On October 18, 2015 Swiss voters will elect a new Parliament for the next four years. There are some very useful and also beautiful visual tools that help voters to get informed about developments in the political landscape and about candidates.
Background: The Swiss Political System
The full picture of Switzerland’s political institutions and executive authorities can be found in a yearly updated official brochure (the page above is part of it)
See also the Official Website (Federal elections of 18 October 2015) and:
The website of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), FSO topic: elections (German and French only)
Let’s have a look at some of these visual and interactive tools.
Find Your Candidates
With interactive tools, one answers questions to define one’s position on the political spectrum and to generate suggestions for candidates to vote for.
Tools from smartvote or vimentis exist for the National Council (200 members and 3,802 candidates) and the Council of States (46 members and 161 candidates).
For smartvote about 80 to 90 percent of the candidates have filled in a questionnaire.
This questionnaire helps defining their political profile, a smartspider.
‘The smartspider presents a political profile based on the agreement about eight topics/aims. A value of 100 represents a strong agreement, a value of 0 a strong disagreement.’
In answering the same questionnaire a voter defines his one profile that is matched with the candidates’. In the end, he gets his own smartspider and suggestions for candidates in his constituency. The more questions a voter answers, the more precise his voting advice will be.
Political Shift in Communes 1981 to 2014 – year by year
Lean Swiss communes more towards the left or the right, are they more conservative or progressive?
‘Based on the result of every single popular vote since 1983. The Somoto Research Institute together with the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC, swissinfo.ch’s parent company) has used the data to find this out.’ A quite complex interactive visualisation depicts this for types of communes and every single commune.
Party Preferences in the Communes
11 elections (1971 to 2011) for the Swiss National Council show how 2345 communes changed their political preferences during these 40 years. The SRF Data Team (@srfdata) created a visualisation out of tons of data (in German only)
After selecting a political party and a commune the map of Switzerland shows how this commune changed its attitude towards the chosen party. Hovering over the map gives the facts of all other communes for the chosen party.
Interactive Political Atlas
And not to forget the very rich interactive Political Atlas presented by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
Elections to the National Council can be found from 1919 (!) to today. And also votations about innumerable topics are shown starting 1866 (!!). Have a look (with flash enabled).
And not enough yet
How did national counselors vote in parliament? (in German, by SRF Data)
Do you like a Quiz … and learn about Swiss political parties?
How well do you know Swiss politics? (by SRF Data)
Forgotten something? Sure! There is so much activity in the visualisation scene in Switzerland …