Pro IQRA News Updates.
Quebec’s election campaign is officially underway — but where do the major parties stand, especially on the issues that matter most to you?
The CBC Vote Compass is here to help. Through a short quiz, Vote Compass will give Quebecers an idea of which party they agree with most on various issues.
Clifton van der Linden, founder and CEO of Vox Pop Labs — the company that puts Vote Compass together — says the goal is to give voters the tools they need to make informed decisions when they go to the polls on October 3.
CBC asked van der Linden a few questions about this tool and how it works. (Interviews have been condensed for consistency and clarity.)
How can Voice Compass help me?
Often in election campaigns, public policies can be ignored. The actual policy position of the party may take a backseat to a particular leader dynamic or campaign event. And even when policy issues are considered, they tend to become a small basket of policy issues that dominate electoral discourse.
So, in my opinion, it is difficult for voters to understand the policy landscape more comprehensively.
In fact, determining the party’s position on this policy issue is also difficult, because of the rhetoric and twists that tend to characterize election campaigns. So it’s a lot of work for voters to actually find all this information.
I care more about some of these issues than others. What if it suggests a party because we agree on things I don’t really care about?
Vote Compass does not give users a single answer. It doesn’t say “this is what you should choose.” This is not a “how to choose” tool.
Dashboards actually have different sizes to display [how you align with parties]. And it may not all yield the same results because there are different ways of thinking about how you fit into a political party.
How much do you agree with certain policy issues represented in Kompas Vote? Or is it a broader ideological fit? The different results do not necessarily lead to the same party. They can be different.
Does it take things other than policy into account?
It is part of a wider type of discussion around Kompas Vote. People don’t vote based on their public policy preferences alone, at least not all the time. Not exclusively.
Policy preferences are one of the considerations in voter counting on Election Day, and we just want this to be informative [choice].
There is also a leader module that looks at how you fit in with leaders based on your evaluation of them.
Who made this? Can I believe that it is unbiased?
Vote Compass was built by a team of political scientists, who have been running for over a decade — initially in Canada, but now worldwide.
We go out and we look at public disclosures and statements made by parties to determine what the policy issues are in a particular election campaign, and to determine what each party’s policy position is.
We do this through independent research and in coordination with the parties. So our independent researchers went out and determined the party’s position. The parties themselves give us an understanding of their position. Then we worked to validate their position using those two data sets.
That does not mean that we are only a mirror of what the parties say. That would reduce our efforts to validate what they say about their position, versus what they say publicly about their position elsewhere.
I took the quiz and got my results. Now what?
[Vote Compass] is a starting point for learning about your personal fit in the political landscape. Compass gives you a lot of information in addition to giving you those initial results.
There is a wealth of information about where the parties stand — what the parties actually say on each of those issues — and it has to do with where they say it. So there are plenty of opportunities to explore further.