Politicians beware – online tool for cutting through bluster

10 Feb 2011

Politicians working the doorsteps in the runup to General Election 2011 will have to apply a method to their bluster as householders can now compare the party’s policies against what electioneers are saying on the hustings.

A pair of science students at DCU – Danny Murray and David Robert Grimes – have developed a new website called www.comparethepolicy.com that breaks down and presents each party’s policies in a simple layout side by side.

The site makes issue comparison quick and accessible. The site is intended as a starting point for voters bombarded with lengthy policy documents and too-good-to-be-true leaflets.

Vote on the issues, not a flag or a face

“It’s for finding out what the parties intend on doing with your vote so that you can vote for something real instead of a flag or a face,” said Murray, and student of science education.

“The motivation for the site was simple; I would have thought such an obvious thing as a policy comparison site would be done already but no – so the only way out was to go and make one.”

Grimes, a PhD student of medical physics, added: “We did this to help people cast their vote more effectively and know what they are supporting. None of us can afford to be blasé about it anymore.

“It’s not hard to be cynical about Irish politics – we’re still dominated by the spectre of civil war divisions, and far too often people treat elections like the all-Ireland, supporting a team regardless of their actual plan or performance.

“But at this crucial juncture in Irish history the zeitgeist is changing and we’re waking up. ”

The site will be updated each day policies are announced and clarified. And politicians who fail to cut down on the bluster will be summarily crucified on the doorsteps. Ideally.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years