Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yesterday was constitution day, and so our university had a panel discussion of the first amendment and freedom of the press. The experts discussed election coverage a bit, and this inspired me to consider how much I know about the platforms of the three major parties in the U.S. (The Green Party is a major party in Illinois, where they received over 10% of the vote for governor in the last election). From the media I know a great deal about campaign strategies and opinion polls and political advertising, but I don't know details about about what the candidates are actually proposing to do.

I look for about 20 minutes online to find basic summaries from neutral analysts, but I couldn't find any decent comparative coverage of actual positions on issues. It seems the candidates have not responded to the Project Vote Smart surveys, so that wasn't available.

I at last turned to the official websites of the campaigns. I've collected what the official websites say (and the Green Party shares a draft of their party platform, but not a final draft yet). I've put it all into a 29-page Microsoft Word document using a table with three columns, one for each party, and rows for each issue. I haven't done any editing, I've just copied and pasted what the parties say they want.

You can download the party platform information from this link to the paper [Word doc, 398 KB].

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