Our Voters Guide Methodology

How do we analyze party platforms for our Voters Guides? 

When elections are called, Gen Squeeze is committed to completing rigorous analysis of commitments related to generational fairness in the platforms of all major parties, regardless of ideological stripe.   

We'll be straight: this kind of analysis is tough. It's tricky to distill a wide range of complex promises to assess the overall strength of each party’s plans. Plus, election timelines are usually short. New commitments often come out throughout the election period, and parties don’t always provide all of the information we’d like to have to inform our analyses. However, we've done our best to craft a rigorous, meaningful, evidence-based, and non-partisan approach.  

Nothing is perfect, however, and we are open to critique of our platform analyses. Please contact us if you think platform commitments haven’t been evaluated properly according to our criteria.  We are willing to adapt our evaluations, consistent with the evidence. We also welcome political parties to refine their promises during a campaign, and we will revise our evaluations accordingly. 


We are strongly committed to being non-partisan

Our Voters Guides don't make recommendations about who to vote for, because you may or may not agree with our positions or analysis, and because we don't presume to tell you what you should care most about.

We have a genuine desire for ALL parties to improve their track record on generational fairness. All Canadians will benefit from policies that promote wellbeing for all generations by addressing housing, family affordability and climate change — all within the context of a fair approach to public finance.  

We have a long-term vision of a Canada that works for all generations. To achieve and maintain that vision, we need to bridge ideological and political divides in our governments and our society, to find common ground among diverse people and perspectives. That’s why our research and advocacy activities are designed to help all political parties and levels of government in the design of policy capable of achieving our vision.  

Success for Gen Squeeze is that all parties have equally strong platforms to promote generational fairness, improving wellbeing from the early years onwards.  


Our Voters Guide approach

Instead of simply listing party promises, our assessment attempts to make meaning of those promises in ways that matter to voters. We do this by: 

  1. Researching and publishing comprehensive, evidence-based policy frameworks that encompass the commitments and actions required to solve big intergenerational problems. Each framework includes a goal, key principles, and policy actions.
  2. Translating each policy framework into a set of evaluation criteria. These include our goal and principles, as well as the range of other specific policy actions required to advance the goal.
  3. Assessing the degree to which each major party’s platform addresses these criteria. This is where the bulk of the work takes place. We wade through policy statements and financial figures to determine what impact the proposed policy will have on generational fairness.
  4. Sharing the results of platform assessments via:
    • Scorecards that visually represent the distance each party must travel in order to achieve key policy goals for generational fairness
    • Summary score tables that distill platform analysis into a quick and easily digestible format to equip voters with critical information they need
    • Detailed written commentary that does a deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, capturing as much nuance as time and capacity allows. For the policy wonks among us! 

For all elections, we focus our analysis on the parties that elect representatives to fill the majority of seats in the relevant legislature or parliament. We include parties that elected at least one representative in the previous election, who ran under the banner of that party. We do not include parties with no representatives elected specifically as members of that party.


How do we score platform commitments?

For each evaluation criterion in our comprehensive policy frameworks, party platforms will receive a score ranging from + 1.0 to - 1.0. Here is what each of these scores represent:


What this score means


No clear commitments


Commitments are somewhat capable of achieving the goal


Commitments are capable of achieving the goal


Commitments somewhat undermine progress towards the goal


Commitments undermine progress towards the goal


We use this five-point method because:

  • It’s relatively simple
  • It's capable of distinguishing between actions that are symbolically important but lack substance, actions that offer only narrow or shallow responses, and comprehensive and deep actions
  • It allows us to subtract points where the evidence suggests that a proposed policy is likely to make the problem worse, or take us further away from the goal

We recognize that there are some limitations to this scoring method:

  • It doesn't allow much splitting of hairs between similar promises expressed with different levels of implementation detail 
  • It doesn’t award extra points for extra effort. A platform that goes beyond what would be required to earn a full point won't be awarded any extra points, though the extra effort would be acknowledged in our detailed commentary
  • It doesn’t assess the likelihood of a party following through on its promises, or the party’s past track record on an issue
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