totherme (totherme) wrote,

Election Geekery

I've been offline for a bit while I panic about thesis stuff - but an election's happening here in the UK, so I thought I'd take a moment to link to a couple of handy tools:

Vote For Policies

Who should you vote for?

Both of these sites anonymise the policies of our major parties, to allow you to see how well your tribal instincts match up with your policy beliefs. If you're interested then it's worth using both tools, since they present the data in different ways - which may affect your results.

I think the whole concept of these things is fascinating. Firstly, it's worth noting that if a party were to promise "magic" - for example simultaneous tax cuts and spending increases - then they'd do well in these systems. By anonymising the policies, we remove some of our ability to judge how sincere and/or practical the promises are.

Also, I was a little surprised at how mind numbingly dull the process of wading through all those policies is. I mean, I expected it to be dull, but I found wading through all the options at the Vote For Policies site really quite hard. I may have been almost random in my choices by the time I got to the end. I think this is interesting, because I know that I'm well educated and very well placed to read and understand that kind of policy statement. It seems that voting rationally is hard. This leads me to wonder what we actually expect from our democratic system. Do we want the majority of the population to vote tribally (as I suspect I do)?

Are there any students of politics or anthropology out there who can give me some hint as to what it might all be about? :)
Tags: election, geek, rational, thinking

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