Modeled on baseball's OPS metric (On-Base + Slugging percentage), we've devised the On-the-Fence plus Conventional Wisdom metric, or our OFPCW percentage.
Based on the mayoral candidates answers to the lightning round Yes/No questions at last Thursday's forum in Wallingford, we've devised a score of our own (the lower percentage the better), that's intended to gauge a candidate's wishy washy factor.
We took the total number of Maybes, subtracted the number of times a candidate was the only one to go with a certain answer (for example, Peter Steinbrueck was the only candidate who said he didn't support the SoDo arena proposal and Bruce Harrell was the only one who said he was for surveilliance cameras) and added back a point for any "Abstensions" (McGinn was the only candidate with one of those—on whether or not he saved the 4th of July fireworks show), and divided that figure by the number of questions asked.
The most wishy washy? Ed Murray at 18 percent.
The least? Four candidates tied with a nine percent OFPCW rating: Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Kate Martin, and Mike McGinn.
Murray's five Maybes? Does he support district elections for city council? (on the fence with him on that—Harrell, Martin, Staadecker, and Steinbrueck); does he support the SoDo arena proposal? (on the fence with him on that—Burgess and Martin); does he support zoning changes for microapartments?—which, as we read the question, would make them tougher to build (on the fence with him on that—Staadecker and Steinbrueck ... while all the other candidates were Yeses); does he support expanding Seattle's paid sick leave policy? (on the fence with him on that—Harrell, McGinn, and Steinbrueck); and did McGinn save the Fourth? (on the fence with him on that—no one).
Steinbrueck also had five maybes, though he broke with the pack twice. Murray went solo just once—no on surveillance cameras.
Tim Burgess: Yes 13 No 6 Maybe 3, Break with the Pack 1
Bruce Harrell: Yes 15 No 4 Maybe 3, Break with the Pack 1
Kate Martin: Yes 15 No 4 Maybe 3, Break with the Pack 1
Mike McGinn: Yes 16 No 1 Maybe 4 Abstain 1, Break with the Pack 3
Ed Murray: Yes 14 No 3 Maybe 5, Break with the Pack 1
Charlie Staadecker: Yes 12 No 6 Maybe 4, Break with the Pack 1
Peter Steinbreuck: Yes 15 No 2 Maybe 5, Break with the Pack 1
Not into sterile metrics?