Skeptical voter off to a flying start…
Are you, like me, a nerd? Do you care about nerdy things like science and rationality? Are you wondering, ahead of the 2010 general election, which parties and candidates also care about basing policy on evidence, rather than media scaremongering, opinionated ignorance and/or kneejerk populism? If the answer is yes to all of the above, I would like to point you towards Skeptical-Voter.org.
Because it’s true what they say – this is going to be Britain’s first digital election. But not, you suspect, in the way that the parties might think, or hope. For every vote swayed by WebCameron or the Labour Party’s official Facebook page, there will be thousands who change their mind because of the faster spread of information that the internet allows.
Skeptical Voter is a tool, similar in broad intent if not design to our own Vote Match, that allows voters to find out which parties and candidates match their views on rationalist topics. Worry that your MP wants creationism taught alongside evolutionary theory in schools, or to give Sharia legal status in the UK? Maybe you think homeopathy (I know I go on about it) should be subject to the same standards of scientific rigour as other NHS treatments, and want to know which candidate agrees with you. As the Bad Science blogger and Guardian writer Ben Goldacre put it in a typically acid Tweet, “Does your MP seriously believe in fairies and magic beans?”