Did I say there should be a quiz? Those are always perverted to keep certain classes of people from not voting. I'm saying if you aren't at least reasonably informed it is your civic duty to rent a DVD and stay home election night. Lots of people don't excersize their civic duty, so I suppose some will vote anyways.
What a politician stands for is always a smoke screen. The supreem court ruled that politiicians have a right to lie to the the voters, and make promises that they never intend to keep. You need to know what they have actually done to know who they really are. Talk is cheap.
In the end, who gets elected matters only a little. There is usually a right way of doing things, and so that is what gets done. Then there are special interests looking for a hand out, what economists call "rent seeking." that mucks things up.
The most democratic vote you have is the one you make with your dollers, and I don't mean campaign contributions. When ever you buy something you are voting for that product sold at that location. Sometimes you looses and your favorit store closes. But every dollar is a vote on how you want the country to be, ranging from hemlines on skirts to music played on the radio. And you don't even have to be 18 to excersize this voting power. And its a vote that really affects the environment, workers, trade, everything. Every dollar spent is a signal to the economy as to how resources from manpower to iron ore, to farmland should be used.