In just over 10 years of existence, the Idaho Freedom Index (IFI) has proven to be the Tesseract of Idaho politics. Score well, and your political profile is good; score low, and you have some explaining to do. Haters want to destroy it, but its power goes on. So, why is there so much love and so much hate at the same time? Here’s a look at the IFI and at what good, independent, and effective research can do for a legislature.
The Idaho Freedom Index is an objective measure of how well legislators vote according to the principles of freedom and limited government. The index calculates the percentage of times each legislator votes for legislation with positive ratings and votes against legislation with negative ratings. Legislation is rated on a strict, objective set of standards including the following. Does the bill:
The Idaho Freedom Foundation uses these simple metrics to assign positive, negative, zero, or no ratings for each relevant bill proposed in the legislative session. The legislators, based on their votes in the Senate or the House, determine their own IFI score, which is updated throughout the session and published as a final index score at the end of the legislative session. That’s worth repeating, the IFF rates bills, not legislators — the legislators determine their own scores by their own voting. A legislator who gripes about a particular rating on a single bill or even a few bills here or there cannot claim that such a rating made them score low on the index. The index includes votes on hundreds of bills.
The Idaho Freedom Index is a powerful indicator of how legislators vote. It adds transparency, accountability, and proper incentives, and it is a mechanism for improving Idaho laws while expanding freedom and limiting government. Here are some key ways the IFI makes Idaho a better state:
In short, the Idaho Freedom Index is perhaps the most powerful tool in the Idaho Legislature for influencing what legislation comes before the bodies, determining whether bills pass or fail, and for holding legislators accountable to the people based on their actual votes rather than their perpetual claims of being a “true conservative.” Whenever a legislator or candidate is complaining about how the IFI is not a good measure or that the IFF is biased somehow, it should be a giant red flag for voters. Idaho, beware the freedom faker. The Idaho Freedom Index is truth, not rhetoric.