Title: Matching voters with political parties and candidates: an empirical test of four algorithms

Authors: Fernando Mendez

Addresses: Zentrum fur Demokratie (ZDA), University of Zurich, 21 Kuttigerstrasse Aarau 5000, Switzerland

Abstract: Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) have enjoyed a growing popularity across Europe in recent years and, increasingly, in other parts of the globe too. In response a growing literature is emerging around the promises and potential perils associated with VAAs. This paper contributes to these debates by addressing a core methodological aspect of VAA design: how voters' policy preferences are aggregated to produce measures of concordance with parties/candidates. To this end, the paper analyses the performance of four VAA models that are based on competing algorithms. The findings, which draw from the analysis of VAA-generated data from four experiments, raise a number of concerns for the future design of VAA systems.

Keywords: voting advice applications; political behaviour; election studies; political science; political parties; party candidates; VAA design; voter preferences; policy preferences; VAAs; e-democracy; national elections; electoral behaviour; electoral impact; election campaigning; internet; voting aid applications; electronic democracy; electoral campaigns.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2012.051316

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2012 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.264 - 278

Available online: 30 Dec 2012

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