Who should I choose? And what do I really want from the holidays? The Wahl-O-Mat offers support to voters. The tool of the Federal Agency for Civic Education was activated Thursday for the federal election on September 26. Users are presented with 38 policy theses and can choose: …
Who should I choose? And what do I really want from the holidays? The Wahl-O-Mat offers support to voters. The tool of the Federal Agency for Civic Education was activated Thursday for the federal election on September 26. Users are presented with 38 policy theses and can choose: “agree”, “disagree” and “neutral”. The latter can mean that we neither agree nor disagree. Or that you don’t have an opinion on the statement. Your own political attitudes are then compared to the positions of the parties.
Irritating topics and long-standing hits
The theses requested cover a wide range of subjects. The current exciters are there – like limiting rent increases and removing the internal combustion engine. These are hot topics like climate change and migration. But there are also various classics that have been simmering for a long time halfway in the political debate in Germany, for example the elimination of solos, a return of the wealth tax or the debt brake.
For many, some points might fall into the niche category. Examples: “The controlled sale of cannabis should generally be allowed. Or: “Vaccines against Covid-19 must continue to be protected by patents. On the other hand, one could argue that highly relevant topics such as future pension funding tend to get overlooked.
What are the theses presented and their importance is of course a matter of opinion. Therefore, at the end of the day, statements that are particularly important to you may be overweighted. Finally, in the form of a histogram, you can find out how much you agree with the positions of the parts. Individuals can be selected or, with a check mark, all those available for selection.
More clarity thanks to the “adjustment”
The “Tuning” option is new with this choice. Here you can change your positions and weightings afterwards and see how that affects the result. According to the motto: what subject makes me lean exactly towards this or that party? A “party comparison” is also new. You can find out on which issues the parties agree or disagree.
Particularly useful: under “Rationale” voters can find out exactly why parties are accepting or rejecting individual theses. Because each position can in principle be defended or criticized for very different reasons.
This feature is also useful because the theses alone are partly imprecise, which is due to the format. Example: “The possibilities for landlords to increase apartment rents should be more strictly limited by law. It remains to be seen what precise means politicians should have in this regard.
Young voters are more likely to be addressed
According to the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Wahl-O-Mat is not intended to be a recommendation, but rather to inform and present electoral programs to voters. An editorial team made up of young voters and various experts put together the theses and sent them to the parties. They then responded.
The Wahl-O-Mat has been available since 2002 ahead of federal, European and regional elections, and is now also available as a smartphone app. It can also be downloaded and used offline. There are now different alternatives.
Choice of several programs
Many competing products are based on a principle similar to that of Wahl-O-Mat. The “Wahl-Swiper”, which the Movact creative studio has developed with the University of Friborg, strongly recalls the “Tinder” flirting application, because the user signals his approval or rejection of individual political theses by swiping to left or right. “Voting is as easy as online dating,” he says accordingly.
Other offers focus on particular interests: The Social-O-Mat of Diakonie is to deal with issues on topics such as basic income, childcare costs and childcare. The farmer’s portal Agrar Heute has designed the “Agrar-O-Mat”, which deals with agricultural payments, animal welfare and organic farming.
In the “climate election check”, 28 theses on energy or mobility are confronted with the positions of the parties. However, the Climate Alliance decided not to involve the AfD in the project. The reason given is that the party denies man-made climate change and wants to get out of the Paris climate agreement.
“Wahltraut” focuses on feminist and gender issues. This includes, for example, abortions, LGBT rights and equal representation on boards. The AfD doesn’t appear here either – which the initiators say is because the catalog of questions sent to the party went unanswered.
The “Steuer-O-Mat” of the Smartsteuer portal and the Cologne Economic Research Institute IW is even more monothematic. Based on income and marital status, it is individually calculated which party promises the highest tax increase.
The media start-up Buzzard has also developed an “electoral check” to inform young people in particular about political issues and their various aspects – but without making an electoral recommendation afterwards. But the Wahl-O-Mat doesn’t either. (dpa / fp)