02
Sep
09

trying to decide who’s a good politician is hard

I think it’s really hard to tell who is a good politician and who is not. The information costs are huge just in terms of figuring out what a given legislator actually did. Then, once that is done, one has to decide if what a given politician did was any good. This is not easy, and I’m starting to think that on most issues, there are a whole range of reasonable positions. On issues that are so complex, I think it’s really hard to count a vote one way or another against a politician.

This is why I prefer to try and rank politicians by the decisions they make that are obviously wrong or obviously right. There aren’t many of these, but for example, politicians who are against gay marriage win my immediate disapproval, because I have yet to see a single argument in favor such discrimination. It just seems like a slam dunk in favor of moving toward equality on that front.

Another example, after writing this post, is that politicians who voted for requiring double tankers were really pretty shortsighted. Unfortunately, I think only five people voted against it in the house. So, it seems my choice of acceptable politicians is pretty slim already.

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