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Web-Based Assistant Changes the Face of Dutch Politics 190

An anonymous reader writes "The elections held in The Netherlands on Wednesday have shaken the country. Almost 10 million votes were cast, and statistics show that a full half of those who voted used a popular web-based voter guide. This guide is operated by the independent institute for the public and politics. Advice is given to the visitor upon answering a number of multiple choice questions on some common political topics. Statistically, a number of people ended up scoring in support of populist parties both on the far left and far right. No bias was reported to exist in the test itself. However, these parties have ended up with an unforeseen amount of power as a result of the election. The voter participation was high, and the web-based advisories may have motivated people with little interest in politics to cast a vote anyway. Can politics be simplified to a ten minute test?"
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Web-Based Assistant Changes the Face of Dutch Politics

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  • by 200_success ( 623160 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:38PM (#16967962)
    In the U.S., it's much simpler. Just vote for the lesser of two evils. Not that they'll count your vote properly, anyway.
    • Exactly. We're not satisfied with "only" 57 varieties of hamburger condiments, but for political parties we're supposed to be satisfied with laws which wildly tilt the playing field forcing us to choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

      And they call that "freedom"... :-/
      • "The puppet on the left has some interesting views!" "...The puppet on the right is more to my liking" "Wait a minute, there's one guy holding both puppets!" "Shut up! Go back to bed America, your government is in control."
  • more info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ubi_NL ( 313657 ) <joris.ideeel@nl> on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:38PM (#16967964) Journal
    It should be noted that this voting aid is endorsed by all major political parties who actually submit questions to it. The party leaders are also the first to take the test (this time the liberal leader actually did not end up with his own party at all after doing it...bummer :(

    In the end you can compare your answer to the one of each political party. There they argue why they give this answer, making it a rather nice tool to learn more about the programs without reading the entire manuscripts, but it is definitely more then just the 30 questions.

    Another interesting thing is that there is no large correlation between the suggested votes and those actually casted, indicating that people do not follow the advise blindly. In reality, many people here try a number of these web-based aids (kieskompas.nl is another one).
    • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:50PM (#16968112)
      Well... then what about the two following questions:
      • Should the government aid farmers, letting them survive the flood of imported goods?
      • Would you want to pay extra taxes to grant benefits to the most incompetent of farmers?
      It's all about who gets to edit the questions...
      • by jfedor ( 27894 )
        Ask both. Include an answer that says "I won't answer this question, because it is phrased incorrectly.". Compare your answers with the answers of the politicians. Vote for the one who agrees with you on most questions (add weighs if you like), treating the "no answer" answer like any other.

        • Vote for the one who agrees with you on most questions
          There's one serious flaw with this approach: it assumes that politicians tell the truth. When evaluating politicians, disregard what they say, and look at what they do.
      • You will never get rid of bias though...Even my own personal bias over rode your second question there easily; I've been on the land and I know flooding - while it does get those who are to stupid to build proper flood protection and damming - destroys much more than just one farmer as the cascading effect gets every one in the area one way or the other. So in my opinion the best you can hope for is fair questions where you know the bias.

        Personally I'd rather some one was horribly bias but made t
      • by a16 ( 783096 )
        How about you just ask "Should the government supply financial aid to farmers?"

        Your examples attempt to provide advice in the question, which there is no reason for. Just simplify the question down to the core of what is being asked, and ensure that there is no bias. Presumably if these questions are checked by the political parties beforehand, they would have a period to complain about any bias that slips through.
      • I would agree if the site was sponsored by a political party or has its own agenda for pushing in one direction or another. It is likely, though, that such sites live and exist because all parties can support their way of asking. Since the parties asked usually have very divergent views on the matters presented, a party would certainly cause an uproar if their agenda was handled in a negatively biased way, they would at the very least boycott the site and inform their voters about it.

        If anything, this could
      • by tez_h ( 263659 )
        Well, I know that personality profile type tests used, say, for job applications, contain questions whose answers characterise candidate consistency. While your post is trying to demonstrate bias, which will be impossible to get rid of, it also demonstrates that with a little thought, extremes can be identified and perhaps tested for (in terms of consistency) to identify the test-taker's ability to discern bias.

      • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @10:19PM (#16969786) Homepage
        The questions were very straightforward. "Should landlords be allowed to decide their own rent?" "Should people under 27 continue to receive social security?" "Should animal rights be included in the constitution?" Even the trickiest hot-button question (in the US, at least) was about as neutral as possible: "Should tackling the terrorism problem take priority over individual freedoms and liberties?"
      • You are an american or from Australia, or from some not-quite-western country.

        OK, that's a cold read; my point is that politics isn't played as dirty in Europe as it is in most other places. It's actually possible to trust cross-political groups to try and be fair. Not all are, yet many are, and doing unfair handling is seen as a big deal, as sticking a knife in the back of the people. Gerrymandering and other forms of sanctioned election cheating are seen as unacceptable here.

        So, you objection tend

      • by mgblst ( 80109 )
        Can just imagine the questions:

        "Do you think that pirates should be able to profit from the hard work of starving Musicians, or should we implement enforced DRM to protect the rights of content producers?"

        "Do you think we should let terrorists attack this country without reprise, and use nuclear weapons against us, or should we invade iraq and stop them?"

        And yes, I have stopped beating my wife!
      • by mspohr ( 589790 )
        * Should the government aid farmers, letting them survive the flood of imported goods? NO

        * Would you want to pay extra taxes to grant benefits to the most incompetent of farmers? NO

        ... next questions...

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeroenb ( 125404 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:41PM (#16967986) Homepage
    Does anybody actually believe that before there were 10-minute web-based tests, everybody used to go out and read all the different parties' complete programs and base their decision on a comprehensive analysis of them all? Ofcourse not, people used to base it on soundbytes and whether someone appears to be trustworthy. So from that perspective, using a 10-minute test to base your choice on some actually relevant political issues is a great step forward.
    • Ok, you are totaly right: I never made the effort to read any of those propaganda fliers. I only got those for two parties so that was what my choices were limited to. The choice was not that hard: one had a bald man on front, the other a nice woman of my agegroup (the only downside of her is that she had her hair cut when she got kids...)
      Actually, i could have voted for the first foreign sounding female on their list (AKA the 'troetelturk'[toyforeigner]) but these don't show pictures. So I am just happy i
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      Well, looking around me, there were two big group of voters before the advent of 10 minute tests: The traditional voter (who votes for 'his' party because he always did) and the buzzword voter (who votes for whatever party has the smartest slogan).

      Now, if those two groups did actually take the test, it wouldn't be a step, it would be a leap ahead. Unfortunately, they don't. They still vote for the same parties or for the buzzwords.
    • I think the recommender is a good idea, it wipes away the personality politics and tells you which parties have beliefs are closest to your own. You should probably go confirm any recommendation against the party manifesto.

      However it really doesn't matter if your electoral system collapses any voting result to a two party state. Or if you can form a majority government with the support of just 36% of the population.

  • Voting Compass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Killjoy_NL ( 719667 ) <slashdot@remco.palli . n l> on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:42PM (#16968002)
    I tried Stemwijzer, but the questions where too simple with only yes and no as possible answers.

    I tried Kieskompas.nl and they had better questions, followup questions and at the end you could compare your "score" with that of the political parties that answered the same questions accompanied by extra explanations and motivations to give you a better idea about their standing on the subjects.
    That was a better website to "quickly" get informed.
    • by mcvos ( 645701 )

      I tried Kieskompas.nl and they had better questions

      My experience with kiskompas.nl is a bad one. It looks like it's more accurate and has more nuance, but some questions are just wrong.

      For example, the question "Turkey must join the EU". I think Turkey should only be allowed to join the EU when they fulfill all the requirements (which they don't), and even then they're not required to join, but just allowed. So I voted "disagree", and ended up opposed to my favorite party, who was considered to agree

  • by Myself ( 57572 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:43PM (#16968008) Journal
    If it opens people's eyes to parties outside the usual two, I'm in favor of it. Play with the OkCupid politics test [okcupid.com] if you haven't already. It's run by the same mathematicians who designed TheSpark way back when, and features the same scarily-insightful ratings engine.
    • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @08:56PM (#16969162)
      You go through a load of questions to get it down to a finely weighted and nuanced picture of your political beliefs... Then... It collapses the answer down to either you are a democrat or you are a republican...

      Which kind of points out how fucked up the electoral system is.

      Oooh they've improved it, now I come up Libertarian, which means Liberal in the real world.

      • Oooh they've improved it, now I come up Libertarian, which means Liberal in the real world.

        Does it? From my experience, Libertarians only have a few things in common with liberals. When it comes to economic issues, they are pretty far-right.

        • by mcvos ( 645701 )

          Does it? From my experience, Libertarians only have a few things in common with liberals. When it comes to economic issues, they are pretty far-right.

          Just like the Dutch liberal conservatives. Economic liberalism means open market, privatise everything, and let the corporations figure it out for themselves.

          Thing is, "liberal" comes from "liber", freedom. And who doesn't like freedom? Yet, everybody has their own ideas about what kind of freedom they want. The freedom to use your money for profit the

        • Does it? From my experience, Libertarians only have a few things in common with liberals. When it comes to economic issues, they are pretty far-right.

          In the real world (as opposed to America), liberalism includes economic policies; free markets, light or no government regulation, little or no subsidies. The economic policies are the inevitable result of the philosophy of personal freedom. Somehow in America, the word liberal has been redefined to mean left wing, closest in policy to social-democrat; socially liberal but fiscally social, as opposed to liberal.

  • Simplified (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nyri ( 132206 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:45PM (#16968024)
    Can politics be simplified to a ten minute test?

    Surely if politics can be simplified into ten second soundbites and mud slinging ads repeated over and over again, it can be simplified to a ten minute test.

    In fact ten minute test sound heck of a lot better than "tough on terrorism" and "tough on drugs" as a basis for a vote.
    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
      10 minutes is an improvement upon the 1 minute people usually care about the subject for while they're voting, if at all.
  • Well, apparently. After being asked the 30 questions, they suggest I vote for Fortuyn, which translates to what, exactly?

    Here are the 30 topics, each of which you are asked to 'agree' with or 'disagree' with.

    • 1 Citizens should elect the prime minister.
    • 2 Child benefit should be increased.
    • 3 The more you earn the larger the contribution you should pay for health insurance.
    • 4 Working parents should pay for child care facilities.
    • 5 If you need home care you should contribute towards it.
    • 6 Young people
  • Weird stuff indeed. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @06:47PM (#16968084)
    The same happened to me; As a dutch voter I also tried out the 'Stemwijzer', and encountered a very strange advice of what to vote for, namely the 'Partij voor de Dieren' ; or 'Party for Animals', a leftish party who is fighting for more animal rights, but has not too much opinions on stuff that -also- matters.
    The strange thing though; Second on the advice was 'EénNL' ; Or One NL , a party who is very much leaning to the right.

    Other friends of mine also got very strange advices (ranging from hardcore religious to far-right parties), and while we could see that the tool was clearly unbalanced (either by asking the wrong questions, or by having some weird measurement being used) and its results should be taken with a grain of salt, we were worried for others who would take this advice regardless.

    The end-result, where both extreme-left as extreme right had a victory, might have had some of its origin in the advice dealt out by this site.

    Then again, relying on twenty one-liners to determine a final vote is not really that good a thing in the first place.
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
      At the end you can click on the name of the party and it will show you everything that you and the party agree on and everything you don't agree on. Maybe you just don't know yourself or your understanding of these parties is limited?

      • I think I am more informed of the parties out there than the general dutch man and I did my research of what I wanted to vote for this time around, and -why-.
        I used the Stemwijzer merely as to see if it would fit my final decision; Which it didn't.
        Most of the questions (as opposed to other years) also seemed to have an unfair balance in how they were asked (think of the 'would you like to trade in more privacy for less terrorism'-question).

        And yes, I looked after the results afterwards (and so did my f
        • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
          Well, yes, it does appear to lack some weighting for the party (you get to supply weighting for your answers though) so that could result in some skewed results.
    • by Repton ( 60818 )

      Your "leftist party first, right wing party second" result could be indicitive of the difficulties of compressing the variety of political standpoints into a single "left right" spectrum.

      Have you seen the political compass [politicalcompass.org]? It uses two dimensions instead of one to represent political positions. See here [politicalcompass.org] for an example of what it looks like.

      I'm obviously speculating wildly here, because I don't know anything about either your politics or Dutch politics in general, but could it be that the two parties we

      • Have you seen the political compass [politicalcompass.org]? It uses two dimensions instead of one to represent political positions.

        It also sucks.

  • Freedom of choice (Score:2, Informative)

    Well, this election in the Netherlands some people concerned with the abovementioned effect (viz. a newspaper and a university) have created http://www4.kieskompas.nl/ [kieskompas.nl]a competing site(unfortunately no english verions available) which wanted to provide a more graduated result. Hell, there was even http://www.partijwijzer.nl/ [partijwijzer.nl]a similar website(currently offline for obvious reasons, i.e. elections are over) aimed at younger (age < 30) voters.

    As long as there are more than one what-should-I-vote websites an

  • Maybe voting on issues isn't a good way of voting in a democracy. But that's what we believe democracy is currently about and that's a good place to start from if we want to improve it.

    A danger with voting guides, however, is that the question and terminology are vague. "Spending less on defense" can mean anything from a 1% reduction in the budget to getting rid of the military.

    In any case, nobody is stopping people from using common sense together with these voting guides. If you find that your positio
    • If only to weed out the gunnuts and other looniebin characters. Give 'em some toys to play with and some ways to retreat themselves from the genepool and it makes out society a bit nicer. Just make sure the headloony does not declare war on you.
  • by 26199 ( 577806 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:00PM (#16968204) Homepage

    Living as we do in the information age, there's clearly a lot more that can be done with voting than we're doing at the moment.

    For example, we could have 'continuous voting'. Everybody who is eligible to vote can log into a website at any time, on any day of the year, and change their standing vote. Every day the totals and trends are made public, and a sufficient shift in opinion changes who is in power. (With some buffering, obviously -- e.g. you need a majority of 60% for six months to cause a switch, but a majority of 80% will cause power to change hands in a month).

    Instead of voting on parties, why not vote on issues? Then let the parties declare their positions on each issue, and match the one to the other.

    I'm not saying these would work better than current systems, necessarily -- but think of the possibilities! Of course there's vast scope for broken systems that lead to bad things happening... but then, that's nothing new.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sinij ( 911942 )
      Ultimately this won't work due to voter indifference. Another problem with this approach is that risk-taking and unpopular but needed decisions will become nonexistent.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
      Instead of voting on parties, why not vote on issues?

      That would be called "democracy."
    • Then let the parties declare their positions on each issue, and match the one to the other.

      I would change this part. Instead, I'd want voting records consulted to determine each party's position on a given issue. Of course, riders become a problem. "They voted to kill all the cute little puppies. Oh wait, the bill they voted against said Save the puppies and kill all humans." You'd have to take the full wording of the bill into account.
  • by elronxenu ( 117773 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:03PM (#16968224) Homepage
    Can't we just vote for the policies directly, rather than vote for the people who will vote for the policies? The internet gives us the tool to become much more directly involved in the running of the country.

    I'd rather answer 10 or 100 questions on my opinions and have them fed directly into the policymaking than have to choose between two major parties, one incompetent and the other dishonest.

    • You proposal (referenda for everything) would seriously hamper budgetting, as most people choose for more money for [insert favourite employee group here]. It would give responsibility to a lot of people without making them really responsible. If you have a minister that goes over budget, he has to come and explain in parliament. voters can't. They would not have all the information to make desicions anyway, and even if they had, you can't expect them to research it all for one vote only. That is what we pa
    • by AVee ( 557523 )
      No you can't.
      Or actually, you could offcourse come up with a system which does this. But it will only function properly is you and everybody else spend as much time investigating and considering the issues as your politicians do (or should do), which happens to be a full time job. Worse yet, a more then full time job, even when you leave some issues to others. Which is why we choose a bunch of people to do that job for us, so we get to do the interesting work.
    • by PromANJ ( 852419 )
      The problem is that the solutions to problems might not be compatible with each other, a political party is tackling several issies with a certain coherence, ie. there might be an underlying grand plan that spans several issues.

      But for standalone issues, yeah, why not?
  • I do not have the impression that people actually take it as an advice. There are now so many "stemwijzers" online with so many different systems and outcomes that people do not take them too serious.
    The best thing about the "stemwijzers" is that they get a discussion going about the programmes of the different political parties and that they might point you to possibilities you hadn't really considered. After all, there are so many parties to choose from here in the Netherlands!
  • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@@@ideasmatter...org> on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:15PM (#16968336) Journal

    So an infusion of ten minutes' worth of information caused a shift away from the political middle.

    And you are surprised by this?

  • useful tool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by u2boy_nl ( 927513 )
    I think these tools are useful. There are not many people who read the full election programmes. Some of them are 106 pages!

    Suppose you're an average informed voter and you're planning to vote for party A.

    You take the tests at stemwijzer and kieskompas, and then you find out that you that you don't agree with a lot of the party's views. That gives you something to think about right? I think these tests stimulate people to think more about the views held by various political parties.

    Voters end up more inform
  • Other factors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mvdwege ( 243851 ) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:22PM (#16968426) Homepage Journal

    I think blaming the online test for the polarisation in Dutch politics is a bit short-sighted.

    As some commentators remarked (for our Dutch readers, Rob Oudkerk among them), and consistent with what I hear around me, it is the waffling and trying to be everyone's friend of the centrist parties that drove voters to vote for politician that were actually willing to stand up for their beliefs.

    A nice example is the centre-left PvdA (Labour party) waffling on the Armenian genocide. At first they were willing to go along with a hard line pushed by the (centre-)right that requiring a positive affirmation of the genocide by Turkish-descended politicians was a good idea, and when Turkish organisations made it abundantly clear that that would cost votes, the head honcho suddenly started waffling about whether or not the genocide would qualify as a genocide per se.

    Disclosure: I voted for the definitely left-wing Socialist Party, so my view of Labour's waffling may be a bit biased.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AlXtreme ( 223728 )
      The strong shift to both extremes was indicated by polls before the introduction of the many online tests. As a result, we can conclude that the online tests didn't have a significant influence.

      The reason for this shift is simply because large parts of the population aren't happy with the current government.
  • Nothing new (Score:3, Funny)

    by Alcari ( 1017246 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:30PM (#16968506)
    IIRC, we (the dutch) have had the 'stemwijzer' for at least the last couple of elections. I think at least eight years now (paars 2, balkenende 1, 2 and 3), and it hasn't hit the news until today? I know slashdot can be a bit slow, but eight years?
    • by leuk_he ( 194174 )
      Stemwijzer.? there is also Stomwijzer [stomwijzer.nl] ;)

      Anyway, this works because here in the Netherlands there are traditionally more parties than the big 2 represented.
  • Most major parties have platforms that are compromises which only tend toward an ideological position. Many individuals have organized political beliefs; the consistency of those beliefs results in a net political position characterized as "extreme". When a questionaire distills those organized beliefs, they'll match up with parties that also have coherent beliefs, and those parties are on the fringe.
  • And in the netherlands we have democracy in which seats of parliament are devided by percentage of votes (unlike the american "winner takes all" approach )

    This means that we have dozens of parties competing per election.

    Now all of them have their own ideas and standpoints, and having to read all their party programs is tedious and boring.

    Seeing as most people are more interested in soccer matches than politics the "stemwijzer" is a very good way in finding out which party represents your view. I consider i
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @07:53PM (#16968674)
    Today's politics can be summed up in 10 minutes. More and more people want to deal less and less with politics, thus politicians have to offer simple, 'in a nutshell' solutions for complex problems. If they can't, people get bored with them, don't listen to them and don't vote for them. They need to offer popular, easily understood slogans instead of elaborate, through discussions and plans.

    That can easily be summed up in 10 minutes.

    I also don't attribute the success of the radical parties to the online voting 'helper'. Rather I blame the general disappointment with politicians and, again, the need for popular, striking slogans. People want everything, and they want it now. Compromises are a thing of the past. They don't listen to both sides and try to find a middle way, instead they want their way, their vision (or, more often, a vision of someone else that appeals to them), without any regard or consideration for others. Radical, populistic parties offer that more easily than centric mass parties who have to try to appeal to as many people as possible, and thus cannot take a radical stance.
  • I'm not surprised that a test such as this would have resulted in a shift towards the extremes. Major politics parties are the result of a concensus of a large subsection of society, as a result they must be fairly moderate since extreme views would alienate large portions of their base who do not share those views.

    But individual people, who don't have to appease a lot of people or make well thought out defences of their views, will have a set of views that would be considered quite outside the mainstream.
  • I would love to have this in US.

    Not the web based voting guide . . . parties to choose from. Where governments are actually representative of the people rather than the lesser of two evils. Sure the president would be one of the two major parties . . . however, the deadlock in congress would be great. None with a majority . . . that would be awesome. No, new laws. Most of the dumb laws all have sunset provisions on them such as NCLB, patriot act, and whole bunch more would just go bye-bye.

    Someone men
  • "Can politics be simplified to a ten minute test?"
    That's about how long as it takes me to put on a pair of shoes, grab a beer, and stroll down to the local primary school to cast my vote every couple of years. Who presumes I spend longer on politics?
    • I never understand why Australia has compulsory voting since it seems completely unfair. I mean if you are going to have compulsory voting shouldn't there also be a law making it compulsory that there is some politician worth voting for on the ballot? Perhaps that why it never got introduced in the UK....
      • Technically it's not compulsory to vote in Australia. It's only compulsory to turn up at a voting station. You may then take your ballot papers, crumple them up, and walk out.
  • How about a link to these statistics? I'd like to see how it was determined that "a full half of those that voted" were influenced by web-based guides.

  • "Web-Based Assistant Changes the Face of Dutch Politics"

    In Soviet Russia, politics changes your face! (In Ukraine too I hear).

    In USA the "Voting Assistant" changes the votes of US citizens.

    Or should I say the tools "help" the tools vote for more tools.

  • The American Version (Score:3, Interesting)

    by langles ( 192276 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:38AM (#16970864) Homepage
    Something like this has been tried in America every election since 1992 by a non-profit organization called Project Vote Smart [vote-smart.org]. They try to enlist the help of the local media to pressure candidates into filling out their issues questionnaire called the National Political Awareness Test [vote-smart.org] (NPAT). Here [vote-smart.org] is the version that candidates for the US Congress were asked to fill out in 2006.

    The problem is that candidates don't feel the need [vote-smart.org] to fill it out. They may get a little bit of bad publicity for not participating, but that's better for them than being pinned-down on where they stand on the issues. (See this article Politicians Grow Wary Of Survey as Internet Spreads Attack Ads [wsj.com] on the topic from 10/25/26 issue of the Wall Street Journal).

    Disclaimer: I used to work for Project Vote Smart about 10 years ago.

  • I also get very strange results when I do the test.

    I think that this is because most people do the first part of the test. Only the agree/disagree part. Instead it might have been better to have something like the following:

    Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Disagree Not
    strongly strongly important

    That way people will have a more direct way of influencing the answers. The "Neutral" answer still counts, the "Not importand" answer doesn't count. Why do it in two stages instead of doin
  • Heh. I filled in Stemwijzer, Kieskompas AND stomwijser. They all pointed me to the same party.

    For people who understand dutch, try the stomwijzer [stomwijzer.nl]. It is fun. :)
  • Just because people took the online tests (yes there was more than one) doesn't mean they would vote for that party. Besides, I took the test multiple times. I also trying out patterns (like yes;no;yes;no;...) just to screw with the statistics.
  • Hi all

    I love it. Now we enter the "formation" period! No new laws for a while! I've often wondered why we don't keep the government in this "formation" state forever. They have plenty of laws already; no need for any new ones. This way the people can get used to the rules they have to abide, and find workarounds for the ones they dislike.
    I've never noticed any harm from this standstill period. It seems to me the government is now doing what it should be doing; executing the laws that exist already.
  • I used some vote-web-assistant before last election in Slovakia few months ago and I found it very helpfull.

    At the end I did vote as the assistant recommended (even if I originaly did not plan to) because thanks to this advice I contacted the party recommended and get some good response from them.

    Of course, I do not deem such assistants as "100% correct" (given all the bias: politicians "lying" in their program, assistant author making some maybe even deliberate "mistakes", etc.) but I consider them as go

  • IMO, most people spend more time evaluating their next computer or car purchase than they do their next politician purchase. A lot of this is done online.

    After examining the links found in the replies and elsewhere, My criticism of the Dutch guide is that it is too short, the English questions appear to contain some biases, there is no ranking of important issues or criteria, the guide does not seem to score individual candidates against a ranking of issues and criteria (because that's missing), and therefo

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead