Political Perspectives is produced by the students and faculty of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, Canada's oldest journalism school.


What’s on your mind?

Posted by jsallot under Election 2011, Election 2011 Faculty links, Media Commentary


Vote Compass is a nifty online survey put together by CBC and a group of political scientists to try to help you determine what political party best represents your views.

The survey covers a wide range of issues, from the economy and the environment, through gun control and mercy killing – 30 questions in all.
Log in, answer the questions, and see where you fall on the graph in relationship to where the major parties are.

A national panel of political scientists wrote the questions and plotted party positions on the basis of what the parties themselves say they would do if elected.

The survey launched Saturday. Within two days more than 300,000 people had participated. (I hope this is a sign voter turnout will be high May 2.)
The survey’s most important questions come at the end . Which party leader is most trustworthy? Which leader is most competent?

These are the kind of gut-check questions many of us ask ourselves just before we mark their ballot.

On the issues, you can find yourself on the graph to the right of Atilla the Hun, but you might end up voting for an old leftie like Karl Marx instead because you think Atilla is untrustworthy and incompetent.

Or you might vote for your second choice because your first choice doesn’t stand a chance of winning and you simply can’t abide the idea that the front runner might form a government.

People vote the way they do for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they even make informed choices on the basis of issues and principles.

So, the Vote Compass survey is not a perfect indicator of how you will actually vote. But it can be an interesting tool to help you clarify which party’s platform is closest to your personal interests.

Jeff Sallot, a former Globe and Mail Ottawa bureau chief, teaches journalism at Carleton University. Follow @sallot on Twitter

Reader's Comments

  1. Mike |

    Tried this, questions and results were interesting. But I don’t understand why, although I’ve told the program that I DON’T live in Quebec, it still puts them up on the graph, and even asks me if I would vote for Duceppe.