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Wahl-O-Mat for the European elections: How it works, this criticism exists

Wahl-O-Mat for the European elections: How it works, this criticism exists

The European elections are just around the corner on Sunday. But which party should you vote for? The Wahl-O-Mat can help you decide. But there are also alternatives with different advantages and disadvantages.

On June 9, Europe will elect the EU Parliament. However, as important as the election is, voters often only have a passing idea of ​​which political positions the parties are actually supporting. In order to simplify the decision and thus motivate people to vote, the “” has been helping for several years. The tool is provided by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB) and gives interested parties the opportunity to find out with simple questions which party they have the greatest overlap with in the European elections.

Wahl-O-Mat for the European elections – 38 theses can make the decision easier for voters

The way the Wahl-O-Mat works is tried and tested and is very popular in state, federal and European elections. This year, a total of 35 parties were allowed to stand in the election. In addition to big names such as the CDU, SPD, Greens and FDP, a number of small parties are also vying for voters’ votes. The smaller associations benefit from the fact that there is no five percent hurdle in the EU election, which means they have a better chance of entering parliament.

As in previous years, the Wahl-O-Mat is based on fundamental questions and theses that voters can answer with “agree”, “disagree”, “neutral” and “skip thesis”. The tool includes 38 questions for the current election. Issues that are particularly important to voters can be given special weight by marking them. This year, asylum policy, international conflicts and climate protection are expected to be the focus of many parties.

Experts emphasize: Wahl-O-Mat is merely a decision-making aid – criticism from major competitor

The developers of the Wahl-O-Mat repeatedly emphasize that their tool is by no means intended to provide voting recommendations, but rather to act as an aid. Experts have often criticized in the past that the very detailed breakdown of the overlaps could indirectly push people to vote for a party, even if some views may be fundamentally different.

Further criticism comes from the Wahl-O-Mat’s biggest “competitor”: In the last elections, the “Wahlswiper” tool was very popular as an alternative. The special thing about the non-governmental provider: In an app, you could answer the theses on the respective election with a simple swipe towards “yes” or “no”. The project arose from a collaboration between the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and other universities and organizations, including the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung and the United Nations Society Nuremberg eV. In this European election, however, the Wahl-O-Mat alternative was ignored by some Bundestag parties. “After seven years of good cooperation, the Bundestag parties CDU, CSU, SPD, Greens, Left and FDP have agreed with each other and boycotted all of our questions,” explained Matthias Bannert, the Wahlswiper project manager, as “Der Westen” reports.

It is a remarkable attitude of the CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens, FDP and Left to want to decide which election assistance tools should be available and which should not. It is also regrettable that these parties do not want to transparently answer the questions “that we ask on behalf of our millions of users,” Bannert continued.

But fans of the election swiper don’t have to do without it completely. The developers condensed the parties’ presumed answers from the party manifestos and speeches by the politicians of the respective parties.

Other alternatives are the “Sozial-O-Mat” with a special focus on social policy issues and the “Election Test” in which users do not answer questions but make political decisions independently. It then breaks down which party would have made a similar decision.

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Source: Stern

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