Monday, 18 April 2011

Making the debates helpful & watchable

Warning this article contains unscientific methods. The sample size used is one.

Cometh the election, cometh the poll - wave after wave after wave after wave. If not drowning, my patience with these polls is clinging on to a dingy.

So I thought I would do something completely different and create a wholly subjective debate scorecard and voting predictor for floating voters when they watch the remaining debates.

At the very least it will make them more watchable, or maybe not.

Step 1. On an A4 sheet of paper create a table with the candidates’ names horizontally at the top and draw 5 (or whoever many are included) lines vertically to separate the candidates.

Step 2. Create your own symbols. I wanted to weigh my own views (represented by a tick) against what I thought the public would like to hear (represented by a circle). Baically, I wanted to offset my own prejudices! With the latter, I tried to think about what the public want to hear, for example, no cuts, protecting public services etc.

Step 3. Split the rounds to correspond with the questions. On scoring, you can give half marks and you are not compelled to give a candidate a score every round. Nor are you restricted by the number of ticks/circles you can give per round.

Step 4. If you do not give a candidate a score write a word to describe their performance in that round.

Step 4. Away you go, but only watch live if you can pause the action.

Step 5. Tally up the scores at the end, separating out who appeared to be the most populist, and there you have it. Your vote is decided or perhaps not if you scored the candidates the same.

I’ve tested this on last night’s “Big” Economy debate. Scores will follow very soon!

Barry McCulloch, CSPP Policy Manager

P.s. this is my own geeky idea.

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