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PLAYING POLICY OR POLITICS ON YOUR HOME COMPUTER

 


By Bill Sizemore

December 22, 2007

NewsWithViews.com

Who will represent the Republicans next November in the heated race for president? Who will the Democrats nominate? Will there be an independent candidate, and if so, will he or she have a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election?

These are all important, history shaping questions, the outcome of which will have far-reaching personal and societal implications. One thing is certain, our children and our children will be hugely affected by the outcome of this election.

I am writing to tell you about a groundbreaking new online game that helps players pick the presidential candidate who best reflects their views on a host of important issues. The game is called “Policy or Politics” and can be accessed online at www.policyorpolitics.com. The game will be a real eye-opener for some, especially those young people who at the moment are not even slightly aware of the extent to which their future has been mortgaged by politicians in Washington.

Why leave the direction of this race to the pundits? With Policy or Politics, everyday folks can check the candidates for themselves. The game will help them break through the fog. And we al know there is no shortage of fog.

Hillary was far ahead, but lately, Obama has surged. Edwards is working hard and has devoted much time and money in Iowa, but still he lags.

For most of the Fall, Guiliani led the field of Republican candidates. Romney and McCain have campaigned hard, looked strong in some of the early voting states, but have consistently lagged in the national polls. Fred Thompson made a lack luster appearance, disappointing many, but since then has shown brief moments of spark. Lately, Huckabee has surged to challenge Guiliani nationally, but will he stand up under the scrutiny?

It’s enough to confuse even the most die-hard politicos.

Of course none of the polls mean anything until people actually vote, but vote we will. In fact, voting will begin right after the New Year in several states and will increase steadily throughout January and February. State by state, Democrats and Republicans will select their presidential candidates, narrowing the field quickly until they settle on one. Before long, the race for President of the United States of America will become narrow and focused on two or three individuals.

But we get ahead of ourselves. What policies do all of these candidates support? Which ones are pushing for universal healthcare? What is their tax policy? Where do they stand on immigration? Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid all have enormous unfounded liabilities. Which candidates acknowledge the gigantic debt? Which ones offer a solution?

Here’s the real question, the one this new online game tackles: Do the candidates run on policy or politics. Do they duck, bob and weave when asked a serious policy question. Or do they give straight answers? In other words, is it politics as usual or are they playing straight? www.policyorpolitics.com will help you decide.


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As usual, the mainstream media has been asking a lot of mundane questions, and politicians for the most part have been regurgitating memorized answers. But it is not as easy to get away with that these days. The world is changing. Thanks to America’s army of entrepreneurs, everyday citizens have video cameras, the internet, and instant communication with millions of people. The old political ploy of obfuscation is increasingly difficult to pull off. Candidates are sometimes caught saying what they really think.

As you will see when you play Policy or Politics, some of the answers the candidates offer address the policy question and some do not. Some are just more politics as usual. But more truth is coming to light than ever before.

Secure Our Future, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to protecting the retirement security of younger generations, launched Policy or Politics (www.policyorpolitics.com) just in time to help voters wade through the fluff and find out where candidates stand. Their game is a fully interactive Web site in which users make a virtual run at the White House by answering politically-charged economic questions.

Policy or Politics: Financial Edition puts users on the spot about financial challenges that threaten the future of our country. Specifically, the site helps young voters understand that Medicare, Congressional overspending, and related issues all affect our retirement security.

In the game, players are faced with five financial questions which will change regularly between now and the November election. Many of the game’s questions are similar to those already posed to the presidential candidates by Students for Saving Social Security, a project of Secure Our Future.

In response to each question, players are provided two possible answers. Once an answer has been chosen, users watch a video statement from a current presidential candidate who has gone on record in support of that answer. Players are then scored on the strength of their policy decisions as well as their political know-how in “working the crowd.” The highest scores are recorded and a leader board is displayed at the end of the game.

Enjoy the game. Learn whether Rudy, Hillary, Obama, Mitt, John, and Mike are explaining policy or whether it’s more politics as usual. Educate a friend. Pass the game on to all your friends. Have your kids play.

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Then return to the game and play again. New questions will be asked and the game will be updated each week.

And if you have suggestions, be sure to send them in. The game is changing and evolving, but already it provides a real eye opening look at where we all may be headed after next November. For better or for worse.

© 2007 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved

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Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children.

Bill Sizemore is considered one of the foremost experts on the initiative process in the nation, having placed dozens of measures on the statewide ballot. Bill was raised in the logging communities of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, and moved to Portland in 1972. He is a graduate of Portland Bible College, where he taught for two years. A regular contributing writer to www.NewsWithViews.com

E-Mail: bill@otu.org

Bill's Web site: www.Billsizemore.net


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These are all important, history shaping questions, the outcome of which will have far-reaching personal and societal implications. One thing is certain, our children and our children will be hugely affected by the outcome of this election.