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Every one wants to make an informed decision when they vote. At least they “should want to” make an informed choice. Here are some warning signs to look out for when someone wants your vote. Regardless of your individual leanings.
Not all will be present in any one person, but normally several will be. Take this as a helpful guide.
(1) The Person Argues Over Trivial Points
People running for various offices will disagree on many things. Often they will argue over DIFFERENT POLICIES. However, when one argues over different ways to implement the SAME POLICIES, it becomes a fair question as to how different they really are. Fierce debate over essentially the same positions is a dog-and-pony show, which doesn’t offer a real alternative to voters.
(2) Not Being Clear About What Policies They Want
People have different ideas to offer when running for office. If they are sincere, those will be clearly expressed, whether on websites, signs, brochures, or other written formats. One thing to watch out for is policies that seem unusually vague or nondescript.
(3) Being Vague When Asked For Specific
This is related to the last point. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. If a candidate is sincere, the answers will become more and more SPECIFIC. On the other hand, if the answers become more VAGUE, then something is definitely wrong. This is true not only on future policy, but on questions about current actions.
(4) Deflect With Attacks On Another
When pressing a candidate for answers on a topic, clear direct answers should be forthcoming. One red flag is when those questions are not answered, but rather it shifts to an attack on why the political opponents are wrong on that topic.
(5) Positions Change Depending On Power
This is very common among mainstream parties that have been around for generations. While in opposition, a party will claim to oppose government actions. But once in government, that party will then adopt all or part of the legislation that the previously claimed to oppose.
(6) Opposition By “Scandal”
Don’t get the wrong idea. Governments in power do often have scandals, just as corruption, gross incompetence. While holding a government to account is important. All that said, it should not be the MAIN SOURCE of opposition. If someone seeks office, and their main points all have to do with pointing out current administration incompetence, then they likely have little to offer as a platform.
(7) Strawman Arguments
This is done by “setting up a strawman” and then taking it down. In other words, misrepresenting an opponent’s arguments or statements, to make them look much worse. Then the “strawman” will be handily defeated. Problem is, it attacks an argument that no one actually made, and is dishonest. Genuine misunderstandings are one thing, intentional distortion is another.
(8) Platform Really Doesn’t Add Up
This will involve research on your part. This is the opposite problem to #2. If a platform offers many lofty, expensive goals, with no clear way to pay for them, you should be suspect. Sure, circumstances will change as time goes on, but a platform should still offer a realistic agenda to all constituents.
Sure this list could be much longer. But deficient and inadequate candidates will engage in most, if not all of these traits. If someone won’t tell the truth BEFORE getting power, why should we trust them AFTER they are?
Don’t take anything at face value.