Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Choice Matrix

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to codify and quantify my decision making process regarding my vote for POTUS. Being President seems to require a complex matrix of skills, temperament, philosophy and habits. I’ve tried to lump these qualities into set of meta-qualities, and then assign each a value weight. Then I evaluate the candidate, and give each a score for each meta-quality that ranges from 1 to 10.

This takes into account such fuzzy things as speaking ability, or appearing presidential, and even weighs tougher questions like can he get legislation passed.

Here are the meta-quality groupings I devised.

Personal Style – This encompasses speaking style, appearance, communication skill, energy level, posture and so on. All those things that go into making people like you, or not like you. They are not terribly important, but they are important to a certain degree. Therefore I give them a relative weight of 3 out of 10.

Organizational Effectiveness – The simple question here is can this candidate run an administration that is both efficient and effective? This involves execution of tasks and goals, creative thinking, bold action, and all within budget and time constraints. Obama seems to have taken the lead on this one, proving his ability by running on heckuva campaign.

Political Philosophy – this is the first one most people think of. I’m assuming that policy flows out of philosophy, so if you agree with a candidate on philosophy, the policy will work for you too. In the case of this year’s election, one must be very careful as the candidate each try to define the philosophy of the other. Of course, distortion is really what they seek, not definition.

Legislative Mojo – This is closely related to Organizational Effectiveness, but with a much narrower focus. Basically, will the candidate propose legislation and will he be able to get it passed into law? One’s philosophy may be great, but without the ability to actually persuade and move the lawmakers, you got nothing.

So here is what I came up with when I did my evaluation. This is a thin slice approach to the question. My numbers are just made up from gut feelings. I think the matrix is self-explanatory. McCain comes out the winner by a slight margin. 

Other factors I considered, but did not include in the matrix are 

Decisional Philosophy - Essentially this is a measure of where the candidate falls on the Pragmatic/Ideological continuum. Are decisions based on an idealogy that may or may not be connected with real conditions in a real world? Or are decisions based on available data, analyzed to make value determinations regarding courses of action, or pursuit of goals.

Conceptual Agility - How good is the candidate at seeking and using new ideas. Does he foster an atmosphere of creativity. Does he himself seek unorthodox positions, and is he willing to champion them if they are good for the country. This is closely related to Decisional Philosophy.

Still thinking this through. May need to adjust the matrix.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Work!! Here's something someone sent me:


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10.Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

And God approves this message!