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If I were to change the system, I would have ballots ask 10 or 20 or so questions based on issues, and each party gives their own response to each question.

The voters then choose their answers they favor for each question, and they can choose multiple answers they agree with, and a point goes to the party for each answer.

The party that gets the most total points among all voters wins, they then decide the people to run that position.

We really have to focus on issues politics, instead of people politics.

I think this is a mistake, but probably not for the reason you think.

We need to stop thinking about politics so statically. Positions on issues can and should change as new information becomes available. Your current preferred position on an issue is really just a rather poor proxy for your preferred method of problem-solving or thought process that reached the conclusion of your preferred position.

You want to elect the person that "thinks and learns in your preferred manner", so that when they are asked to reach a conclusion on a totally unexpected issue, they reach the "correct" conclusion.

I'd almost rather just have all candidates take an IQ test or something and then elect the top scorers.

Then instead of asking questions about positions directly, take a page from the Elder Scrolls games and ask questions whose answer imply a certain thinking process.

That seems like it would reward strategic dishonesty and be ripe for abuse. For example, right now if a candidate says they're in favor of passing Generic Placeholder Policy, but I believe they're lying about it, I can vote against them. But if that's part of their official platform and "Do you approve of GPP?" is an official question on the ballot, how do I respond?

In this situation, you're voting for party based on platform policy for each position, not people. The actual officeholders are decided later by the party.

It's hard for a committee to be dishonest.

OK, replace "candidate" with "party" in my objection, I don't think that changes anything.

If you think parties have a hard time being dishonest... would you like to buy a bridge?

The answers are basically party platform. Party activists would temper dishonesty, because they want their party to achieve their publicly stated goals. Why would you join an anti-abortion party if you believe in abortion?

People think politicians don't keep their promise, but they actually keep their promise far more than they don't: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trust-us-politicians-kee...

This sort of thing is very vulnerable to the exact phrasing of the questions, though.

This sort of thing already happens to some extent with ballot initiatives in the US, and they are rife with misleading verbiage to trick people into voting a certain way when they would have voted differently if the proposal were honestly presented.

Put another way, there are various party platform bits where I may agree with what they _say_ but not what they _mean_. And vice versa.

I think the bigger problem with that proposal is that politicians can and do lie, both about the positions they hold, and about the likelihood of them being able to implement their proposals.

Character matters, though. Some might argue it matters more than a checklist of policy positions.

On the other hand: a label like "democrat" or "republican" in many ways accomplishes what you suggest. Many people just vote the party line knowing what the party typically stands for.

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