A smarter comparison: ANU launches new smartvote tool

In partnership with Nine publishing, The Australian National University has today launched smartvote Australia-an innovative online tool that lets Australian voters compare their views with candidates and parties during the Federal election.

Developed by a team from the ANU School of Politics and International Relations, smartvote is based on a platform first established by politically neutral, non-profit organisation Politools in Switzerland. Since 2003, smartvote has informed voters in over 200 elections throughout Switzerland and Europe.

Analysis generated by this new Australian version of the platform is based on candidate answers to 35 questions posed by ANU researchers across a wide range of current policy issues. By answering the same questions, voters are matched to candidates and parties in a more sophisticated way. This matching is shown as a ranked list and through visualisations. Candidate comments on each question are also accessible where provided.

“smartvote Australia is a continuation of the University’s path-breaking work on elections and political behaviour,” said Professor Patrick Dumont from the School of Politics and International Relations.

“smartvote helps cut through the rhetoric and negative campaigning to offer a deeper level of issue-by-issue analysis and comparison-not just of political parties, but of candidates in every electorate.”

“With this new, more sophisticated online tool, we are empowering voters to make informed choices about who they vote for based on the issues that matter to them, not the agenda set by politicians,” added Professor Ian McAllister, a lead researcher in the ANU team behind smartvote.

Visit smartvote.org to learn more and try smartvote for yourself.

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