The 2013 Election Compass Israel is online
Election Compass conducts panel survey on the new Egyptian constitution
In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Arab spring’ revolution, Egyptians had the opportunity to vote on a new constitution. The proposed constitution seemed to divide Egyptian society deeply. Especially people that fear the rise of Islamism are very skeptical about the constitution, claiming that the constituent assembly had an overrepresentation of Islamists.
Professor Mazen Hassan of Cairo University led the research team that fielded the survey in the weeks leading up to the referendum. Obviously, public opinion polling was scarce during the authoritarian regime of Mubarak, thus not much is known about the opinions of Egyptian citizens.
We asked Egyptians to give their opinion on a large number of articles from the proposed constitution. This survey led to unique and interesting information, with over 550 people responding to our request of answering a long list of questions. Because these people had already filled out the Election Compass during the election, we could combine their opinions on a wider range of political issues facing the country, link their opinions to voting behavior and personal characteristics as age, gender and religiosity.
A preliminary report was made after one week and showed large differences of opinion between different sections of society. We differentiated between devout Islamists, moderates which had supported both secular and Islamist parties or candidates, revolutionaries, which had participated in the uprising and non-reformers, who had voted for the parties and candidates associated with the old regime. This analysis revealed the strangulating friction that is stifling Egyptian society.
Clearly this is a constitution that Islamists strongly approve of. They agreed with most of the proposed constitutional articles, also with many of the controversial clauses that are widely seen as an ‘Islamisation’ of Egyptian society. The three other voter groups displayed deep concerns about the large role of the Islam in the new constitution − which is given a significantly more prominence than in the previous constitution.
Our report generated substantial media attention from Egyptian newspapers and news websites. With this report, we will provide a very thorough analysis of varying opinion structures of different groups in Egyptian society. We hope that our analysis elucidates one of the most difficult political disputes of our time and sparks a public debate about different outlooks on the future of Egypt.
Dutch Parliamentery elections 2012
Election Compass Venezuelan Presidential elections
Election Compass Mexican Presidential elections
Election Compass is available in an ever-increasing number of countries and languages. In collaboration with Mexican social scientists and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), Election Compass developed an online Voting Advice Application (VAA) for the Mexican Presidential elections of July 1st. Election Compass, currently being active in over thirty countries worldwide, works together with RNW and a great number of local media partners to inform Mexican voters about the differences between the presidential candidates. By answering thirty clear-cut propositions, Mexican voters can immediately see which candidate comes closest to their own political preferences. Election Compass Mexico will be available in both English and Spanish and will be launched in early June.
Election Compass French Presidential elections
Will Nicolas Sarkozy get a second term in office or will the socialist Francois Hollande become the new president of France? Can Marine Le Pen make it to the second round, just like her father some years ago? Election Compass helps French voters decide whom to vote for in the French Presidential elections of April 22nd. Together with a team of distinguished scholars from the Parisian university SciencePo/CEVIPOF thirty straightforward statements have been developed that cover the most important issues in contemporary French politics. After answering to these policy propositions, French voters can compare their responses to the manifestos of all presidential candidates. All issue-positions of the contesting candidates can be closely examined by each user, thus helping them to make a well-informed decision on election day. The Election Compass for the French Presidential elections will be launched at the end of March.
Election Compass Egyptian Presidential Elections
At the end of 2011, Kieskompas launched - in collaboration with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) and two Egyptian universities - an online application for the historical Egyptian parliamentary elections. For the first time in history, Egyptian citizens had access to an online Voting Advice Application (VAA). Kieskompas and RNW are continuing their successful cooperation in Egypt by developing a second Election Compass for the Presidential elections, which will take place on May 23rd. A second round will be held on June 16th if none of the candidates is able to win a majority of the vote. Election Compass will make the differences between the competing candidates crystal-clear, allowing Egyptian voters to find out which of the candidates is closest to their own political preferences. A large team of distinguished Egyptian scientists has developed a selection of straightforward statements on salient issues that are currently debated in Egypt. This Election Compass for the Egyptian Presidential elections will be available in both English and Arabic and will be launched in the last week of April.
Election Compass for the parliamentary elections in Egypt is now online
In cooperation with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), Al Jazeera and a host of Egyptian media partners, Election Compass Egypt was launched on Monday November 15.
After answering 30 statements covering the most relevant issues during the upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections - which start on November 28th- users are placed among the most important political parties that make up the new political landscape of Egypt.
Election Compass Egypt allows users to compare their own views with the positions of the parties and is completely transparent: the positions of parties on the issues are justified with a text section of their party program or from their party website. All users have full access to this information.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide brings Election Compass worldwide
Elections Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia 2011
RadioNetherlands Worldwide and Free University Amsterdam have come together to introduce innovative Election Compass websites for elections in new democracies all over the world. This means that, for the first time, voters in these elections will be able to use these sites compare their political opinions to those of the parties and candidates.
The organisations are currently jointly developing Arabic and English Election Compass sites for upcoming elections in Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. Over the next months several 2012 Election Compasses will be developed and released for election campaigns other (Northern) African countries. As well as providing voters with access to transparent, high quality information on political competition, the input of site users will also generate fresh insights into the political opinions of Moroccan, Egyptian and Tunisian voters.
In countries where one can speak of ‘Twitter and Facebook revolutions’, online technologies have clearly contributed to the recent movements towards democracy in the region, and the Election Compass sites are a novel form of online political technology. Many voters, and especially younger voters, have already become accustomed to engaging in politics via the internet.
Due to the limited dispersion of internet connectivity in the Arabic countries and Africa, the Election Compass will not be solely available as a website, but also as a ‘lite’ version for mobile phones. For those voters who are unable to use either the internet or a mobile phone a special Election Compass will be developed for publishing in newspapers.
Editor in chief Rik Rensen of Radio Netherlands Worldwide explains: “The cooperation fits in perfectly with our activities focused on freedom of speech. Imagine whole generations in countries like Tunisia and Egypt growing up under dictatorial governments. For them freedom of political choice is a new and mostly complicating concept. It is an important task of Radio Netherlands Worldwide to give people, especially in those countries, reliable information on their political situation, in their own language. And by these means help them to make their own decisions.”
Election Compass a non-partisan web application that aims to engage voters in elections by informing them which political party is closest to their own political preferences. Election Compass is an easy-to-use tool that asks voters their opinion on relevant political and social issues and them compares these individual preferences to the position of all relevant parties in these issues. It informs voters about which parties that are running in the election and where these parties stand on the important issues. Voters can thus make a better-informed party choice and this will boost turnout at elections.
Visitors fill out an online survey with around 30 relevant political issues. Our academic team – composed of distinguished native country experts on electoral politics – have positioned these parties on the issues based on their formal party documentation and campaign material. This is done by an academically sound and totally transparent method. Users can see the source that backs up each position recorded for the parties on the issues. These justifications for party placement may represent extracts from official election manifestos, party websites, policy documents of parties and statements made by the party during the election campaign. The inclusion of these justifications allows voters to not only see where the different party stands on the issues, but is also shows the argumentation that parties use to defend their stance.
Election Compass does not give you a one-sided voting advice, but positions each user in the political landscape. It simply shows which parties are close to your views and which parties least represents your political profile. In this manner, it does not lead you to a single ‘forced’ party choice, but it gives the user a nuanced portrayal of your distance from all parties in the political spectrum. Users can analyse their position in various ways, so that they can decide for themselves which party they find the most appropriate. Voters can also indicate which issues are important to them and which are less relevant for their party choice. By simply selecting issues, users of Election Compass can recalculate their position in the landscape on only those issues they find most important to them.
The Election Compass is an academic project, unaffiliated with any party, candidate or government. The tool is designed in such a way as to allow complete impartiality and total transparency. Information is gathered by an academic team, who are all experts in election studies with specialized knowledge of the country being surveyed. Our research team wades through speeches, manifestos, policy statements and interview transcripts to provide each voter with a clear and concise perspective on where the parties stand. Each position is authorised by the parties themselves and the text underpinning the positioning can be seen by each user by simply clicking on each of the party logos in the political landscape.