Posted by: Paul | April 14, 2010

Vote For Policies

There’s a website currently creating a lot of buzz and I finally got round to trying it out yesterday. It’s an online survey which gives you policies from the 6 main English parties (Lab, Lib, Con, Green, UKIP, BNP) on a series of topics, blind, and you pick your favourite / the one you agree with most. The site then collates your answers and tells you who you voted for on each topic, and you get a pie chart showing how much you agree with each party.

It’s all very simplistic and in no way should you use it to determine who you should vote for, but it made for a mildly diverting 20 minutes as you explore how you feel about different issues without the encumbrance of party branding – it breaks things down into sets of beliefs and you just end up choosing what’s closest to your own, if at all.

In a lot of cases, yes, you can tell straight away who each policy belongs to, especially if you’ve payed any attention to politics at all, ever. The inflammatory language of both the BNP and UKIP often stands out a mile and is easy to avoid (nutters).

But sometimes, it’s not so easy. Obviously you know how the BNP stand on Immigration, and UKIP on Europe, but what about the Greens on Crime? UKIP on the Environment? The BNP on the NHS?

So I tested myself, and came up with some interesting results. I should say upfront that this in no way represents how I will vote, just what I was feeling on a Tuesday afternoon in April. The Greens are a distance in front as a whole on the site, which perhaps says more about the makeup of people who have found / used the site so far than what the actual result of the election will be. Interesting pointer for the future though if it’s mainly “young people” (whoever they are – me? You? Effy off Skins?)

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. There are 9 topics – Health/NHS, Environment, Democracy, Europe, Crime, Education, The Economy, Immigration and Welfare. I picked 3 Green policies, 2 Lib Dem, and one from all the others. That’s ALL the others. INCLUDING the BNP. For shame! Funnily enough, it was the BNP I backed over the Environment – because I thought their policy sounded the least extreme. How’s that for a surprise?

Anyway, like I say, mildly diverting. I’d say try it yourself when you have 20 mins to spare, but the site’s down at the moment. For when it comes back, it’s called Vote For Policies. I’ll post more thoughts on this another time, as I wanted to talk about it in conjunction with Proportional Representation, but that’s enough politics for one day!

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