Vote for Policies

Policies have to matter if we want a democracy that works for us all

We all want a stake in our future. We all want a say in how things are run. Yet right barely half of us vote in general elections, and trust in the government and media is at a 10-year low. We need an ambitious and innovative approach to turning this around. 

Our democracy works best when education and information are freely available to us all. That’s why the approach that Vote for Policies has taken so far has been centred on our policy comparison survey – providing free, accurate, unbiased information by comparing manifesto policies across a range of issues. We know it works because independent research has found that 35% are more likely to vote after using it. This is great validation for all non-partisan voter advice tools. 

Knowing what we’re voting for works, but it’s only the first step. Real change will happen when we address the underlying issue: policies don’t matter. 

Even the most determined of voters can agree – voting for policies makes sense, but only if governments can deliver on their promises – and do. That’s why after this election, we must focus on holding the government to account on their promises. That means putting promises front and centre, allowing people to engage with them more deeply so that we can increase accountability. The right tools will create opportunities for more people to:

  • Understand: the more we understand how something works, the less susceptible we are to misinformation. We will provide more opportunities for people to understand our democracy and how to engage in it. 
  • Discuss: when we talk about politics we become more able and inclined to engage and act. 
  • Take part: when we feel and see that our actions have an impact, we are more likely to engage in our democracy.

And it’s doable. We have experience already from our manifesto tracker. But where before we couldn’t continue because of the complexity of evaluating 600+ manifesto promises daily (with no funding), we now have technology that can reduce the burden considerably. And thanks to the support of committed democracy enthusiasts Embeddables there is a path forward. 

We can make policies matter. 

System problems require government support

Lack of democratic participation is a system issue, not a voter issue. In the UK the few voter advice tools we have are run by tiny organisations relying on small grants, or they are volunteer-run organisations like Vote for Policies with no funding at all. Contrast this with Germany’s Wahl-O-Mat which is operated by a state-run agency for civic education – similar to our Electoral Commission in the UK. It is well-funded and resourced, with strong media partners, meaning it as can reach up to a third of voters – far more than the 1-2% that our survey can hope to reach in the UK. 

Other countries value and support these tools, so if our government does too it’s time to back it up with action. 

When policies matter, so will voting

We all want to see a fair system that does the right thing by all members of our society. And we believe that our government has a duty to uphold and maintain that. By helping more people to engage in our democracy we can make our leaders more accountable to us, helping to ensure that our democracy becomes fairer and more inclusive, and that it lives up to our values for generations to come.

Vote for Policies is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. We are completely independent and have no affiliation with any political party or organisation. Any income we do receive is via micro-donations. You can find out more here.

Comments are closed.