Very weird results

On the Fence is one of those sites where you answer some questions and it tells you the party you most agree with.

Their algorithm seems to be rather faulty though as it said I should be voting for the Conservative Party. I’d be more likely to vote for the Greens. I wouldn’t mind the Conservatives being in Parliament as they represent valid views, but I really disagree with many of their policies.

Feedback on Twitter and Facebook suggests that a huge proportion of people are getting results totally alien to their actual beliefs. That means the wrong questions are being asked, or the responses are weighted to the wrong parties. I was asked to help with the back end a few weeks ago and declined, stating:

Thanks for the invite. I won’t participate this year because I don’t think the binary statements are a good reflection of what parties think on the issues. On almost every issue for example I don’t think either of the statements would reflect what National thinks on an issue. I realise binary statements are good for ease of use, but I don’t think they reflect the complexity of policy in a MMP world.

 Hope it goes well.

I did hope it would go well, but the fact that almost no-one is getting National, when 50% of the population support them, suggests my concerns were well founded. I should state I don’t think this is intentional at all – I think the motives are excellent, just the policy understanding less so. I should state too that the site is well designed and the talking sheep are very funny.

I’d be interested in comments below from people sitting the quiz and saying what the results were and how this matches your true beliefs.

Also should mention I’ve been involved in another initiative with a couple of people to design a quiz to help people decide which parties they are best aligned to. My involvement in it is purely voluntary, and non-partisan, so my criticisms of On The Fence are not motivated by that. It is based simply on the fact that huge numbers of people are saying it is giving results totally alien to their beliefs.

Talking of minor parties, I used to rank the minor parties from most to least acceptable for me to vote for, and NZ First was always reliably bottom. But I now have a dilemma. Who should I rank bottom – NZ First or Mana/Internet? I honestly do not know.

My current rankings for parties would be:

  1. National
  2. ACT
  3. United Future
  4. Greens
  5. Maori
  6. Conservative
  7. Labour
  8. Mana/Internet and NZ First bottom equal

Bit I hate ties, so I’ll have to think about who would be bottom. I think it is possible Mana/Internet may actually have beaten NZ First this time, after NZ First have consistently been bottom for the last 21 years. At least those standing for NZ First are doing it because of their beliefs, rather than getting paid by Kim Dotcom to be his proxies. But to balance against that there are a few Internet Party policies I support, while I don’t thunk there are any NZ First policies I support.

So again help me out, who should be lower?

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