Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Needed: OneMinuteCandidate.com

So I voted today (with how dead the polling place was, I kind of felt like I was only the only one) - and as usual, I felt uninformed about all the races going on. Even the debate I watched didn't really help much.

It occurs to me, what I need is OneMinuteCandidate.com - a site that doesn't exist, but should.

The idea would be that you could go to this site and quickly (say, in about 1 minute) read up about a candidate to have an at least half way decent chance of picking someone you'd feel comfortable supporting.

The site would have a few key features:

  • Candidate profiles would be visually comparable (think the feature comparison grid for a car or digital camera)
  • Candidate profiles would be based on answering a standard set of questions. They would be short, I'm thinking 5 questions with each answer being 140 characters or less
  • The questions would be a key advantage of the site, as they would be written up by knowledgeable folks who would know what to ask. Does it matter if your school board member is pro-life or pro-choice? Probably not. Does it matter how they would allocate budget funds, or what program they would cut if they had to? Yeah, probably.
  • The model would work for big races (congress, the president) as well as tiny ones (school board, parks board, etc.), making it a resources that you can consistently turn to.
  • Answers to questions would come from the candidates, and as mentioned above would be brief, with the option of providing a learn more URL.
  • Content from the site could be turned into hard copy, and distributed door-to-door where net access may be limited

I have to think there are a lot of reasons for low voter turn out. And one of the big ones has to be that people aren't knowledgeable about the races. With the right snippits of information folks could not only be educated that a particular race is important, but that they have enough information to choose a candidate they would actually want to support.

2010 is right around the corner - anyone want to get started building the site?

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