Very weird results

August 11th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

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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58 Responses to “Very weird results”

  1. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Cunliffe would have trouble doing the questionnaire, Yeah and Nah are at opposite ends of the selection baaaar.

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  2. Matthew Percival (20 comments) says:

    I got The Conservatives as well followed by New Zealand First and United Future

    I think it’s safe to say I wont be casting my vote for any of those parties come September 20th

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  3. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Why are the Conservatives at number 6 on your list?

    What could they possibly bring to government that is worse than the Maori Party (racism and division) or the Greens (Communism under the guise of environmentalism)?

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  4. adc (595 comments) says:

    I wonder how many idiots will cast their vote based on the results of that survey.

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  5. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    Redbaiter: The Conservatives want to confiscate land.

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  6. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    I got United Future which shows how crap the site is.

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  7. alwyn (427 comments) says:

    I got New Zealand First, Conservative and United Future.
    Either that website is a bit mental or I am.
    Labour’s free Doctor’s visits for over 65’s begins to seem a great idea after this. I think I may need a great deal of psychiatric treatment if those are the matching parties to my views.

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  8. adc (595 comments) says:

    I just did the quiz and got conservatives as well…. er… well…

    is that site sponsored by the conservative party or something?

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  9. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    The justice questions in particular were weird, I think that harsher sentences can deter crime but rehabilitation is also very important.

    My result was:
    1. Labour
    2. United Future
    3. Maori Party

    I’m very unlikely to vote Labour, partly because of their overall policy approach especially now the bribes are come out but more so due to serious concerns about competence amongst individuals and especially as a group – this wasn’t part of the questionnaire.

    There’s no compelling reason for me to vote UF but it’s a possible option as a “no one else deserves it” vote (same could be said for them).

    I’ve never considered voting Maori Party and am unlikely to this time, they’re not my thing.

    Policies are only a part of the decision making. Competence is at least as important.

    Edit: maybe I should vote for Labour so alwyn gets the care he needs.

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  10. Nigel Kearney (1,019 comments) says:

    NZ First should be last because without party votes they are likely to disappear forever. Mana/Internet can hang around even with no party votes as long as Hone wins and DotCom has money.

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  11. Mobile Michael (452 comments) says:

    I got National, ACT and Conservative.

    I’m probably, ACT then National then nothing else. I don’t think I could vote for Conservative policies as they are essentially Muldooonist.

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  12. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    I would have Cons and NZF above Greens based on likely support partner.

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  13. Longknives (4,764 comments) says:

    United Future is getting more support from On The Fence than they could ever hope for come Election Day!
    *I also got Conservative as my No1 pick…

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  14. theodoresteel (91 comments) says:

    I got IMP, Labour and Maori. I will not be voting for any of those. I am most likely to vote National, followed by Act, probably followed by Greens

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  15. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    My results were first place United Bloody Future????????

    Huh?

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  16. oldpark (338 comments) says:

    If I followed the results, all I would have gotten would be arrested.I would be promoting leading the racist Labour/mana/dotcom parties.

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  17. Griff (7,808 comments) says:

    whinny then colon then possum
    Ill be voting act with my party vote.Greens for electorate. Greens only as I live in a very national seat Hunua with a 17,000 majority so my green electoral vote will not change the out come at all.
    fucked up piece of crap!

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  18. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Agreed DPF, I did it this morning and got told I was a United Future voter… I just wanted to punch the screen!

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  19. unitedtribes (30 comments) says:

    Went through trying to be right wing as I could.

    1 United Future
    2 NZ 1st
    3 Conservative

    This is nuts it should be pulled

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  20. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    I got United Future first, The Conservative party second, and National third, which is a bit weird because I would have though it was Nats first, CP second, and ACT third.

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  21. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Although in fairness to the site, Dunne bends over to the left for Labour, bends over to the right for National…

    Maybe EVERYONE doing the test comes up with United Future as 1st or 2nd choice, and that’s more a reflection on Dunne than any of us?

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  22. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    “I got United Future first.”

    Pretty much a good match for someone who is basically a religious leaning US Democrat.

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  23. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    Has the test been set up by United Future?

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  24. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    “On the Fence” is probably a front for the NZ Conservative Party.

    If it’s really successful in pushing the punters his way Colin might get his deposit back.

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  25. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    “Pretty much a good match for someone who is basically a religious leaning US Democrat.”

    I’m a religious Republican Red. I would not under any circumstances ever vote for the Democrats, EVER.

    In fact, the entire American branch of my family is Republican with one exception, and he is an activist for the hard right Constitution party.

    You really say some dipshit stuff sometimes.

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  26. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Pretty much a good match for someone who is basically a religious leaning US Democrat.

    Pissing contest over ideological purity, sounds like something leftists get involved with to me…

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  27. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    Looking down the page at the how the results were broken down, there are some problems with how they are matching policies to parties.

    For example, on one question I got a 100% match to Internet-Mana, but that’s solely because I believe in internet privacy with minimum government interference, which I would have thought of as an ACT policy as well.

    Like most of these tests, entertaining, but a little simplistic.

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  28. SGA (1,069 comments) says:

    adc at 3:18 pm

    I just did the quiz and got conservatives as well…. er… well…
    is that site sponsored by the conservative party or something?

    or something – He moves in mysterious ways :-)

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  29. Griff (7,808 comments) says:

    You really say some dipshit stuff did not need a sometimes qualifier
    Redtard often does the post populist rwnj dribble so he gets upticks trick for a boost to his pathetically fragile ego.
    Doesn’t impress me but some are easily amused even by a halfwit like red .

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  30. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    “Maybe EVERYONE doing the test comes up with United Future as 1st or 2nd choice, and that’s more a reflection on Dunne than any of us?”

    Part of the difficulty is that most real human beings (Red aside, who I’m sure is a comic book character) often have a variety of views that don’t fit easily into any one political box. So perhaps that is why UF is coming up a lot, because they are so centrist and can bend both ways.

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  31. redqueen (567 comments) says:

    Yeah…so far I’ve gotten Conservatives (followed by ACT and National). I’m sorry, but all my answers weren’t exactly in-line with Conservative policy (and I am actually aware of their positions). So this test seems rubbish.

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  32. Tarquin North (305 comments) says:

    You will all be pleased to know (according to On The Fence) I am now the flag bearer for The Conservative or United Future here in the north. Can’t wait to get my Peter Dunne wig on with my Colin Craig suit, I’ll then stroll into the local pub doing my best C.C walk and start lecturing the locals on how bad drugs are. On the off chance I survive this bright idea I’ll probably revert to voting National like everyone else up here! Could be worse, I could have got the Greens.

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  33. SGA (1,069 comments) says:

    Tarquin North at 4:21 pm

    Can’t wait to get my Peter Dunne wig on with my Colin Craig suit

    Be sure to get those two round the right way!

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  34. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Conservatives actually have very few published policies (unless they’ve got something else available other than their “Issues’ page) so it would tale some creative guesswork to match them to the questions.

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  35. Don the Kiwi (1,763 comments) says:

    Maybe I’m the only one answering the questions properly.

    My result was 1. Conservative 2. ACT 3. National.

    It should be Conserv. /National 1st equal. ACT 3rd.

    I will probably be voting Electorate National, Party Conservative.

    I simply can’t believe that DPF would vote Greens as his 3rd. Choice – you’re a fringe Commie, David. You won’t vote Conserv. because of their land policy? The Greens would take a bloody site more than that off you.

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  36. mara (788 comments) says:

    IMO you are all taking this FAR too seriously. I know it’s election time, but really ….

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  37. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    I went to give it a go but got too fed up with it’s interface to bother.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    I’d agree with Don, if you think that the Conservatives would confiscate land, surely the Greens would take far more and be more violent about it. I can’t imagine ever voting Conservative, but I’d put it on the “faintly maybe” list whereas the Greens get on the “Not with a bloody 500 ft bargepole” list.

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  39. edhunter (547 comments) says:

    Appears to weighted to the extremes, & the questions are ambiguous.
    Done properly I’m Cons, Utd, Nats.
    Done as what I thought might be a Labour voter I got Green, IMP, Maori.

    In reality I’m National/ACT then protest vote mcgillicuddy serious party or similar ilk.
    Would be happy to give my vote to ACT but am worried it’ll be a wasted vote again.

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  40. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Umm conservative!

    Then act

    Then national

    Wtf

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  41. wf (447 comments) says:

    UF, NZF, National.

    Nah.

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  42. Concerned (41 comments) says:

    I guess that’s why I read Kiwiblog. I agree with you completely!

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  43. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    United Future, Winston First and Conservative.
    I would not vote for a single one of those parties. Maybe they should’ve tested this on a few people from all the parties first?

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  44. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Scary…

    Conservative, National, UF

    [gulp]

    Yeah, Right.

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  45. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    I must have fucked it up.
    I got ACT, Nats , Cons…
    exactly the way I would rank them :-)

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  46. pejhay (29 comments) says:

    Mine was UF, Cons, National.
    Ironically I’m in UF’s electorate, and was likely to party vote Nat. Was torn between candidate vote UF or Nat, but from this survey may settle on UF.
    Although the results may differ from what a lot of people were personally expecting, it’s regardless of presence & popularity, it’s what they stand for. To me it demonstrates that I’m actually slightly right of Nationals present position – no surprise.

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  47. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    Jesus DPF, Peter Dunne said in the minor party debate that three strikes was reactionary rubbish, plus he derailed the RMA reforms National was trying to put thru – why would you put him in third place????

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  48. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    I think few are ending up with National because the National Party in it’s present form doesn’t really have a strong core of values. I reckon if you chose “sorta” for everything you’d probably get National.

    EDIT: Choosing sorta for every category, I got United Future. That’s kinda funny.

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  49. Boris Piscina (53 comments) says:

    Maybe it’s based on reaction to policy rather than preconception. The inference is that the site makers have actually taken policy into account whereas participants are operating on media profiles and prejudice.

    But anyway Conservatives will be OK because apparently they have a reliable poll which says Garth McVicar has 54% support in Napier.

    Like their other reliable poll that said Craig was going to win Rodney.

    Giggle.

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  50. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    I got National, ACT, conservative so clearly there are some liberal hippies out there…

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  51. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    I took it twice just to be sure, only slightly altering my answers where I thought I’d been unclear. First time I got NZ First, UF, Labour. As a young immigrant I am pretty much the complete opposite of a Winston voter so I knew that was wrong. Second time with only minor changes I got Conservative, National, ACT. More along the right lines but I’m not voting Conservatives because I’m a social liberal. The questions are far too simplistic. There’s a much better model that could be followed. A website called isidewith.com which does this for the American system. It has many more options and much more in depth questions. It takes longer but gives much more accurate results.

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  52. Honeybadger (215 comments) says:

    Well blow me down! I got Internet/Mana, NZ First and Maori….I dont think so!!!!

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  53. daniel carter (34 comments) says:

    Could it be that the results are correct but that most people don’t vote on policy but personality? And that most people’s understanding of party policies are so poor thanks to shitty news reporting of them? That seems more likely than a convoluted binary non explanation.

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  54. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    daniel carter – yes, I think most people are more likely to vote on personality and on perceptions of party competence. And most people have scant to no understanding of most party policies.

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  55. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,571 comments) says:

    I answered to every policy that was ACTs and still got the Conservatives as number 1. Whoever designed this got their policies all mixed up. The CCCP is a party I’d never vote for.

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  56. Steinienick (2 comments) says:

    Act, National, Internet mana.
    Unlikely to vote ACT, unless they had an outstanding electorate member, and certainly wouldn’t touch the IM Krim lot.
    Tried looking back but couldn’t see where the IM came from.

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  57. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    No questions about party leadership, vision, etc and as others have rightly pointed out have skewed towards the minor parties.
    Mine indicated United Future, followed by Conservatives and the party that shall not be named third.

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  58. adc (595 comments) says:

    So DPF, I looked through the conservative party site for some policy or something that would indicate that they would confiscate land, and couldn’t find anything… any pointers?

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