Thursday, October 24, 2013

Politics: Identity, not Information

The more that I read the for and against for a local measure, or the more that I read over the different candidates' platforms for a local office, the more confused I become.

Which candidate do I vote for?

All the information in the press will present each candidate, and each stance on a proposal in a positive light, trying to engage the reader to support the issue or the person.

All of this debating and dialectical knowledge does not help anyone make a decision to cast a vote.

More often, voters are going to return to their values, rely on their identity, whether with a political party or a set of ideas, or whether they like a person or not.

These metrics are never adequeate for vetting who to vote for for an office.

Yet participatory democracy makes these metrics inevitable.

Not only is there so much information out there, voters need to discern which information is true and false, and which world-view of the candidate is accurate.

Not just whether a person is qualified on paper, but does this person understand me and my concerns, these questions pop up all the time.

Mitt Romney struck many voters as someone who did not care about other people. Whether that is true or not, and whether that issue would affect his ability to serve as chief executive is irrelevant.

But in politics, such perceptions do matter.

Whether they should or not, is another story.

Politics is ultimately all about identity, not information. It's not enough to know what best policies to implement, especially free-market reforms which take time. Voters have to see the candidate as viable as well as a veritable choice, since they cannot depend on what they will get right away once t they vote for that candidate.

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