Well, I don’t think the issue is that I don’t “get it,” in the same sense that I don’t get quantum mechanics.
The problem is that I understand that you are asking for half of something where you haven’t defined what zero is beyond glossing over it. Random people might not think about it that hard, and will probably think of zero as “the worst candidate that is likely to run” or something.
But if they are thinking of it that way, of course, zero is relative. If a candidate runs that is way worse than the one that rated as zero in the last election, they are going to move zero downward.
I try to avoid saying anything about my political preferences here, but sometimes it is hard to avoid using real world examples.
The last person I voted for for president was actually quite “meh” for me, at least compared to the president that had served before her, but she was way, way better than the other person running, so I heartily endorsed her.
In the 2008 election, the major party candidate that I did not prefer was someone I actually had a great deal of respect and admiration for and thought was a decent, competent person. But I liked the other major party candidate way, way more.
Sure, but if we agree that zero represents being tortured to death, then I will just rate all candidates as 5, because the idea of anyone who is running occupying the office is way better than being tortured to death.
Just like lots of people know what half of room temperature is. If you had asked me when I was 8 years old, I could confidently tell you that it was right around 35 degrees.
Only when I learned that there are equally valid scales of temperature that have a completely different zeros, would I realize that my assumption is wrong and the question is not so easily answered.
If you define zero as “meh”, well, you’ve just kicked the can down the road. I don’t know what you mean by “meh.” “Meh” is just as relative.
My view is that zero is always going to be relative. If you simply say “zero is your least favorite candidate” – just as you have said “5 is your favorite candidate” – it makes things much more straightforward.
The other nice thing with saying that zero should be your least favorite candidate is that now I don’t have a very obvious way I can “cheat” by exaggerating and giving that candidate a zero, regardless of whether that is what you are telling me I “should” do.
Well, ya found someone right here! Interview away.
I’d be interested in what she has to say, but since she advocates STAR, she might well be in agreement with me that zero should just represent your least favorite of the candidates that are currently in the running. According to STAR’s wikipedia page:
each voter scores every candidate with a number from 0 to 5, where 0 representing “worst” and 5 representing “best.”
I would interpret “worst” to mean “the worst of the choices presented.”