Glasovoditel

April 2005 - June 2005
Georgy Ganev, Antoinette Primatarova and Anna Ganeva

In connection with the parliamentary elections in June 2005, the Centre for Liberal Strategies, with the assistance of the Dutch Institute for Society and Politics, prepared a Bulgarian variant of the pre-election electoral test of the political preferences of the voters, which compares their positions on key issues with those of the main parties. The goal of the project, called Glasovoditel was to underline the importance of political parties having concrete positions on different aspects of government, to rationalize voting and hopefully to raise voter turnout.

Glasovoditel was based on the Dutch pre-election test StemWijzer prepared by the Institute for Public Politics (IPP: Instituut voor Publiek en Politiek), which managed to attract over two million citizens during the parliamentary elections in Holland in 2002 and 2003. During the German federal elections in September 2002, over 3.6 million voters made use of the Wahl-O-Mat system, based on the same model.

The Bulgarian Glasovoditel included 25 positions on issues important for society. The formulation of these positions was based on the political programmes of the parties. Only those positions which illustrated significant differences between the different parties and those which showed a high degree of specificity were be included. One of the leading ideas in the foundations of the pre-election test was that differences between parties really do exist and if voters are aware of them they would be able to vote more rationally.

The results generated by the test were neither a sociological survey of societal attitudes nor a forecast of election results; voters simply would like to know which party they want to vote for and Glasovoditel helped them in finding that out.

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