Vote UKIP – you know you want to, apparently

A new political survey is out and about. Called “Take the Quiz” it’s a sort of Stem Wijzer version god-knows-how-many, but without the political neutrality that such a project requires.

The idea is that you plug in the issues that you think are important, play ‘pick the commitment’ from the manifestos/policy positions and it gives you the parties with how much you support them. Mark Wadsworth suspects it leans UKIP, which is putting it mildly.

Take, for instance, the question on tax rates. One party position is “We should keep the current tax system as it makes public expenditure more affordable.” Another is “Our tax system is the 2nd most complicated in the world. Introduce a simple flat tax system instead, which would take 4½ million people out of tax altogether. No tax on minimum wage.”

Let’s try again with a question on the EU. One party position is “Britain should support the EU Reform Treaty and join the euro when the economic conditions are right.” Another party position is “Being in the EU costs Britain over £28,000 per minute. Leave the EU and negotiate a free trade agreement instead, and spend the savings on public services.”

Yes, that’s right – the UKIP party line always includes a bit of spin and justification, while the other party lines are usually presented plain. I would be amazed if the results of this quiz didn’t hugely skew the percentages towards telling people to vote UKIP.

Exercises like this are designed for no purpose other than to make the writer’s own horse look better. They don’t contribute to democratic consideration at all – it’s just a partisan shill wearing a lab coat. Disappointing.

Incidentally, before you think I’m jumping off at the deep end on this poor unsuspecting site, the author of the site, whose name appears at the bottom of every page, also produces a website for a UKIP European and general election candidate, one Jonathan Arnott, and on that website the political quiz is linked and trailed.

John Band isn’t impressed, either. He points out that some of the manifesto commitments are based (as political promises tend to be) on half-truths and wishful thinking. There’s also a problem where none of the mainstream (plus Greens plus UKIP) political parties reflect your own views.

His comment on a question on the pension age made me roar with laughter:

This is akin to a man with his hair on fire asking the question ’should my hair be on fire?’ – perhaps in an ideal world it wouldn’t be, but it is, and there’s no real room for debate.


Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.