The smartwielen questionnaire has been designed by a combined project team of the University of Luxembourg and the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung. In order to guarantee a comprehensive, significant, valid and politically neutral questionnaire, the team consulted with a large number of interest groups and civil society organizations. From mid-June to mid-Juli 2023, a customized website was put online, allowing anyone who was interested to submit suggestions for questions. Below you will find a detailed description of the questionnaire design approach.
In order to match the answers/political positions of candidates and voters, smartwielen applies an algorithm based on the Euclidean Distance. Below you find a detailed description of the matching-algorithm.
smartspider and smartmap
In order to calculate positions of candidates and voters on the six axes of the smartspider graphs and within the two-dimensional political space of the smartmap, smartwielen applies a common and simple calculation method. Below you will find a detailed description of this as well as the complete assignment of statements to the dimensions of the smartspider and the smartmap.
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 eight axes represents a formulated goal in a policy area (e.g., Environmental protection) based on 2-4 questions. Some questions have been assigned to multiple axes and some questions have not been assigned to any of the axes. For each axis a value of between 0 and 100 points can be reached. A value of 100, at the outside edge of the spider, means there is complete agreement with the formulated goal of the corresponding axis. A value of 0, in 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.
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 progressive / liberal-conservative dimension, which focuses on the role of government intervention in society and private life.