Image: Ezra Whittaker
Image: Ezra Whittaker

PoliticsAugust 13, 2020

Policy is back for Election 2020: the easy, smart way to make an informed vote

Image: Ezra Whittaker
Image: Ezra Whittaker

The peerless Policy tool returns for its third edition, and it’s better than ever – fully geared to easily compare both parties and candidates across all the important issues.

Campaigning might have been suspended for the rest of the week, along with much of normal life, but don’t let that stop you: it just provides extra opportunity to curl up with a superb policy comparison tool and get to know your options a little better.

“The stand-out success of the 2017 election is the Policy tool published on the Spinoff website,” said political commentator Bryce Edwards three years ago. As of today, it’s back – and brighter and better – for 2020.

If you used Policy in its original edition at the 2017 election or the local version last year, you’ll know already just how essential it is. If you’re not familiar with it, you’re in for a treat. There are other election tools designed to help you vote, but the souped up personality tests don’t come close to Policy for the serious voter.

Strictly non-partisan, sumptuous and intuitive, Policy lets you compare the policy offerings of all the parties. And you can do it, if you wish, with the party names and colours blanked, just to check you’re not being swayed by branding.

Across 74 different issues, you can compare more than 900 policies – all presented in crisp and accessible terms. But wait, there’s more: this time the Policy team have added candidates. We’ve got information there about all announced candidates – 474 of them so far, with the deadline for individual nominations the end of next week – and profiles on close to three quarters of them. (If you’re a candidate and haven’t made contact yet, double check your inbox and fire an email to Soon there’ll be a new section on the referendums.

I’m absolutely not exaggerating when I say Policy has become one of my favourite things about New Zealand elections. At a time when misinformation remains on the march, when the internet is teeming with flame-wars and fabulism, Policy is an online oasis. We’ve had plenty of feedback from first-time voters saying Policy was an essential aid in making decisions. Over recent months we’ve received a bunch of inquiries, including a number of school teachers who have used the tool as part of civics learning, keen to know whether it was coming back. 

A big shout out to Flick Electric, our headline sponsor, whose support for the concept is hugely appreciated. Here’s Flick Electric’s chief marketing officer, Sunil Unka, on why they’re on board:

“We got behind Policy to support New Zealanders to think about their aspirations for Aotearoa this election. Being informed enables people to make the most of their voting power and enter the voting booth confident their choices best represent what matters most to them, their whānau and communities.”

Huge thanks, too, to the Google News Initiative and NZIER as joint lead sponsors, and we welcome back Jenny Sutton & Greenlight Ventures NZ as a supporting partner, alongside Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Their contributions help to make the project possible, along with support from the Electoral Commission.

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