A Centrist’s Election Criteria
I think of myself as a Centrist who is more interested in perfecting participatory government than I am in the specific issues: The process versus the policy. To me the path to optimizing the common good is with elected representatives who are open minded, pragmatic and collaborative; an aim that is the essential purpose of the Constitution. Policy that is for sale to the highest bidder, or dictated by an extreme ideology, just doesn’t seem like a viable long term strategy for the welfare of our planet. I don’t want too much socialism or too much unrestrained capitalism. Nor do I enjoy ricocheting between these two extremes.
My criteria for voting is, which of the viable candidates are most inclined to champion process reforms such as public finance of campaigns at all levels of government, redistricting to promote competitive elections, open primaries to give independents a voice, transparency, accountability, etc. In essence I ask: Who will move us towards “a more perfect union?
This leads me to Obama and McCain. Hillary with all of her experience in Washington is to me a creature of that “money culture” and does not seem to express her revulsion of it as passionately as do Obama and McCain. McCain however is a maverick in a Club that values “survival of the fittest” and the exceptionalism of special interests. (After all it was House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who started the recent escalation of Earmarks to help buy congressional seats). I fear that his better angels would be overwhelmed.
So I come to Obama, based on what he does and says, as the one most likely to promote a system that aims to optimize representative government at the expense of special interests.