Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Presidential Election of 2008

Without getting too personally politically, let's just say that I am pro-voting. So, what follows isn't my harangue on why I'm voting for whom or why this other candidate would equal unequivocal doom for the United States. Instead, what lies beneath are means of locating more about the political or otherwise background of the current Presidential candidates.

Want to know how the current presidential candidates voted in Congress? Take a look at this website: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/. This site provides an easy to navigate means of getting to how Obama, Edwards, Clinton, McCain, not to mention all other Representatives or Senators, voted in Congress. A good feature of this site is that it readily makes available whether the Congress person voted strictly along party lines, even offering a percentage of times someone voted with his/her party.

If you'd like more detailed information about each Congress person (or want to double-check a voting record elsewhere besides the Washington Post -- because you find it too far to the right or too far to the left; pundits evidently are currently debating that it is both), you can get the same information at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/rollcallvotes.html. This site is particularly good for quickly totaling up the yeas & nays (click on the highlighted Vote or Roll #) by individual name & briefly explaining what exactly each vote is about (click on the highlighted issue # i.e. H R 6).

You can link to official web pages about the current candidates who are serving in the Senate at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. This site offers video of speeches on the Senate floor, synopsis of each Senator's political stance on a variety of issues, links to voting records, brief biographical information, the committees the Senator serves on, contact information for each Senator, & more.

If you are truly aching for a wealth of information about the federal government's legislative body, http://thomas.loc.gov/ will keep you busy for quite a while.
If you are pro-elephant, at least in the Republican Party sense, you will find a sizable amount of in-house party rhetoric & news at http://www.gop.com/.

If you choose a party for whatever reason represented by a donkey (actually, I looked this up; click here for the reason), view the official Democratic Party at http://www.democrats.org/.

[Particularly amusing to me is that each of the major parties' sites feature a "bash a member of the other party currently running for President" type feature on their home page. I guess this is par for the course in 2008: let's blame the other party rather than focus on our party's strengths].

Because there are more than two political parties -- yes, it's true! -- you might also want to check out the ideas offered by a few of the so-called third party candidates. There are links to dozens of official third party sites such as the Green Party, Libertarian Party, the United States Pacifist Party, & others at this link: http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm. This site offers a relatively unbiased synopsis of politics in general in the United States. I would recommend this site actually over both of the major parties own sites if you are truly looking to tone down any in-house rhetoric.
With luck, you'll find this information helpful whether you are a pessimist like the late rocker Jerry Garcia who said "Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil" or a optimist like long ago President John Q. Adams who said "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

Patrick Layne

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Great information. I will be suggesting this as a starting point for students here at NMCC. Thanks

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