- How the Electoral GPS (Belgian’s vote advice application) works

Ranking the candidates
In Belgium’s French-speaking region (Wallonia and Brussels), there is no other VAA to assist you on choosing your candidates!
Most other applications only deal with (big) parties or top candidates.

Ranking the parties
Our Electoral GPS provides a table ranking the candidates, one column for each party. The parties’ score is shown as an average of the scores achieved by the party’s candidate in the relevant constituency. The order of the columns corresponds to the “ranking” of the parties.
The user can switch between this spreadsheet and the default presentation of the ranking, which is a single list with all candidates.

Weighting the answers
For each question, the user decides if the subject is important or not, which means that a much greater level of accuracy can be achieved through the matching process.
The methodology used to calculate the candidate’s score (i.e. the political proximity between the voter and the candidate) is based on the distances in an Euclidean space.
WeCitizens’ Scientific Committee approves both the methodology for the matching and the questionnaire to be used. This is different for each of the Parliaments involved: European Parliament, the Chamber , the Walloon Parliament , the Parliament of the Brussels’ Region

Definition of the constituency
Before accessing the questionnaire, the user provides his/her postcode. The system automatically deduces to which constituency the user belongs and provides the result for this particular constituency. Should the constituency present any special aspects, e.g. choice of language to be made by the voter, the system flags these up.

Once the results are shown, the user can type in another postcode and is immediately provided with the corresponding results without having to answer another questionnaire.

Retaining/sharing the results
The user can provide his/her email address to enable the system to show the results in the form of a hyperlink. The user may at all times regain access to the results, modify his/her answers and obtain the corrected result.
The user can post the results on Facebook. In this case, only the candidates’ ranking is shared, without showing the answers provided by the user.
The Electoral GPS does not retain any trace of the link between the user’s email address and the answers given to the questionnaire.

Analysis of a candidate’s answers
The voter can click on any candidate’s name: he/she can compare the candidate’s answers with his/her own, except when the candidate has requested non-publication of his/her answers.

In the subsequent table of comparison, one can also see comments made by the candidate.

The default table only shows the questions to which the user has provided an answer and which he/she did not consider “less important”. A simple click and the table expands to cover all the questions.

A tab above the table enables the user to click and switch to the Political Directory.

Link to PoliticiansOnline
By clicking on the appropriate tab, the voter can switch to the candidate’s file in the Political Directory, thus gaining access to a vast range of information about the candidates who have chosen to be transparent and to communicate, for instance, on their political priorities, their CV, their personal successes, etc.
If some information about the candidate is not provided, the voter can interact with the candidate by sending him/her a message.
Free access to the candidates’ profile is limited to a range of areas. To visualize the contact details, the CV and/or the electoral scores, the user has to be a paid-up member of “WeCitizens” to gain access.

Statistical analysis
To enable a statistical analysis of the answers provided by the users, the system records their answers in a strictly anonymous manner. It invites the user to provide some information on his/her socio-political category.

WeCitizens does not verify the coherence between the answers provided by a candidate and his/her future political (voting) behaviour. In spite of the scientific rigour to which we endeavour to adhere, please contact us, should the answers provided give rise to any concern on your part. A result which is in stark contrast to your expectations merits a closer analysis on our part, above all if this should be the case for several users.

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