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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CBC Vote Compass Worth a Visit

Here is the link to the CBC Vote Compass survey. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/votecompass/ 

I really encourage you to take the survey.  What political party mostly aligns with your values and beliefs this election?  I was surprised - but not unpleasantly - when I turned out to be more Green than Liberal.  I was not surprised to find myself the farthest from the Harper Conservatives.It is a good conversation starter - especially with ones self.  Where does your political alignment fit this time around.  What political party is the closest to your sense of what is important, at least in terms of the questions asked.

By the time I post this I expect over half a million Canadians will have taken the Vote Compass survey.  That is an interesting expression of citizenship engagement in itself.  It indicates to me that at least CBC types are prepared to participate in a meaningful conversation about politics - even if only with themselves.  It also takes us away from the less meaningful left versus right sense of being political these days.  The issues and the value trade-offs we have to make between competing issues can't be conveniently packaged as left or right any more.  Most people don't know what it means to be left or right any more and those of us who do understand the dichotomy find the classification less useful or accurate in capturing the basket of values that any one individual actually has and holds these days.

I hope we will get some aggregate data released out of the CBC on the Vote Compass responses perhaps by province and cities - even by ridings if there is a large enough sample to be meaningful - since they asked for postal codes. How many Greens are there in Calgary for example.  How many Canadians feel the oil sands environmental concerns are exaggerated?  There are a lot more things we can focus on from this data to get a sense of where Canadians are at

Any insights and analysis will not be a statistically valid random sample but it will still have value to provide insights on those who took the time to participate. On-line communities form function and fade around issues and events...including an election.  This Vote Compass vehicle creates an opportunity for Meet Ups and Tweet Ups to happen between like minded or contrary minded people to discuss explore and even reconsider positions in conversations with other citizens.

This kind of exchange of opinions and ideas in face to face respectful conversations are so much more meaningful for citizens than partisan hype spin or "messaging" of traditional tedious and tendentious campaign events.

The CBC brings so much of Canada together through radio and television programming.  Now it might consider doing the same thing but in a much more participatory way.  By using the Vote Compass device as a way to spark some significant sense of citizenship in communities and even across the .country around issues of importance - not the superficial stuff like the coalition baiting we see being covered these days.