Tuesday, April 08, 2008

An aide to engagement or indecision

It claims to "help you to determine your preference for the London mayoral and Assembly elections", whether it does is more questionable. Vote Match London 2008 offers 25 statements which which you can agree, disagree or neither, you can then match yourself against the candidates on all the topics. While it aids you to see who is closest on the issues that are of most concern, so if you agree that "The 'stop and account' form that the police have to fill in when they use stop and search powers should be scrapped" you find both Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick agree while all the rest do not. If this was the single issue that concerned you then you could use the proximity theory of voting and assume that the candidates closest to you on that single issue should get you votes (1st and 2nd preference) with the order chosen by other cues perhaps.

But it is slightly more complicated over the whole 25 issues. Though not a Londoner, so ineligible to vote, I found that I was tied with three candidates, Paddick, Johnson and Damien Hockney the leader of One London who I confess to not having heard of; close runners up were the Green Party and Ken Livingstone. That either makes me seriously weird and having various incompatible views that cross party divisions or normal and actually the candidates themselves overlap considerably on many key issues. If the latter, and I like to think of myself as normal even if others do not, I could do one of two things: I could find out more about all three and narrow it down to two and place them in order; or I could think the whole thing is far too difficult and give up. Hopefully this idea will make more Londoners engage on the issues, and elaborate on these simple cues due to becoming interested in the campaign and the candidates (as some academics would predict could happen); but....

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