The academic team behind Vote Compass looked at party policy statements and platform documents from the Greens, Liberals, New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives, and consulted the parties to determine how their policies lined up with the way Vote Compass interprets respondents' answers.

All the parties had the chance to answer the Vote Compass questionnaire for themselves, and were given the opportunity to challenge the assessments before the "final codes" went in. The detailed methodology is available here.

Here are the party positions on four questions about crime in the Vote Compass questionnaire, and what was behind those answers.

1) Convicted sex offenders should wear tracking devices.

  • Strongly agree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

NDP: Neutral

New Democratic Party MPP Michael Prue (Beaches-East York) didn’t dismiss the use of GPS outright. "I’m not going to just completely dismiss the idea put forward today because I think it needs some study," he said. "Everybody believes children should be protected."

Source: Hudak vows to make sex offenders wear GPS devices (The Toronto Star) (July 2011)

Liberal: Somewhat disagree

The Ontario Liberals are tough on crime. Unlike the opposition parties, we have a realistic approach to monitoring sex offenders, and one that is working.

The Ontario Liberals balance being tough on crime with being sensible on spending. A 2007 report by Correctional Services of Canada found that false alarms and technological problems impeded the safe implementation of an electronic monitoring program for released offenders. There have been numerous reported instances in the United States where GPS technology misfired.

But don’t take our word for it. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is on the record saying GPS technology is unreliable, causing the federal Conservatives to re-examine their use of GPS.

Source: Statement from the Ontario Liberal Party to Vote Compass (August 2011) (August 2011)

PC Party : Strongly agree

We will use GPS technology to monitor registered sex offenders and other high risk offenders.

Source: Change book (May 2011)

Green Party: Neutral

We are dedicated to safe, healthy communities. We are supportive of effective means of reducing crimes, and would support any proven means that will lower rates of reoffending.

Source: Statement from the Green Party of Ontario to Vote Compass (August 2011)

2) Prisoners should do supervised manual labour in the community.

  • Strongly agree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

NDP: Somewhat disagree

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said she’d rather put unemployed Ontarians back to work in such jobs than have prisoners do them. "That would be my priority," she told reporters at a Canadian Union of Public Employees convention.

Source: Hudak proposes modern-day chain gangs (The Toronto Star) (May 2011)

Liberal: Strongly disagree

Ontario Liberals believe prisoners should do supervised manual labour, but behind bars where they belong. Currently in Ontario, inmates work in secure, confined areas where they can do no harm to people in the community. They are selected based on a number of criteria, and are fully supervised.

The Hudak PCs would have drug-traffickers, burglars and violent offenders doing "work" programs in your parks and playgrounds. Operating a program of this type would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, not the $20 million that the Hudak PCs have estimated. We are investing in our police, putting 2300 more police officers on the streets since 2003 while the Hudak PCs are proposing gimmicks that divert us from our primary responsibility when it comes to community safety – making our communities safer.

Source: Statement from the Ontario Liberal Party to Vote Compass (August 2011)

PC: Strongly agree

A Tim Hudak government will require provincial prisoners to work up to 40 hours per week of manual labour.

Source: Changebook (May 2011)

Green: Somewhat disagree

The proposed program would be costly and present security risks, requiring a large number of extra guards to ensure security both on and off prison grounds. Not only does this add costs to the prison system, but presents security risks to our communities.

Source: Statement from the Green Party of Ontario to Vote Compass (August 2011)

3) First Nations people should be prosecuted for protesting on private land.

  • Strongly disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat agree
  • Strongly agree
  • Don’t Know

NDP: Somewhat disagree

It comes down to me, in my discussions, in my reading and in my understanding, that this is not an issue about the administration of justice, nor is it about the OPP and senior government officials, but in fact this is an issue about land claims. This is an issue about whether or not the land is legally owned by the people who claim to own it.

Source: Official Hansard Record - NDP MPP, Michael Prue (March 2009)

Liberal: Neutral

The immediate catalyst for most major occupations and protests is a dispute over a land claim, a burial site, resource development, or harvesting, hunting and fishing rights. The fundamental conflict, however, is usually about land. Contemporary Aboriginal occupations and protests should therefore be seen as part of the centuries-old tension between Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal peoples over the control, use, and ownership of land.

The frequency of occupations and protests in Ontario and Canada is a symptom, if not the result, of our collective and continuing ability to resolve these tensions consistently. The objectives of police services and police leaders during Aboriginal protests and occupations should be to minimize the risk of violence, to facilitate the exercise of constitutionally protected rights, including treaty and Aboriginal rights and the right to peaceful assembly, to preserve and restore public order, to remain neutral as to the underlying grievance, and, if possible, to facilitate the building of trusting relationships that will assist the parties in resolving the dispute constructively.

Source: Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry (June 2007)

PC: Strongly strongly agree

One law for everyone: We will support our frontline police officers in these difficult situations. We will expand the powers in the Trespass to Property Act to help restore faith in the fairness of how these disputes are settled.

Source: Party Manifesto, "Crime" (May 2011)

Green Party: Neutral

The Green Party of Ontario supports the right to protest in balance with public order. We support the right to peaceful protest on public property, as allowed under Ontario law.

The Green Party of Ontario is committed to supporting our family farmers, entrepreneurs, workers and organizations to lead Ontario toward a prosperous future – one with strong communities and resilient local economies. First Nations deserve a life of opportunity including accessible, properly funded system of education, safe water and reliable sewage treatment, healthcare that meets community needs, and housing and social services to prevent the unfortunately high prevalence of suicide in First Nations communities.

The Green Party of Ontario will strive to solve outstanding land claims. We will ensure that lands are jointly developed between First Nations and the rest of the province. We will allow time for meaningful community input and local decision making for First Nations.

Source: Statement from the Green Party of Ontario to Vote Compass (August 2011)

4) The right to protest is more important than public order.

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat agree
  • Strongly agree
  • Don’t Know

NDP: Neutral

Ontario's New Democrats believe that public order and the right to protest are not mutually exclusive and we will continue to protect both.

Source: Statement from the Ontario NDP to Vote Compass (August 2011)

Liberal: Neutral

Ontario Liberals uphold both of these core values, and believe there is no conflict between the right to peacefully protest and the maintenance of public order.

Source: Statement from the Ontario Liberal Party to Vote Compass (August 2011)

PC: Somewhat agree

I proudly stand behind the men and women of our police services that were faced with a daunting and difficult task of protecting the public against these professional vandals and hooligans. The right to speak must never be confused with the right to vandalize property that tarnishes the reputation of our city and province. Like most law-abiding Ontario families, I was appalled by the violence, vandalism and reckless disregard for public safety displayed by a group of thugs and hooligans.

Source: New Release, "Statement by Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak on Damage from G20 Violence (June 2010)

Green Party: Neutral

The Green Party of Ontario supports the right to protest in balance with public order.

Source: Statement from the Green Party of Ontario to Vote Compass (August 2011)