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Bolivia relaunches CANDIDat@s, the web tool for the benefit of the informed vote

Image credit: CANDIDat@s

Image credit: CANDIDat@s

Should corporate taxes be condoned until the health crisis is over? What do the political parties think about federalism, the free commercialization of marijuana or the legalization of same-sex marriage? Do they agree with our views? These are some of the issues addressed by CANDIDat@s, the web tool developed by International IDEA, with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Este artículo está disponible en español.

 

Following an initial version developed ahead of the 2019 election, which reached over 316,200 users, CANDIDat@s is now part of the current electoral process.  Its main objective is to reach out to the population on a large scale, through its unbiased, concise and interactive content, so that on polling day, 18 October 2020, the electorate will be able to cast a well informed and safe vote.

 

How does it work?

On its website <www.candidatxs.com.bo>, the user will find approximately twenty questions that need to be answered, one by one, using the options "YES", "I abstain" or "NO".  By scrolling down, it will be possible to see the replies provided by the eight political organizations taking part in the election directly below each question, and thus obtain feedback from each on the issues being addressed. At the end, acronyms belonging to three of the political organizations are selected to discover the overall percentage affinity with the user. These percentages are not to be compared with one another because there is no correlation between them, and only express how close the  programme of each political organization is to the standpoint of each person, using the tool to address a specific issue.

The application is so versatile that it provides the option of analyzing the results for each answer or for the overall of these very answers, several times and with various parties.  

The answers to the questions in the form are rigorously based on the government programmes proposed by the political organizations and/or interviews given by senior party  officials; and do not necessarily coincide with the messages that the candidates themselves have been issuing during the election campaign, which explains why the results could bring to light surprising percentages on the concurrence of issues. The decision to abstain from replying to some of the questions is exclusively made by each political organization.

 

The importance of pluralism

With a strictly pluralistic approach, the tool establishes a link between the content of government programmes proposed by political organizations and the main issues of public interest raised by various platforms or youth groups, which have contributed to an Agenda of Public Policy Proposals, worked on over the last three years by more than 200 youth organizations across the country. The key issues in this agenda being: Open government and institutionality, scientific and technological development, human rights with social inclusion, harmony with nature, sustainable economic development and comprehensive human development.

The Agenda of Public Policy proposals was formally submitted to the political organizations taking part in the electoral process, prior to the official presentation of their Government Programme proposals before the Plurinational Electoral Body.

The tool is designed not to register personal data or identify trends. Therefore, responses are not added up or stored. The information it yields is for personal use only.

The privacy policy of the tool (found at the beginning of the application) guarantees the unavailability of results.

This digital instrument, which was developed and used in Germany and successfully applied in other countries, such as France, The Netherlands, the United States and Colombia, should be understood as a set of technological resources centered in a web application (App) whose use will be promoted during the general election, and if applicable during the runoff election.

About the Author

Programme Officer
Carolina Floru

Carolina Floru’s work focuses on the implementation of Constitutional Development programmes, Representation System, Political Parties and Electoral Processes in Bolivia.