It’s 2008: are you ready to vote yet?

Purple Is UnamericanYes, we’re still less than 100 hours into 2008, but the first caucuses are today and the general election is but ten short months away. Have you picked your candidates?

Like the Political Compass site I wrote about last year, there is now a nifty Electoral Compass website (which, tellingly, is Dutch, not American) with Flash-y goodness, that asks your opinion on a variety of political issues, then plots your position on a similar coordinate grid (though I’m pleased they’ve reversed the Y axis), along with the relative positions of the major presidential candidates. What’s really cool is that it has checkboxes that you can tick off to filter the results based on a variety of broad issues, allowing you to decide which factors are most important to you in finding a candidate who best represents your views. The final results page also lets you see how your answers to the specific questions compare to each of the candidates’ views on the same topics, based on their statements from past debates and positions outlined on their campaign websites. You can even see a breakdown of your relative proximity to each of the candidates, sorted from most- to least-similar.

Me, I’m not terribly surprised to see that I have more in common with Barack Obama than Mike Huckabee. But it’s still reassuring to get objective verification. It’s also not surprising that among the Republicans, I’m most closely aligned with Ron Paul, although I still (thankfully) only agree with him 50%. One thing that does surprise me is that on the economic scale (the X axis), I’m actually to the right (slightly) of someone (Hillary Clinton). But I’m more progressive (ranging from 11% for Obama to 91% for Thompson) than all of the candidates. Here’s to progress.