I’m writing this on 3rd May 2010, by which time it may be too late for any of these links to be a great deal of use in the UK general election this time around. But there’s still time to decide who’s worth voting for, and in a way that’s just the start. Once people have been voted into office, they get to start doing stuff, and we get to start keeping them accountable to make sure they don’t fuck things up.
So, this is a complete list of all the political websites that I’ve encountered in recent weeks, categorised by the questions they can best help you answer, along with brief descriptions of what use they might be, either before or after the big day. They’ve all apparently been set up by enthusiastic activists, to allow uninformed idiots like me to become less of both those things, and to get involved without having to do any real work.
Who are these people?
TheyWorkForYou.com – Details on your current/former MP, including their voting record on key issues, and speeches made in the House of Commons.
YourNextMP.com – Complete lists of all the candidates standing in your constituency, with contact details and external links to further information.
UK Polling report – Candidate information for all seats, with detailed statistics on past results, predicted results, boundary changes, and so forth.
Where do they stand?
TheStraightChoice.org – Scan in any election leaflets you receive here, or see what other people have been receiving from their local candidates.
The TheyWorkForYou.com election quiz – You can prod your local MP or candidates to answer these questions on various local and national issues.
Where do I stand?
VoteMatch.org.uk – Rate where you stand on certain key issues, and see how closely your views match with those of the political parties who are after your vote.
VoteForPolicies.org.uk – Pick the set of policies that most appeals to you, without knowing whose they are. At the end, you’ll be told which party’s ideas you seem to be most in line with.
WhoShouldYouVoteFor.com – A list of statements on one page for you to agree or disagree with. Based on your answers, you find out who you should vote for. Simple.
How can I get hold of them?
WriteToThem.com – You can send an email to any of your local councillors, MPs, MEPs, or other representatives here, just by filling in a message on the site. All the work of looking up the names and contact details of the relevant people has been done for you; just plug in your postcode, click on a name, and have your say.
EmailYourCandidates.heroku.com – Send an email through the form on this site to any or all parliamentary candidates in your area (for whom an email address is available).
What else can I do?
DemocracyClub.org.uk – Raise local issues important to you, or help get things done that have been suggested by others.
AboutMyVote.co.uk – Register to vote in future elections here, as well as finding out about things like postal voting, or how the polling stations work.
Any more suggestions, leave a comment. I’m trying to keep it non-partisan, though, so I’m going to avoid including anything with a leaning to any particular political party – though I certainly don’t plan to keep this whole blog politically neutral.