Monday, April 18, 2005

Don't let interactive websites tell you who to vote for

This site purports to tell me how to vote based upon my opinions:

http://www.whoshouldyouvotefor.com/

Now, like Paul Anderson, I’m a convinced Labour voter this time (as I have always been). So I have to work out why this website is telling me I should be switching to the Liberal Democrats.

I don’t have to think very hard this time. The questions chosen pick ‘stand-out’ Lib Dem policies (because it has to include all three parties, it has to choose issues where there is a noticeable difference). As the Lib-Dems are aiming to be a good third rather than win the election – AND they want to target ABC1s in their campaigning (because they are most likely to switch vote), they have chosen standout issues of principle to foreground.

The evidence shows that biggest factor that determines people’s vote is perception of economic competence. It isn’t even asked for. Nor does it ask whether parties can do what they say – another factor that usually over-rides the question of support for individual policies.

The site SAYS it’s neutral, but their choice of issues looks suspiciously like a shortlist of Lib Dem policies that educated Labour voters would support.

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