression during debates, Sunday morning talk shows, andrandomly-reported sound bites?No, of course not it's the candidate's position on major issues that's really
 most important to us. But at the same time, keeping each of more than 15candidates' positions on issues straight can be like trying to juggle four ballswhile balancing a banana on your nose particularly since some of them have an
 unfortunate tendency to alter their position on certain issues in mid-campaign.Television is fine as far as getting a sense of the presidential-ness of the
 candidates and a feel for their leadership qualities. But it's not so fine whenyou need to understand exactly where each one stands on the major issues of theday vis-a-vis the other candidates. This is where the Web can help, and it doesthe job quite well.Issues QuizTo begin, check out your current knowledge of the candidates' positions with thisbrief quiz --Using a word processor or piece of paper, record what you think are the positionsof some or all of the following candidates on each of several issues, then go tothe Issues Grid (http://websearchguides.com/issues_grid.htm), prepared byPoliticalBase.com.Suggested Candidates: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney,John Edwards, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Mike HuckabeeCorresponding to each candidate, indicate for, against, strongly for, or
 strongly against for each of the following issues:
1.Minimum Wage2.No Child Left Behind Act3.Iraq War Withdrawal4.Affirmative Action5.Universal Health Care6.Legalized Abortion7.Same Sex Marriage8.Social Security Reform9.Free TradeSo how did you score? If you're like most people, you didn't do too well, butthis is definitely information you need to familiarize yourself with beforecasting your vote.Of course, you need not totally agree with the Issues Grid developed byPoliticalBase.com. For example, the Issue Grid's representation of Clinton's andEdward's positions on Social Security Reform. as strongly against seems to me
 to need clarification. (Note that you can click on the issues in the left columnfor elaboration.) So I suggest that you review this Issues Grid with caution andlook also at some of the other Internet resources discussed below.NEW YORK TIMES ELECTION GUIDE (http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/index.html)Probably one of the more objective and thorough e Internet sites for comparingpresidential candidates is that of the NY Times. (Incidentally, a NY Times Onlinesubscription is not needed to access the material.) On the home page you get the

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