The setting is a representative democracy founded during a nearly current technological era. Being aware of how easily representative democracies can be manipulated by political parties, corporate campaign funding, control of mass media, etc. this civilization sets out to create a system that leverages modern technology to keep the electoral process representative of the needs of the people.
To solve this, they decide to come up with a values based election program. In this system, the voter does not get to pick what candidate or political party they vote for, instead they are asked a series of questions to which they respond (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree, or I am unfamiliar with this topic) to identify what candidate most closely aligns with the voters values.
If there is any ambiguity left when done, the system starts asking you a bunch of questions about which values are more important to you until it can determine what single candidate most closely mirrors your values. While this process is far too complicated for paper ballots, it would be easy for a computerized system as long as all the obvious security concerns are addressed.
The issue with a values based election process is that if you allow candidates to self-identify their values, they could just do market research to find the most popular platforms, self-identify as that, then do whatever they want when they get to office. To combat this, the system needs a way to verify the values of the candidates.
Some questions could be easily proven through public records such as:
- My candidate should not have a criminal record
- My candidate should be an experienced politician
- My candidate should have experience running a business
However, other questions will be much more relative like:
- My candidate should support GBLT rights.
- My candidate should support lower taxes.
- My candidate should support small businesses.
When you have an experienced politician, you can prove their relative values by looking at what bills they have supported or opposed in the past, but newer candidates don't have enough data to make those assessments.
What would be the most evidence based/hardest to manipulate method of determining a candidate's values that neither discriminates for nor against newer politicians?
There is of course also the problems of who gets to decide what questions make it to the ballot, cyber security concerns, etc, but I'm not worried about that for this question. Those can be addressed in follow up questions as per the single question policy of WB.SE.
For the sake of this question, assume that this system itself is safe, secure, private, and trusted by the general population.