This article is written by Mariam Cook, founder of PositionDial. She was a speaker at Polis 2014 and also gave a Lunchtime Talk in Michaelmas 2014, a student review of which can be seen here.
PositionDial is a new way of working out your political position, keeping up to date with news and views from all sides, and seeing who matches. How it works is you agree or disagree with statements such as “we can’t afford to pay for the NHS” to build a unique, dynamic representation of where you stand. Once you have your PositionDial, you can see tailored media recommendations – and who matches your Position.
Around four months ago I demo-ed PositionDial to some super-engaged LSE students and guests at a Polis lunchtime talk. I say super-engaged as it really was a dream crowd: testing out our web app, asking challenging questions, tweeting and blogging with great ideas on making PositionDial better and better. I took two major themes from what people were most passionate about that day:
- Matching: sharing and comparing, especially with friends and the wider public
- Learning: providing flexible opportunities to learn about issues as you go along
And we’ve acted on it. PositionDial has developed to simultaneously enable people to see where they stand and become better informed. As well as expanding the ‘matches’.
For Election 2015 you can now get your match to England’s biggest parties (we’re adding the SNP and Plaid Cymru over the next week). And as you go through, if you want to, you can click for more info on each policy.
And it’s working. Our research has found 43% of people not previously intending to vote now say they are more likely to do so after using PositionDial.
A recent BBC Newsbeat study found that while 60% of 18-24 year olds care about the outcome of the next election, less than half are registered to vote.
The voter registration deadline is 20th April and it only takes five minutes. We know that PositionDial empowers, educates, and pushes people towards the ballot box. In what’s been described as the closest and most exciting election since 1945, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone who has a position makes it known on May 7th.