Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is smartwielen? How does smartwielen work?
smartwielen is a questionnaire-based tool that allows users to compare their own political views with those of candidates and parties running in the national elections 2023 in Luxembourg. smartwielen provides users with first-hand information about candidates and parties. It enables users not only to reflect on their own political positions, but also to learn more about the political programmes of political parties and candidates. Furthermore, it calculates which candidates and parties are the closest matches to the user. The questionnaire consists of 44 questions that cover a broad spectrum of political issues. The questions are answered by the candidates/parties, as well as the users. The matching result is based on the questions answered by the user, and shows the similarities and differences between the candidates/parties and the users. It is important to note that the goal of smartwielen is not to encourage users to vote in a certain way, but rather to invite them to seek out more information.
How was the questionnaire developed?
The main criteria for the selection of questions are:
- they are concerned with current political issues;
- they originate from the programmes of political parties and/or from consultations with civil society;
- they do not favor one or more political party(s);
- they do not allow for multiple interpretations;
- they focus only on one issue;
For more information, see the methodology.
How are the positions of the candidates and parties determined?
The candidates and parties answer the smartwielen questionnaire, which includes 44 questions on a wide range of current policy issues, some weeks before the election. By doing so they generate their political profile at smartwielen.
Why are there no answers for some and candidates and parties?
We contacted all parties and candidates ahead of the launching of the tool and asked if they were interested in participating. All parties and candidates that are running in the election are free to participate and included in the website. However, not all parties and candidates chose to complete the questionnaire and participate in smartvote.
How are the matching results calculated?
On the smartwielen website users answer the exact same questionnaire that candidates and parties have already answered. smartwielen compares their answers with those of the candidates/parties by calculating the Euclidean distance (the straight-line distance between two-points in a multidimensional space). As a result, smartwielen presents to each voter a specific ranking of all participating candidates/parties, ranking those candidates/parties with the best matching at the top of the list. The more questions a user answers, the more precise their matching will be. For more information, see the methodology.
How should I interpret the matching score (%)?
The results are based on a geometric matching. Therefore, the value cannot be considered directly as a proportion of the questions in which a voter is absolutely in agreement with the answers of a candidate. Therefore, a match of 70% does not mean that a candidate/party has given exactly the same answer as the voter for exactly 70% of the questions. For more information, see the methodology.
How does weighting answers affect my results?
Users have the opportunity to weight their answers, which will be considered when calculating their results. Weighting questions enable their results to reflect which issues they care about most or least. If a user gives a question a plus sign, then the answer counts twice in the calculation of the matching results (+ = 2). If a user gives a question a minus sign, it counts as if the answer was half as important (- = 0.5). For more information, see the methodology.
How long will my results be saved? How can I access them again in the future?
The answers that a user gives are saved on the computer's session storage. As soon as a user closes the tab/browser window or turns off their computer the session ends and all answers will be deleted. We do this to ensure that your data is not accessed by other users of the same device. If you would like to save your results for later reference, there is the option to send your results via email on the results page.
How can I interpret the smartspider? How is the smartspider calculated?
The smartspider is a graphical visualisation of the political profiles of the candidates/parties and user based on their answers to the questionnaire. Each of the six axes represents a formulated goal in a policy area (e.g. Environmental Protection) based on 2-4 questions from the questionnaire. Some questions have been assigned to multiple axes and some questions have not been assigned to any axes. For each axis a value of between 100 and 0 points can be reached. A value of 100, at the outside edge of the spider, represents strong agreement with the formulated goal of the corresponding axis. A value of 0, at the middle of the spider, means that there is no agreement with the formulated goal. The more similar the political profiles of a candidate/party and user are, the more their smartspiders will overlap. For more information on the smartspider and which questions are assigned to which axes, see the methodology.
How can I interpret the smartmap? How is the smartmap calculated?
The smartmap is a graphical visualisation of the political profiles of the candidates/parties and user based on their answers to the questionnaire. Each dimension represents about 15 questions. Some questions have been assigned to both dimensions and some questions have not been assigned to either. The more similar the political profiles of a candidate/party and user are, the closer the points marking their positions on the smartmap will be. The horizontal axis represents the classic economic left–right dimension, which focuses on the role of government intervention in the economy and social welfare. The vertical axis represents the liberal-conservative dimension, which focuses on the role of government intervention in society and private life. For more information on the smartmap and to see which questions are assigned to which dimensions, see the methodology.
What happens to my answers in the user survey?
The answers given in the user survey are anonymous and will not affect the results. They will be used by the University of Luxembourg for research purposes. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Is smartwielen associated with any specific political parties, candidates, special interests, etc.?
No, all organizations involved in the development and operation of smartwielen (e.g., the University of Luxembourg, Zentrum fir politesch Bildung, and smartvote/Politools) are non-partisan and non-profit organizations.