'YourVote' Election Compass Launched

7 June 2016:

In the lead up the Australian Federal Election on July 2, Fairfax Media has launched YourVote ­- a tool which allows Australians to assess their political leanings against the major parties’ positions on key themes. 

YourVote is the Australian version of the original global Voting Advice Application tool ‘Kieskompas’ which was developed in 2006 at VU University in Amsterdam. YourVote is a partnership between Fairfax Media, The University of Sydney and Kieskompas. It is available online at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

YourVote’s Research Editor, Julie Posetti, said: “YourVote is designed to stimulate informed debate on policies and issues throughout the election campaign by making it easier for voters to find out what the parties stand for. It does not tell you who to vote for, but it is designed to bring policy debates back to the fore. 

“Through YourVote, we want to challenge voters to go beyond the personalities of the leaders and any previous assumptions about parties and their brands, to the main policy debates that divide candidates – or, as is the case in the current Australian political climate, unite them – in this campaign.” 

YourVote is built on Kieskompas’ independent scientific methodology which is designed to resist political interference. An academic review panel, consisting of University of Sydney political sociologists Professor Ariadne Vromen and Associate Professor Anika Gauja, oversaw the development of 30 statements by a collaborative research team which independently determined the positioning of the three major Australian political parties. 

“We believe that discussion about policies – which projects like YourVote contribute to – can encourage a more engaged and informed level of political debate,” Professor Vromen said. 

YourVote also helps to hold parties and politicians to account for what they’ve previously said their stance is on issues of current relevance to voters,” Associate Professor Gauja added. 

Since starting in 2006, the Kieskompas tool has been used by more than 50 million people spanning more than 200 elections in more than 40 countries, including all European Member­-States, as well as countries in North, Central and Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Labor, The Greens and the Coalition were given the opportunity to self-­assess their position on the statements as part of the research process. 

The project will monitor #YourVoteAU on social media for feedback.