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IP 16 (Phase II) E-voting: Smart-voting 2.0

The rapid development of modern information and communication technologies over the past decade is likely to have significant effects on the functioning of modern liberal democracies. One example is voting advice applications like smartvote that allow citizens to match their political preferences with the policies of specific parties and candidates during electoral campaigns. These electronic decision-making tools have already been in use for some time in several European countries. Questions about their quality and reliability will become increasingly important in the future. However, till now their impact on democracy has barely been studied.

Drawing on the data collected by smartvote and several electoral studies, this project will address important questions regarding electoral behaviour:
  • Does an intense use of smartvote lead to an increase in political interest and knowledge as well as to a higher voter turnout?
  • What are the effects of voting advice applications on opinion formation?
  • How do different electoral systems influence the policy positions of candidates?
Furthermore, the project will test several theories on electoral behaviour and analyze, for example, whether it holds true for Switzerland that voters tend to vote for parties with more extreme positions than their own in order to compensate for the watering-down effect resulting from multiparty bargaining in parliament.
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Project leader:
Prof. Andreas Ladner, IDHEAP Lausanne

Ph.D. student:
Jan Fivaz, University of Bern
Joëlle Pianzola, IDHEAP Lausanne