New website helps Waterford voters ‘filter out the spin’ in European elections
A politics lecturer at the University of Limerick has launched a “one stop shop” online to help Waterford voters make an informed decision in the European elections.
Dr Rory Costello has developed web-based Voting Advice Application (VAA) www.whichcandidate.ie, a not-for-profit website to provide information to voters in Ireland ahead of the elections on Friday, May 24.
The site enables voters to instantly compare candidate’s positions on European election issues. It aims to inform voters about the policy positions of candidates and help them make a more informed voting decision.
Dr Costello, who led the project, explained: “Election campaigning is moving online. With over a dozen parties, plus independents, bombarding voters with information, it can be hard to filter out the spin and get the information they need.
“WhichCandidate.ie is a ‘one-stop shop’ where voters can learn about the issues and the candidates.
“You can compare all the candidates in your constituency, see what they stand for and find out who is the best match for you,” he added.
A set of relevant policy issues were selected by the research team in advance of the election. All political parties and candidates were asked a set of questions on key election issues.
Voters who visit the website are asked the same set of questions and their answers are compared with the answers of the candidates. A customised results page is then presented to each user, containing a ranking of candidates ordered by how closely their answers match.
The answers reveal clear differences among parties and candidates on all issues.
WhichCandidate.ie was also run for the 2016 general election, when it was used by over 100,000 voters.