Marcus's Blog

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Freedomvote – a Summary

This year in October elections happened in Switzerland. In order to offer citizens a way to learn more about the politicians opinion on Free Software, Open Data and digital rights, we have set up a platform called Freedomvote. We got in touch with representatives of the political parties and invited them to let their candidates answer 10 selected questions. About 100 politicians from all well known parties took part.

Everyone have had the chance to compare their own opinion with the ones of the politicians and this feature has widely been used. We have also added a nice Spider Graph feature to make that even easier.

The overall feedback was very positive and we had some good reflections in the press as well (Netzpolitik.org, Computerworld, PCtipp …).

We have noticed reservations regarding Open Government Data, so we asked some of the candidates and the reply was that they have concerns about costs and the additional work Open Data might cause. We have been discussing this with the Swiss Opendata Team and have been able to set up some further discussions with those candidates so hopefully their position might shift a bit in the future.

We have been a bit surprised to see, that members of the Liberals did cover the least of our claims. We have expected that from the politically right parties, but not from the Liberals. Maybe the reason is that the Swiss Liberals mainly have commercial interests and less social ones.

The software that we have created for Freedomvote is available under a GPLv3 License and will hopefully be re-used for other upcoming elections.

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