The Conversation and Alliance for Useful Evidence have joined together to launch Manifesto Check for the 2015 general election, writes Megan Clement. Use experts from a range of academic disciplines we will scrutinise the claims and promises made by the major political parties because informed voters make better elections. And we want you to get involved.
Elections are times of weasel words and spin. And much of that spin is cooked up at party conferences and released in manifestos before the campaign. Not every voter will read a manifesto, but these documents contain the most information about what each party stands for, and what its members think will bring them success at the ballot box. Some of it is based on evidence, some of it is not.
We’re going to scrutinise the manifestos
In 2015, The Conversation is partnering with the Alliance to submit these vital documents to serious scrutiny. We will be evidence checking all the major party manifestos, assembling a panel of academics to pore over the detail and find out what is driving them, and whether what they say is true. Are those net migration targets achievable? Do those education numbers add up? Is what they say about the recovery true?
Experts putting claims and promises to the test
Our experts from a range of academic disciplines will put each manifesto to the test, asking hard questions and producing a report that will help us all be better informed. The Conversation will be appointing a Manifesto Check editor to oversee the process, working with the panel to produce content that is not only informed, but accessible.
Fair, rigorous and independent assessment
Better informed voters make for better elections, and a better democracy. As most newsrooms shrink – and PR operations grow – it’s more important than ever that those in power, and those who seek it, are held to account. We intend to be fair, rigourous and independent in our assessment of party manifestos, and we rely on readers to inform us and keep us up to the high standards we set.
Views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of the Alliance for Useful Evidence. Join us (it’s free and open to all) and find out more about the how we champion the use of evidence in social policy and practice.