As I’m sure you already know, the UK general election has been called for Thursday 6th May. I do believe it is very important for people to go out and vote. But even more importantly is that people figure out who it is they should vote for according to their views. I had a friend at university who voted BNP in a local election because it was the only party that said ‘British’ on it instead of ‘Scottish’…. we lived in Edinburgh. When she found out what the BNP stood for she was horrified! Far better had she stayed away from the polls than vote for a party that was against what she wanted.
You want more? Here’s some with humour.
Not many of us have the time or inclination to read through manifestos and try and decide whether parties have generally stuck to what they’ve said before. Luckily for us, we live in an age of modern conveniences and where people dedicated to the cause of helping people choose which party to vote for, no matter their views, have come up with some tools! I’m going to test run a few of those here and tell you how time consuming it is, how likely it is to be accurate, and, scarily, what parties they suggest to me!
It is very easy to use and definitely for those who don’t want to spend too much time reading things. After telling it which country you live in, you go straight into 30 questions about how you feel about things. You can either agree, disagree, or remain ‘Open Minded’. The only thing I didn’t like about this was there were a few questions where you could’ve done with a bit more information or a button which said ‘It depends’. Next it asks you to select your priorities over 12 issues, what you feel are the most important and least important issues. It the asks you to select the parties you’d like to be compared with and includes that for accurate results, not to include any part you would never consider voting for. I like to think I’m a pretty open minded person, so I select all parties apart from the BNP. Because lets face it, if the BNP were ever in power I wouldn’t have the power to vote. Next, they offer to email you to remind you to vote. I reckon I probably won’t need reminding, so I skip the option.
Apart from various frustrations with the limited answers you can give to the questions, VoteMatch is very straightforward and easy to use. My result? UKIP! UKIP???? UKIP!!!! I am worried…. but as I look through the answers to the questions I can see why. The quesions where I got frustrated the most with the limited answers have aligned themselves with UKIP… in exactly the ways I was thinking they shouldn’t. My next match is with the Liberal Democrats, then the Green Party, and then I am tied with the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Interesting.
Next up: Vote for Policies.
The idea behind Vote for Policies is that it keeps you a number of points from each parties manifesto and asks you to choose from the sets of policies, rather than the personalities. It’s a good idea, but actually doesn’t really work in the context its presented in as the points are quoted ad verbatim and it is obvious who some of the parties are due to the language used, or some points which have been brought up in the press.
Nevertheless, Vote for Policies gives you a much more indepth look and is for people who want to spend more time on choosing who they want to vote for. They start off with asking you what issues, out of a selection of 9, you are interested in. I choose all 9.
The sets of policies make for long reading, and you do get torn between a few of them. It would be nice if they had an optional ranking system. It takes quite a while to get through them, but after the fourth section I start skipping some once I start reading vile things.
My result? Liberal Democrats. I come out Liberal Democrats on Health/NHS, Democracy, Environment, Europe and Welfare. Green on Crime and Immigration (funny, as I didn’t vote Green for MEPs because of their immigration policies, I guess they must’ve toned them down), Labour on Economy, and funnily enough, UKIP on Education.
There may be a few more quizzes out there, but for now I’m heading for bed!