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    CBC's Vote Compass for Upcoming Canadian Election
    By Enrico Uva | March 27th 2011 06:05 AM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Enrico

    I majored in chemistry, worked briefly in the food industry and at Fisheries and Oceans. I then obtained a degree in education. Since then I have...

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    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(CBC) is using a vote compass for an informal poll on the upcoming Federal election. Rather than only asking the straight-out question, "Who will you vote for?", they ask participants 30 questions on various issues ranging for immigration policy to defense-spending, from environment to Quebec independence. The answers are then used to plot a person's overall position on a grid where the y-axis runs from social liberalism in the (+)-direction to social conservatism in the opposite direction. The x-axis runs from the economic left to the right.

    As you can see from my personal results, I land in nobody's quadrant, but  I am closest to one of the parties. Unfortunately my judgment may get muddled by the fact that I do not warm up to their leader.
    The CBC is advertising the vote compass as a European idea(since 2001) Americans used it in 2008. Of course, I had to try that one too. The questions were similar,  but the gun-control issue was explored in more detail, and the creationism question was unique to the American poll. The latter also asked detailed questions on the party leaders' personal qualities. Here are my results:


    CBC plans to reveal overall results, and it will be interesting to see the scatter plot of political opinion. It may not be as polarized as we sometimes imagine.

    Comments

    Without making reference to all federal political parties, this exercise can not honestly claim the name of "Vote Compass". Where are the following political parties (all registered with Elections Canada as of 2011-03-22)?

    Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada

    Canadian Action Party
    Christian Heritage Party of Canada
    Communist Party of Canada
    First Peoples National Party of Canada
    Libertarian Party of Canada
    Marijuana Party
    Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
    People's Political Power Party of Canada
    Pirate Party of Canada
    Progressive Canadian Party
    Rhinoceros Party
    United Party of Canada
    Western Block Party

    UvaE
    From FAQ of Vote compass at http://federal.votecompass.ca/faq/ "According to Elections Canada, there are 19 registered political parties in Canada. Why do only five political parties appear in Vote Compass?" Their answer:
    Vote Compass uses party platforms to derive positions. In order to properly calibrate a political party, it must have a fully-developed platform. Many of the registered parties are single-issue parties or do not have a platform that is sufficiently developed so as to meet the Vote Compass criteria for calibration.
    You are being disingenuous. Some parties are single issue, but not all of them are - just follow the links at:

    http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&dir=par&document=index&...

    I was able to find developed positions on major issues for the following parties:

    Canadian Action Party
    Liberterian Party of Canada
    United Party
    Progressive Canadian Party
    People's Political Power of Canada
    Communist Party of Canada
    Christian Heritage Party of Canada

    And speaking of a single-issue party which is not running any candidates outside its home province, I note that you did see fit to include the Bloc Quebecois in your "compass".

    Looking forward to your response.

    I do not believe the Compass will ask the questions fairly or report the results correctly. The CBC is a Liberal sided media platform with its own agenda. I saw this first hand today when CBC edited out some of the PC questions and answers, and also when they interpreted the Liberal answers in their own supportive language ("quote spin"). If we can't trust the CBC to report this campaign without bias, how can we trust them to pole our views. If you want to challenge this, then take the compas pole 5 times and change your answers. The result will always come out in favour of the Liberal party. This compass is designed to change your mind, not to gather Canadian views or mandates.

    to anonymous above - There is no proof the CBC is biased in any way. It is hated by both the far right ( you ) and the far left. You have provided no sane proof there is any "spin", let alone proof there is some conspiracy by non-CBC
    affiliated programmers of the, ahem, "pole.

    With avowed and blatant right-wing mouthpieces like Rex Murphy and don Cherry figured prominantly on the CBC,
    one might challenge your premise to the contrary.

    If you want to make no bones about it, you could always trust CTV, among whose 'trusted' news figures were Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin - now both Conservative Senators, with their fat pensions a comin'.

    Shaw and the remnants of the CanWest Global cabal? History speaks for itself.

    The vast majority of the corporate media landscape is explcitly right leaning, while the vast majority of Canadians arent. If this truth is Liberal, it isnt the poll's fault.

    To ed (not verified) The compass is decided by the questions asked and the choice of answers. answering with somewhat agree or somewhat disagree will put you in the Liberal camp. Totally wrong. Ranting on about privately run media companies only shows how bad the CBC is taking our tax payers money and using the the air wave as a mouth piece for the Liberals.

    no comment (yet)

    To Brain. The Vote Compass was designed by the Social Sciences Department at the University Of Toronto. Not the CBC.

    I took the quiz and it told me I'm a liberal. I think that most people would be labeled liberal unless they answer consistently with polar answers in the same direction. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions liberally (I'm in favor of keeping the gun registry-now that all the money has been spent on it- and in favor of bringing troops home from Afghanistan immediately) and you get steered to the middle. I've never voted Liberal.

    There is something seriously wrong with this vote compass.

    I know how the parties stand on the issues, I answered the questions and the vote compass tells me I am closest to the Liberals, when I know I am not.

    I gave the liberal leader the lowest rating of all the leaders on the compass but the compass still tells me I am liberal. I know I am closest to the Conservatives on the issues and the compass tells me I am closest to the liberals.

    I am guessing that the way they calculate the score is flawed. if you agree with something strongly and the party you support agrees with it somewhat you are still out by one point, if thats the way they figure the score it is wrong.

    As long as you and the party both agree or disagree on and issue whether you feel strongly and the party feels somewhat or vice versa you both still feel the same way.

    Unless they fix this broken compass its not worth 2 cents for its accuracy.

    There is something seriously wrong with this vote compass.

    I know how the parties stand on the issues, I answered the questions and the vote compass tells me I am closest to the Liberals, when I know I am not.

    I gave the liberal leader the lowest rating of all the leaders on the compass but the compass still tells me I am liberal. I know I am closest to the Conservatives on the issues and the compass tells me I am closest to the liberals.

    I am guessing that the way they calculate the score is flawed. if you agree with something strongly and the party you support agrees with it somewhat you are still out by one point, if thats the way they figure the score it is wrong.

    As long as you and the party both agree or disagree on an issue whether you feel strongly and the party feels somewhat or vice versa you both still feel the same way.

    Unless they fix this broken compass its not worth 2 cents for its accuracy.

    Problem is the quiz matches preferences to party platforms. Liberals mostly, and the others too, have a long record of saying what needs to be said to get elected, and then doing something else. I am far more likely to choose a candidate based on my personal perception of what the leader would do as PM, rather than what they say they will do. Examples :remember electing Liberals to get rid of the GST? today the published Liberal platform is 'pro-choice' but there are several sitting Liberals in Toronto who are anti-abortion. I think it would be better to spend time trying to reduce the hypocrisy.