EU MapBack at the 2004 European Parliament elections, I worked on a project called VoteMatch with some fellow students at the College of Europe (Bob Aal and Tamara Anthony). I met up with Bob recently in London and he reminded me of the site, so I thought it was worth having a look at it again. You can take the test here. Despite it being 2 years old, the test is still remarkably relevant – especially in light of the failure of the European Constitution. I’m relieved to see that I still have the closest affiliation to the PES.

As I’ve been writing recently, it’s been a bit of a rocky time for the EU level political parties in recent months with the problems of SMER in Slovakia, and David Cameron’s problems with the EPP-ED group. PES have launched PES Activists though, a welcome initiative and I might try to go to their Congress in Porto later in the year. I do hope we will have more party political coherency by the 2009 elections; it’s vital for the functioning of European democracy. Maybe I might just be able to cook up a project similar to VoteMatch to contribute a bit!

17 Comments

  1. For the information of Daniela and others who do not know in Malta we have a Liberal Party and it has its head office at 60A, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1436. Tel/Fax: (00356) 21690365, 99459714. Website: http://www.frewebs.com/liberalalliance

  2. Well, my post has attracted the attention of a few UKIP inclined people, and they’re all getting results close to what they expect, so it works.

    I suspect if done in the run up to the next elections, and promoted effectively online, you’d get a fairly good spread of results, shame we don’t really get the EU parties campaigning on EU issues (at least in the UK), but mostly get “referendum on Blair” style campaigns with added UKIP insanity.

    As for “left/right”? That’s becoming less of a distinction in UK politics anyway, if they’re going to fight for the economic centre ground regardless, then authority/liberty matter a lot more…

  3. Not a bad little tool that, and spot on for me; Greens just beating ELDR for top spot, which is where I normally am in any sane electoral system.

    Is ELDR as first match for the most users bias in the system, a bias in the demographics taking the test or something else?

  4. Bit of a hard one to answer, that last question… There are probably a number of reasons for the large proportion of ELDR results.

    First, the test was taken by people primarily engaged or knowledgeable about EU politics. It was nowhere near as widely used as Wahl-o-Mat for the German elections. If you are generally in favour of plenty of EU integration and democratic reform, you tend to get results quite close to the ELDR.

    Secondly, the test sort of assumes that there is a proper EU party political debate which of course there is not. People don’t vote at EU elections on left-right lines. That’s why some people end up getting results for parties they otherwise would not vote for.

    Also, take the comments of the people here on this blog as a very unrepresentative sample – they are almost all very committed pro-Europeans!

    I would have liked to do a lot more analysis of Votematch, and developed more similar tools, but lack of time and financial resources (I developed it with the other 2 voluntarily), plus a problematic relationship with the institute that were running it meant that never happened… ๐Ÿ™

  5. Thanks Jon for this reminder and link – am quite releaved to see that I firmly stand on the left side, with PES being Nr. 1 , closely followed by ELDR and European Greens. So I still have some time till 2009 to decide;).
    I only wish the Slovenian political spectrum would offer more left choices than it does at the moment.

  6. Ah, well, we’re in the same situation here in the UK – the government is supposed to be centre-left but often it does not feel like it!

  7. Robert

    Looks like it’s the PES for me.

    I wonder if, at the next EP election, the UK will present candidates in their EP political grouping rather than UK party and start a campaign to inform people of those groupings (as well as getting rid of the stupid closed list system)? One can but hope.

  8. Sadly I would doubt either of those things would happen… Labour likes the control of the closed list, so that is not going to change. Further, I can’t imagine the PES having the guts to request that its member parties make the PES line visible. Some of the smaller parties might, but not the PES or EPP.

  9. Something has happened to me in the last 2 years… when the websiete was launched my closest affiliation was PES… now THE GREENS!

    I will thinking over and try to find an explanation, cause I was going to vote again for PES in the next elections but now…
    in any case, still better than beign a Liberal ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Daniela

    I actually mentioned the test and put your blog as a link on my little page as well…would love to know how my friends fare in it!

  11. Daniela

    Do you realise that you have put me in the same sentence as “Liberal”? ๐Ÿ˜›

    I’m the disappointment of the all glorious Maltese Centre Right race … damn Federalists ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Daniela

    Shocking!! I’ve been matched ELDR!! How is it possible? And EPP is oh so low …

    What on earth has happened to me?? Is it all because of JEF?? I would say this is a dilemma for me but since there are never any ELDR candidates in Malta the problem does not really arise does it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Alison

    I’m immensely encouraged to see that I am very firmly recommended to support the ELDR, although slightly disconcerted to see that its a dead heat between the PES and EPP for second place. Does this simply illustrate that the consensus way of doing business in the EP and the size of the groups means that there is little real difference between them?

  14. Yes, I did think that using your name in the same sentence as Liberal was quite amusing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Having said that, for all I know you might be quite liberal in a Maltese comparison!

    Further, everyone knows your answer to your test as you have posted it here – no escape for you now!

  15. Excellent! Am very happy with that result Dani… I think it’s probably due to the institutional questions, and perhaps some about taxation and spending as well.

    You’ll just have to set up the Malta Liberal Party and run candidates in the EP elections. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Or does it simply indicate that your views are middle-of-the-road? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Seriously though, a number of the questions in the test are things that are not normal issues of party political debate and hence there are some mildly surprising results. Further, all the ‘European Parties’ really lack policy coherency.

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