The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter

Winston Churchill, presumably warding off more 'average voters'

Winston Churchill, presumably warding off more 'average voters'

So said Winston Churchill, apparently. Was he right? It’s not difficult to see his point, let’s be honest. I say this because I include myself in the ‘average voter’ category. In fact, as someone who would struggle to tell you what the main political parties actually stand for (I mean really stand for) I wonder if I could even claim to be in the ‘average’ category at all.

Or maybe I’m being too hard on myself. After all, I only have the benefit of 17 years of education. How can I be expected to understand the difference between policies of the political parties?  Just turning up at the polling booth is commendable enough, right?
Let’s face it, I doubt that Churchill would have changed his mind after a five minute conversation with me.

So if Churchill has a point, what’s the solution? Is he implying we should strip ‘the average voter’ of the right to vote? That would surely be a drastic step backwards, and my background in web usability reminds me that there is no such thing as user error, only usability error.  If we apply the same principle to politics, we can see the need for a more usable way of helping voters (like me) to make better use of their vote.

So how do we cut through all of the media spin, squabbling and negative advertising to make an informed decision about which party supports our vision for the future? Surely we would have to read through all of the party manifestos, extract policies for the issues we care about most, then compare them with each other. Who honestly has the time for that? And where do you start? If only someone else could do the leg-work for us… Maybe provide concise policy summaries from each party so we can pick those we agree with most, then find out which party they belong to. That would help us make a more informed choice about who to vote for based on real policies rather than personalities or media spin, right?

Well, guess what readers – someone has! This is my first foray into this arena, and I humbly offer you access to a very simple version of the kind of tool I have described above. More policies and parties are to be added so please offer your suggestions and feedback via the comments form on this post. If you’d like to get involved on any level, please also get in touch.

Try it here then post your comments!

Matt Chocqueel-Mangan

Digital producer, agile practitioner, scrum master. Pursuing sustainable democracy and social change.

6 Comments

  1. Paul the Red   •  

    did the short poll. I scored 50% in support of Labour and 50% in support of Lib Dem.

    I didn’t 100% agree with the policies I voted for but they reflected best my views.

    Therefore I think socialist needs t be in there and maybe the green party too…..

    just a thought

  2. John Clement   •  

    Brillant! This intiative is urgently needed – especially by all poltical parties.
    The dilema they all are facing is that no one party has ALL the answer.
    However, who will have the courage and statesman-like qualities to be able to enbrace polices and choose alternative political psrties’ policies – now that people are now able to select through this site – and actually implement them?

    This could – and should – revolutionise politics as we know it.

    Bravo!

  3. ernst dirksen   •  

    Just completed the policy task. Amazed at the result, I appear to agree on every issue with ………………the Lib Dems

    Very exciting site though you’ll get a lot of resistance from the sleaze elements in politics and Flat Earthers.

    Wishing you every success.

    Ernst

  4. Paul the Red   •  

    My only additional comments would be this….

    The main political parties are actually not doing any face to face engagment with people. There is no canvassing, or public meetings organised by them.

    Over the years the cynical person has ften said “They are all the same…” But actually, I feel for once, if someone were to say that now, I think they would be correct.

    I feel the political parties do not canvas anymore for 3 reasons.
    1. Their policies are all effectively competing for the centre-right ground. There are no big ideas anymore. No grand plans, and none of the parties seem to stand for anthing different.
    2. The active membership of the parties has shrunk dramatically. Partly because they do not inspire people anymore to be part of them, and also many find when they join particularly the Conservative or Labour party that there is very little internal democracy. As a result they feel there not lisened to in any event.
    3. As a result there is no active engagement with the electorate and voters are not inspired.

    The most active people in politics are young people and they tend to stick to single issue campaigns.

    For me personally – i would like to see a left alternative to the Labour Party/Lib Dem – that is anti-capitalist and pro – worker/people…..

  5. Matt Chocqueel-Mangan   •     Author

    Thanks for your comments Paul.
    More policies and parties to be added to the survey, starting with the Green Party. Hopefully this will help ensure policies receive feedback whether parties canvas or not.

  6. Mark L   •  

    Relieved… 75% Labour, 25% Lib Dem – pleased my choices fit my expectations (and especially glad I’m not a closet Tory!) Nice website, but need to add more issues, and I’d like to see the Greens and Socialists in there too. Cheers.

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