Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this website not accessible?

We’re particularly ashamed of our lack of skill on this :(

But we’re working on it!

Why isn't this website available in French?

Oh God, we are so working on this!

Why does the visualized data look so boring?

Those who participated with this tool early on may have seen that the data seems to be more interesting back then. There were 3-4 opinions groups all favouring a high degree of electoral reform, and each group had a story to explore in the data.

Sadly, a current limitation of the tool caused this to change. When new participants supporting the current first-past-the-post system started arriving, they caused the other groups to “collapse” into one. This was through no fault of the new participants, but was simply an artefact of the current mathematical modelling. The “stories” (along with others) are still buried in the data, and can be teased out once we release our open dataset. The issue is that the tool and visualization simply aren’t robust enough at this point, and unfortunately won’t be remedied over the duration of this particular consultation.

The Polis team are definitely thinking on long-term solutions for making the data more explorable by all participants, and also more short-term solutions for moderators.

How can I contribute to this project?

We collaborate in several places, where you are welcome to join:

  • GitHub. Where we keep the website code and track tasks.
  • Slack. This is where we chat in realtime. We are in the #dem0cracy_ca channel on the Civic Tech Toronto Slack team. Please feel free to sign up here!

Why does the website suck on my phone?

We promise we’re working on it!

What's this about an "open data policy"?

As explained in the Open Data section of our Privacy Policy, we intend to release an anonymized dataset. We will make it available no later than the closing date (Dec. 31), but ideally during the data collection phase itself.

We do this because we recognize that even with a great visualization built into the tool, the data will have more stories to tell. We’d like to invite third-parties to explore the data more fully. We feel this will enrich the overall public conversation.

What's this tool you're using?

The tool we’re using is called It is the beating heart of this experiment.

We think that the folks who made describe it best.

What's the timeline on this project?

  • Dec. 27, 2016 Jan. 12, 2017 - Commenting closes
  • Dec. 31, 2016 Jan. 15, 2017 - Voting closes

We’re planning to close voting on the same day that the official project closes their survey.*

The site will remain available indeifinitely in read-only form. Site will receive periodic updates as required afterward, for releasing data, and possible undecided next steps.

*The government recently extended the official deadline. Source

Who created this website?

The creation of this website was spearheaded by Derek Howard and Patrick Connolly, with the support of other members of the Civic Tech Toronto community. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Team, for their patience and advice in helping us best use their tool.

It was built over the course of two weekly hacknights.

Why did you create this?

We want to help our peers participate in building an intelligent consensus around important issues like electoral reform. We hope this tool can help pave the way for a more transparent, constructive, and citizen-led consultation process that helps our fellow citizens better shape public dialogue on key issues.