We are 29 days from the provincial election, figuring out who to vote for can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t know much about the candidates’ platforms.
A Coquitlam teenager has just put out an app called VoteMate that he says will help you out.
Laef Kcheran says you can learn about your candidates, their bio, their vision, their policies, and their contact info.
“A lot of people don’t vote, even though they want to, they don’t feel they know the candidates, the parties, the issues because they don’t have the time to learn, to keep up with what’s happening,” he says. “If you have an easy way of doing this, you have more reason to do your democratic right and privilege to go vote.”
If you wanted to speak to a politician, you’d have to go to a debate or maybe get lucky at their office, now Kcheran says social media can really change things up with how you engage with politicians one-on-one.
“Instead of creating campaigns of what they think people want, they can create campaigns for what people actually want,” he says. “A lot of politicians use social media as a branding thing, they just broadcast, that’s good for things like Twitter and Facebook, but VoteMate is quite different in that respect. It’s somewhere they not only can they broadcast, they can also receive.”
Kcheran says you can ask candidates a question about an issue, and through the app, he gets a response for you, or the candidates will answer your question within a couple days.
“I’ve always been interested in politics, at my family dinner table we’d listen to the radio in the background, we’d talk about issues, current affairs, philosophies, anything,” he says. “This interest in politics also works with my interest in programming and writing, I wanted to merge them together, so I decided to build this app.”
“This is a labour of love,” Kcheran admits. “If you don’t vote, how can you expect to be represented the way you hope? Why not vote for who you actually want? I think this app can actually help.”
You can find the app on the iTunes app store, Google Play, or VoteMate.org.