One of our most successful products in the Netherlands is the StemWijzer. ProDemos developed the StemWijzer as a tool to help voters test their political preferences. The user enters his/her opinion in response to some thirty propositions, and the programme subsequently calculates which party most closely matches the user’s points of view. This is an attractive means by which to provide voters with information on political parties’ stances on an extremely wide range of issues. The StemWijzer’s role is therefore exceptionally educational.
In the run-up to the Dutch and European parliamentary elections, ProDemos produces a StemWijzer at its own initiative. Its website attracts millions of visitors. But ProDemos also makes ‘local’ StemWijzers on behalf of municipal and provincial governments and the water boards. ProDemos has also contributed to the development of StemWijzers at international level:
- European Parliament: In 2009, ProDemos made a special ‘pan-European’ StemWijzer. The advice on how to vote directed the user to one of the European parties or groups. Furthermore, national versions of the StemWijzer were produced for twelve of the EU Member States.
- During the 2007 French presidential and parliamentary elections, a voting aid was put online that was based on the technology and methodology of the Dutch StemWijzer programme. This voting aid can still be found at www.monvoteamoi.fr.
- ProDemos worked together with the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) on the development of the Wahl-O-Mat, the German version of the StemWijzer. The Bundeszentrale presently has its own licence, which it can use to develop its own StemWijzers.
- In 2008, IPP was commissioned by the British organisation Unlock Democracy to produce a Vote Match London for the London Mayoral and Assembly elections.
- US: ProDemos developed various versions of the StemWijzer in 2008 in the run-up to the US presidential elections to be used by Dutch people to test their preferences. The first versions related to the Democratic and Republican Party presidential primaries, while the final versions focused on choosing between Barack Obama and John McCain. These StemWijzers were translated into English for the US audience.
- ProDemos has also developed StemWijzers for elections in Switzerland and Bulgaria.