So how do you figure out this election business? There is SO many issues, so many confusing positions, and a lack of accessible information for all Canadian citizens (not many of us want to read the entire platform for each political party!). Throughout the campaign, we'll be sharing information on how to navigate these issues, educate yourself on the parties' positions, and make an informed choice at the poll.
I CAN Party: According to their website "I CAN Party is a user-friendly guide to understanding the national political party platforms. It provides short summaries of the parties’ stances on key electoral issues without analysis or party rhetoric.
We strive to be unbiased, however some selection bias is unavoidable. It is best to think of this site as a starting point and reference guide. We strongly encourage everyone to look more deeply into the issues. A great place to start is our external resources page."
What's great about this resource? There is information on the parties' positions on a variety of issues, including domestic, foreign, economic, environmental, current events, and way more to come (The CBC, Agriculture, The Arctic, Free Trade, Health Care, etc)!
Want to know where everyone stands on Bill C-51? You can use this website as a starting point! Want to know more about democratic reform? Check out this website! Want to know more about the Macleans Debate topics? Check this website out!
Vote Note: This app was created by some students at Concordia university, it's now available for iOS devices via the iTunes store. The goal of the app is to provide information on the candidates, learn about important upcoming events, figure out your riding, and make sure you have information on how and when to vote.
What's great about this resource? The nice thing about smart phone apps is that they can easily be accessed from any location. If you are moving to campus this September, you can use the app to find polling locations, your riding name, etc. once you arrive. The downfall? In order to receive more information about your local candidates you may have to contact the campaign office and request they submit it to Vote Note.
Vote Savvy: Who doesn't love a great online quiz? While Buzzfeed may be the king/queen of online quizzes (who doesn't want to know what kind of potato you are?) this quiz (once published) will give you an idea of what parties think on the issues you identify as most important!
What's great about this resource? This website is personalized to understand what issues matter to you, and will give you updates along the way on what the parties think on each issue. You'll also receive information about the candidate in your local riding. Plus, you'll be helping two researchers identify and understand issues that matter to young citizens and how we interact with technology during elections. This could, in theory, influence further elections. The only downfall? We're still waiting for the quiz to go live!
Elections Canada: Here is the go to resource for information on where, when, and how to vote.
What's great about this resource? First time voting? Do you want to know how to register to vote? Want to make sure you have the proper ID? Check this website out. Elections Canada is working hard to make sure YOU are eligible to vote this October!
FactsCan: this is an independent, non-partisan, website focused on creating "a resource for separating out the truth from spin, distortion, omission, error and lies. Our goal is to inform Canadians, enable everyone to critically engage in political discussions, and encourage politicians to be honest and accurate with their words."
What's great about this resource? Politicians and Political Parties love to throw out some big numbers, big accusations, and big ideas. Rapid fire stats are hard to fact-check, this website gives voters an opportunity to review what was said, the stats, and how it stands up to further questioning.
I Side With: "iSideWith.com was started in March 2012 by two friends with two very different views of politics. We are constantly finding and building new ways to boost voter engagement and education using information, data, and breaking technologies." In other words, they analyze the most discussed election issues, create a quiz, and ask the Canadian public to answer thoughtfully and find the answer to the ultimate election question: "who do you side with?"
What's great about this resource? I side with is an old friend to many political followers. Complete a series of questions by answer "yes," "no," or clicking "other stances" for a profile on each party and how they stand on your most important political issues (which you have to identify with each question you answer). It's an easy quiz to give you an idea of which Political Parties may be worth exploring more in depth. Fair warning -- you may be surprised to learn you side with a party you don't support on specific issues (but this is part of the fun)!
Stay tuned for future resources!