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TVNZ’s Vote Compass

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 pm, August 17th, 2014 - 59 comments
Categories: election 2014, news, tv - Tags:

I had a go at TV NZ’s new Vote Compass:

TVNZ Vote Compass

It aims to provide a check of which party a participant is most likely to vote for.

The explanation of purpose says:

ONE News is hosting Vote Compass – an interactive online tool allowing voters to engage with public policy in a way they’ve never done before.

TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs, John Gillespie, explains: “We want to help people connect with the issues that matter to them this election, and Vote Compass is a really empowering and engaging way to do that. It puts the power in voters’ hands, so they can get a clear picture of how their views match with the different parties.”

[…]

Once you’ve finished, Vote Compass compares your answers with the policy positions of the parties then displays your position on a grid, showing where you stand in the overall political landscape. If you wish, you can choose to share your results page on social media. Your results may surprise you!

ONE News will take this anonymous data as a snapshot, to identify the key policy issues that matter to New Zealand voters then report the findings as part of our overall election coverage.

[…]

ONE News also asked viewers on-air and online what issues they were interested in hearing more about in the lead up to the election. These responses have helped form some of the questions that make up the survey.

There are three main uses for the data that Vote Compass collects:

  1. Personal use – Vote Compass helps voters consider what’s right for them.
  2. ONE News coverage – we’ll use the data to inform our election coverage and help us deliver stories that are useful to viewers.
  3. Academic research – after the election, data will be made available to researchers.

I had a go at the survey.  It really didn’t provide any revelations to me as to which party/ies I favour.

The programme a BIG fail for me, before I even started.  There’s a box to select your electorate from a drop down list. It doesn’t have the new Auckland electorates of Kelston and Upper Harbour.  It’s got the 2011 list of electorates.

At the end of the survey, it says that the Internet Party and the Conservative Party declined to participate.  I’d be interested in their reasons.

It rates people scores on the dual axis of left-right economically and on social progressive/conservative scale.

The main reason I can see for doing it is that responses can influence the issues that TV One covers in the run up to the election.  At the end of the survey you get to rate how important selected issues are for you. You rate the issues already pre-selected for the survey.

 [Update]

The Kelston and Upper Harbour electorates are now in the drop down list

59 comments on “TVNZ’s Vote Compass ”

  1. Bill 1

    The reasons for the Internet Party and the Cons not being there is because they declined due to not having released policies yet. (I think that was explained somewhere in the FAQ section)

    Like you say, there are no surprises regards political placement if you’re already political. I don’t like the fact that TVNZ are going to be reporting on ‘trends’ from the ‘Compass’ when it covers only some policy areas (climate change simply not mentioned anywhere). Also wary that the assumptions behind some of the questions can lead to false placements. For example, on land sales, I don’t give a fck about foreign ownership, not because I’m right wing, but because I’m equally opposed to all private ownership. Absolutely no way that position was accurately reflected in my ‘weighting’.

    quick edit. The question on education (class sizes versus paying ‘some’ teachers more) was also loaded and misleading.

    • Bill 1.1

      Should have added that without actual knowledge on some questions, bias/misconceptions merely sail through and are reinforced. It’s not in any way informative or exploratory. So, as a throw away example, when they ask questions about DoC funding or funding of to rebuild Ch/ch, it would be kind of fcking useful to know what current levels are and (if appropriate) what historical levels were….same for immigration numbers and a whole load of other questions besides.

      And did I mention their reference to “the anti-smacking law”? Tell me that’s not utterly loaded!

      I best be off now. I can feel my rant meter gearing up 😉

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        What surprised me most was the question about “fracking”, without any definition or description of what “fracking” is. I’m sure many people have no clue what that is even talking about, and even if they were given a definition, wouldn’t be able to have an informed opinion either way.

      • karol 1.1.2

        All very good points, Bill.

        Also, I found I was really pushed up the anti- for politicians like JK and Whyte.

        The way the questions are set out kind of encourages that. As with the policy questions, there’s no opportunity say say what you like or dislike about the party leaders.

        And the focus on party leaders and party names just sets them up as brands and personalities. It doesn’t explain what each party stands for.

        • Tracey 1.1.2.1

          How do we know it isn’t just polling in disguise… afterall who we trust any privacy statements on ebsites anymore?

  2. Tom Jackson 2

    Why isn’t there a question that asks how much you feel like shooting at conservatives?

    I got near the Greens and Mana, which I consider to be reactionary capitalist parties. This survey is biased to the right, I say!

  3. Mike the Savage One 3

    This software program they use is quite flawed!

    It got it totally wrong, as I am a very alert in political matters, I always follow political developments, and I am one who is rather well informed and knows about parties and programs. I also am a good follower and judger of the media.

    So according to this program I should vote Labour, which I will most certainly NOT, and second comes Mana, which I have thought about, but will not after all, and third come the Greens.

    It is exactly the other way around, as my present political preferences are.

    So DO NOT rely on this program, please, it is not that reliable, as most such survey programs are not that reliable.

    It makes me wonder what kind of questions and survey tactics they use with the major polls we get presented. I have little trust in them. Do NOT trust the polls, dear folks.

    Go and vote what YOU want and YOU believe in, and who YOU trust, on 20 September, thanks, and otherwise, inform yourselves a bit more, please, the undecided.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      So DO NOT rely on this program, please, it is not that reliable, as most such survey programs are not that reliable.

      Oh, I think you’ll find that it’s more reliable than you’re giving it credit for.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      “It makes me wonder what kind of questions and survey tactics they use with the major polls we get presented. I have little trust in them. Do NOT trust the polls, dear folks.”

      Actually they used a pretty simple method. The parties all answered exactly the same series of questions, and it compares how your answers stack up with the parties’.

      So while you think your views might reflect what the Green party stands for, actually the Greens are a bit different from what you think.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 3.3

      It’s quite rare to actually align with precisely what your party wants. For instance, the compass placed me in the triangle between Labour, Maori Party and United Future. I actually think that’s pretty accurate. I’m a centre-left, liberal.

      However, I’m probably party voting Green this year. That’s well outside of my political positioning and I know it. However, the main issue I agree with the Green is on climate change and that’s such an important issue, whereas I disagree with them on lots of little issues that aren’t that important. I also find them refreshing and competent and would like to see them as a stronger, more mainstream, third main party.

      It’s probably true that strictly on issues, I am closer to Labour, Maori or United Future. However Peter Dunne will prop up a corrupt National government. Labour is utterly incompetent and where I agree with them on lots of little issues, I really dislike some of their key policies. The Maori Party, I may vote for. I have the utmost respect for Dr Sharples and Tariana Turia. Flavell is not quite a formidable figure, but he still seems a decent human being. I think the left has been very unfair on them for the last six years. Yes, they’ve supported National, but I don’t have a problem with their “seat at the table” strategy. The fact of the matter is that it’s only been since Banks resigned that the Maori Party votes have actually been necessary for the National Government.

      I also think with Mana now in bed with Kim Dotcom (who is just under Cameron Slater as a despicable human being), I think it would be good for both Maori and the country as a whole if the Maori Party survives.

      So despite probably being somewhere around Labour or United Future, I’m voting Green (or maybe the Maori Party at a stretch).

      And there’s a little case study in how other factors beside policy itself will influence how someone votes.

  4. lurgee 4

    I think you’re over reacting to slight differences in weighting. It gave me a 78% Mana and 76% Green match up, and only 28% ACT (that’ll be the harsher punishment for repeat offenders coming through), so it can’t be that wild.

    I’d say if you’re within the right 4 block ‘sub square’ it has done pretty well, given it only has 30 questions. So you can be extreme social progressive, centre or extreme social conservative, and extreme left, centre or extreme right economically. Anything more exact is silly and largely dependent on mood and interpretation.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The big question about this is:

    How many dedicated National voters are finding out that they’re more aligned with the Greens?

  6. A few thoughts:
    a) I found some of the answers to the questions didn’t really fit into my perspective of how society should be. Some of that may have been because of a lack of background info provided / my own uncertainty on what the answers will provide. An example is the housing and minimum wage questions. I personally feel that both of these should be increased to a point that the minimum needs of people are met, but which answer determines that for me? Somewhat more or Much more? Suggestion would be much more, except I don’t really know how much “much more” is, other my own thoughts on it – but I am being compared to parties who will have their own ideas on what it means.

    b) I found it funny that ACT was more socially conservative than National, it suggests that something is either wrong with ACT’s policies or with the model for determining where everyone is on the scales. Also United Future seemed a bit too much socially progressive compared to their normally moralistic stance (or at least I think that listening to Dunne)

    • Tracey 6.1

      I agree it takes a very very traditional media accepted perspective of political views and leanings. In order to work though it hjas to be able to be formulated so we ought not be surprised given our economy has been run for over 30 years in a very particular formulaic way?

  7. Dont worry. Be happy 7

    I did the survey on the grounds that I was not going to let an opportunity to tell media what issues matter to me this election. Yes, there are pushes towards the right…esp the “anti smacking” law…allowing that repeal petition to be called that was Orwellian at the time and the framing . I was asked to sign in at a Kindy by a teacher who had signed and who actually believed that she was siging a petition against smacking! Dishonest and sneaky like the people who voted against the law in Parliament….ACT and Taito Philip Fields.

  8. Tracey 8

    Fascinating in some ways.

  9. beigeblue 9

    It’s interesting but where would a liberterian communist (anarchist) end up? The greens and mana are occupying the most liberal and left part of the compass.

  10. Sable 10

    Yet more pointless gimmicks from the MSM. Hot air, misinformation and misdirection are all they have really.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      You should try it. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by how detailed the results are.

      Not too surprisingly to me, I came out very closely aligned with Labour. But I’m going to vote Greens for their Christchurch policy and their top tax policy which is much gutsier than Labour’s.

      • Sable 10.1.1

        Well as long as they are not drowning ducks I really don’t mind (wink).

      • Tracey 10.1.2

        Do you feel like the Greens are currently the Labour we used to think we were voting for? That’s how I feel.

        • Sable 10.1.2.1

          You have it in one Tracey. That’s why the Greens will get my vote.

        • Lanthanide 10.1.2.2

          No.

          There are aspects of Green policy that I really like quite a lot, which won’t be able to be implemented because Labour will have the upper hand in what eventually gets done. There are other parts of Green policy I don’t really care about.

          There are more aspects of Labour policy that I support, while also some parts I’m ambivalent on.

          • Tracey 10.1.2.2.1

            Can I ask how many elections you have voted in lanth? I am asking because I am wondering which Labour Party has existed during your voting lifetime?

            • Lanthanide 10.1.2.2.1.1

              I have voted in 2005 onwards. I would have voted in 2002 except the early election meant I wasn’t old enough.

  11. adam 11

    Did remind me of this Lehman Brothers inspired ‘test’ http://www.bcaplan.com/cgi-bin/purity.cgi

    Actually more this one http://www.politicalcompass.org/nz2011

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    They missed a couple of questions.

    “Is ‘Rat-Fucking’ legitimate behaviour from a Prime Minister?”

    “West Coasters: scum or not?”

  13. Karen 13

    I think it is worth doing because it will be used to suggest voter’s concerns in TVNZ election coverage.
    A bit simplistic – when I did it the Green Party is top with Mana second and there is no way I will be voting IMP this election. Although I have a lot of respect for Laila, Hone, Annette and John, in this election we need a strong Labour/Green alliance.
    I found the lack of any questions about climate change very odd.

    • swordfish 13.1

      Similar results to my good self. Apparently, I’m 86% compatible with the Greens, 82% Mana, 78% Labour. Not to mention 61% with NZF, 60% Maori Party, 58% UF, 44% the Nats (that’s waaayyyyyyyyy too much), and a mere 23% with the dear old ACT Party.

      All of which is probably why I remain what I’d call a Left Undecided. Labour ?, Green ? or IMP ? Still in three minds about it.

      Mind thee, I’m not entirely convinced by their precise location of the various parties on the double-axis Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative ideological spectrum.

  14. TheContrarian 14

    I got UF followed closely by Labour…two parties I don’t plan on voting for (and UF I have never voted for).

    Right at the bottom were Mana and ACT.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      That’s the usual right wing response to inconvenient facts: cling to false beliefs even harder. Pitiful, and you’re infested with Slaters.

    • Tracey 14.2

      It could be a reflection of why Dunne was originally Labour and that he sells those principles down the river to get a ministerial post

      • Sable 14.2.1

        I see Dunne has his party placards out. Some things just keep on floating back to the surface no matter what…

      • TheContrarian 14.2.2

        I’m always very skeptical of these political compasses anyway and hope people don’t vote based upon this thing – given I want to vote Green and not UF

        • Tracey 14.2.2.1

          I agree. My first attempt was as a hybrid of myself and a right winger I know… It had me voting labour first…

          When I went in as Green as Kermit the frog it had me Labour first, and 2% back was green… and I was still a 47% fit for national.

          • Lanthanide 14.2.2.1.1

            It’s comparing your answers to how the parties themselves answered the same questions.

            It even gives you a You vs Party breakdown of how you answered the questions, as well as a look at how all parties answered the questions. It’s very transparent.

            • Tracey 14.2.2.1.1.1

              I am trying to work out though… if it is how the parties answered those questions as opposed to formulate the questions, then go to party published policy to find answer?

              The two are not the same. And the former leaves the process manipulatable (new word I think) by spin people framing the answers?

              • Lanthanide

                I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here.

                Are you saying, if an individual representing the party, answered the questions ‘incorrectly’ according to the party policy, then the results would be incorrect?

                Then yes, I agree. So we can only assume that whoever answered the questions for the party did it correctly, and they truly reflect their policy position for the questions as phrased.

                • Tracey

                  i mean farrar and his ilk are used to define voters, categories etc. They and other parties, knowling the purpose of the tool could frame their answers to seem more or less of something than they are.

  15. hoom 15

    Basically an inferior & dodgy rip-off of politicalcompass.org.

    Reversed & renamed Authoritarian vs Liberal vertical scale is kinda ok.

    Significant mislocation of ‘center’ is not though.
    Theirs http://i57.tinypic.com/16lwyzd.jpg
    Compare with http://politicalcompass.org/nz2011
    Or http://politicalcompass.org/nz2008
    Places Nat & UF ludicrously close to ‘center’ when they are actually both way off in loony Right Authoritarian side by Act.

    Allows for cop-out answers (= center) which will put a bunch of people closer to Nat than they should due to Nat being artifically placed closer to center than Lab.
    Politicalcompass.org specifically doesn’t allow cop-out to force people to make a choice.

  16. Shannon 16

    I’m a 30 year old doctor and consider myself fairly intellingent while admittedly not that interested in politics…but even I didn’t understand most of what the questions were asking about, or how to answer with no indication of what our current policy is, so I’m not sure how the majority of NZders are supposed to get through that fracking survey!

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