Fairfax places readers on the political spectrum

Fairfax places readers on the political spectrum

Fairfax Media readers can discover how their political leanings measure up against the positions of the major parties on particular issues by using a new online tool, YourVote.

YourVote is available on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age websites and was launched this week in the lead up to the July 2 Federal Election.

YourVote research editor Julie Posetti said the tool was designed to bring policy debate back to the fore, rather than instruct readers on voting intention.

“Through YourVote, we want to challenge voters to go beyond the personalities of the leaders and any previous assumptions about parties and their brands, to the main policy debates that divide candidates – or, as is the case in the current Australian political climate, unite them – in this campaign,” she said.

YourVote plane

The YourVote plane depicting how one’s political leanings align with the positions of three political parties.

YourVote asks readers to what extent they agree with 30 statements that encapsulate key issues of the 2016 election. It also asks questions about the leaders of the two major parties and the Greens.

Based on theses responses, readers are placed on a plane somewhere between progressive and conservative, left and right, along with the Coalition, Labor Party and The Greens.

Readers can filter their results by category such as economy or immigration, and see how the major parties would have responded to each statement.

Fairfax is likely to be produce stories off the back of data collected through YourVote.

The system is similar to the ABC’s Vote Compass which first ran in Australia during the 2013 federal election.

YourVote is an Australian version of global voting advice application Kieskompas, and is a partnership between Fairfax Media, the University of Sydney and Kieskompas.

Kieskompas was developed at VU University in Amsterdam and has been used by more than 50 million people across 200 elections and 40 countries since launching in 2006.

YourVote is built on Kieskompas’ independent scientific methodology which is designed to avoid political interference.

An academic review panel, consisting of University of Sydney political sociologists Professor Ariadne Vromen and Associate Professor Anika Gauja, oversaw the development of the 30 statements by a collaborative research team which independently determined the positioning of the Australian political parties.

The Coalition, Labor and the Greens were given the opportunity to self-assess their position on the statements as part of the research process.

“We believe that discussion about policies – which projects like YourVote contribute to – can encourage a more engaged and informed level of political debate,” Professor Vromen said.

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