By Dayle M. Smith
It is likely that as many as eight or nine candidates will qualify for the Dec. 19 DNC debate at LMU. In debates to date, many of these candidates have relied on broad campaign positions such as “returning government to the people” and “getting the wealthy to pay their fair share” to attract voters to their camps. As we move closer to primary elections in several states, candidates will inevitably refine these overarching positions to more specific policy proposals. Voters look to such refinement and clarification in making ballot box decisions. But keeping track of eight or nine separate sets of major policy positions can be a daunting task. Therefore, consider taking brief notes on each candidate’s stand with regard to health care, gun control, immigration management, taxation, foreign relations and other issues of current interest. Your notes will be useful in sorting out which candidate, if any, you choose to support. In addition, these notes will help you follow the evolution of each candidate’s policy positions as election day approaches. Evolution in a candidate’s thinking implies change in response to emerging, new conditions. With less than a year remaining to the election, what a candidate says on Dec. 19 may well not be his or her final word on policy positions. Your notes from the upcoming debate at LMU will provide you with context for later pronouncements from candidates and help you determine if a candidate is refining, qualifying, reversing or abandoning policy positions set forth at the Dec. 19 debate.
Dayle M. Smith, Ph.D. is dean of LMU College of Business Administration.