Vote Compass launches in Manitoba
BRENT IVISON, CONTRIBUTOR
A new online survey may help you decide on who to vote for in the next election.
Vote Compass, as described on CBC’s website, is a tool developed by political scientists at Vox Pop Labs. It is designed to help people find where they are in the political landscape by asking questions about political views and then comparing them to the policies of the candidates.
Jason Smith, a 28-year-old student in RRC’s business information technology program, said the efficiency of Vote Compass depends on the individual.
“I know where I stand politically, but I think that the Vote Compass would help people figure out where the parties align,” said Smith. “There’s a lot of variation between parties, so people should know about it.”
While the effectiveness of Vote Compass is uncertain, its popularity isn’t. According to CBC, there were over 1.8 million Vote Compass responses for the 2015 Canadian federal election. For the 2016 provincial elections, the Saskatchewan Vote Compass has over 20,000 responses, and the Manitoba Vote Compass has over 12,000 responses.
“I know a lot of people aren’t terribly politically active, and don’t pay too much attention to politics, and don’t really have an idea of what the parties represent and how that aligns with their own values,” said Smith. “Maybe [Vote Compass] can help people who aren’t politically confident vote.”
Smith added that people shouldn’t base their vote solely on what a brief survey tells them.
“There needs to be more research on if it works, but if the Vote Compass encourages votes, I think it’s a good thing,” said Smith.
Gregory Kerr, a research manager at Vox Pop Labs, said he is optimistic about Canadian voters.
“Canadians are hungry for new and meaningful ways to engage with politics and public policy,” said Kerr. “It is our hope that Vote Compass can continue to serve as a springboard for deeper engagement in Canadian politics.”
The Vote Compass exists on a federal and provincial level. Vox Pop Labs has not indicated whether or not there will be civic versions of the survey. A Winnipeg version of Vote Compass would be a good idea, according to Smith.
“I think [Vote Compass] would be more useful for a municipal election,” said Smith. “We don’t have parties in municipal elections, so we can’t identify with them. We need to know where the candidates stand.”
Visit votecompass.cbc.ca to see where you fall on the political spectrum.