Using VAAs to explore the dimensionality of the policy space: experiments from Brazil, Peru, Scotland and Cyprus
by Jonathan Wheatley
International Journal of Electronic Governance (IJEG), Vol. 5, No. 3/4, 2012

Abstract: Research into Voting Advice Applications (VAA) has hitherto been concerned with technical issues over the use of VAAs as a tool to help people vote. This paper shows that data generated by VAAs can also be used for research into how policy preferences of voters can be conceptualised in terms of a multi-dimensional policy space. Specifically, analysis of data extracted from VAAs deployed in Brazil, Peru, Scotland and Cyprus reaffirm the importance of existing concepts of Left and Right, as well as a second dimension of social conservatism versus social liberalism (sometimes known as GAL-TAN), as defining features of the policy space. This paper also shows how data from VAAs can be used to map the ideological profiles of party supporters.

Online publication date: Sun, 30-Dec-2012

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