Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is smartwielen? How does smartwielen work?

Smartwielen is a questionnaire-based tool that allows users to compare their own political views with those of candidates and parties running in the European elections 2019 in Luxembourg. Smartwielen provides users with first-hand information about the candidates and parties. It allows users not only to reflect on their own political positions, but also to learn more about the political programmes of political parties and candidates. Furthermore, it calculates which candidates and parties are the closest matches to the user. The questionnaire consists of 33 questions that cover a broad spectrum of political issues. The questions are answered by the candidates / parties, as well as the users. The matching result is based on the 33 questions asked and shows the similarities and differences between the parties and/or candidates and the users. It is important to note, that the goal of smartwielen is not to encourage users to vote in a certain way, but rather to invite them to seek out more information. To learn more about how smartwielen works, watch our short video:

How was the questionnaire developed?

The main criteria for the selection of questions are:

  • they are concerned with the current political issues in Luxembourg;
  • they are concerned with the current political issues in Europe;
  • they originate from the programs of political parties and/or from consultations with journalists, civil society and interests;
  • they do not favor one or more political party(s);
  • they do not allow for multiple interpretations;
  • they have a general or specific character (a mixture of both types of questions is desired);
  • they deal with only one subject;
  • they fit the design of the smartspider. For more information, see the methodology.

How are the candidates’ and parties’ positions determined?

The candidates and parties answer the smartwielen questionnaire, which includes 33 questions on a wide range of current policy issues, some weeks before the election. By doing so they generate their political profile at smartwielen.lu.

How are the results calculated?

On the smartwielen website users answer the exact same questionnaire that candidates and parties have already answered. smartwielen compares their answers with those of the candidates or parties by calculating the euclidean distance (the straight-line distance between two-points in a multidimensional space). As a result, smartwielen presents to each voter a specific ranking of all participating candidates or parties, ranking those candidates or parties with the best matching at the top of the list. The more questions a user answers, the more precise their matching will be. For more information, see the methodology.

How should I interpret the matching score?

The results are based on a geometric matching. Therefore, the value cannot be considered directly as a proportion of the questions in which a voter is absolutely in agreement with the answers of a candidate. Therefore, a match of 70% does not mean that a candidate has given exactly the same answer as the voter for exactly 70% of the questions.

How does weighting answers effect my results?

Users have the opportunity to weight their answers, which will be considered when calculating their results. Weighting questions enable their results to reflect which issues they care about most or least. If a user gives a question a plus sign, then it the answer counts twice in the calculation of the matching results (+ = 2). If a user gives a question a minus sign, it counts as if the answer were half as important (- = 0.5).

How long will my results be save? How can I access them again in the future?

The answers that a user gives are saved on the computer's session storage. As soon as a user closes the tab/ browser window or turns off their computer the session ends and all answers will be deleted. We do this to ensure that your data is not accessed by other users of the same device. If you would like to save your results for later reference, there is the option to send your results via email on the results page. For more information, see the methodology.

How can I interpret the smartspider? How is the smartspider calculated?

The smartspider graphic visualizes the strength of the candidate or parties' values and political positions based on six thematic axes. For each policy area, a value between 0 and 100 points can be reached. A value of 100, at the outside edge of the spider, represents strong agreement with the formulated goal (e.g. Environmental Protection) of the corresponding axis. A value of 0, at the middle of the spider, means that there is no agreement with the formulated goal.

How can I interpret the smartmap? How is the smartmap calculated?

The map represents similarities of the political profiles of the candidates or parties. The closer the points marking the candidates' positions, the more similar are the candidates' political profiles (i.e., their answers to the smartwielen survey). Please note that because of the fixed quadratic shape of the smartmap, inferences from the height or width of the figure on the statistical relevance of the two dimensions are not valid.

What is Votematch Europe?

How does VoteMatch Europe work?

Why are some candidates and parties not included in the platform? Why are there no answers for some parties and candidates?

We contacted all parties and candidates (via the parties) ahead of the launching of the tool and asked if they were interested in participating. All parties and candidates that agreed are included in the website. However, not all parties and candidates have completed and confirmed the questionnaire.

What happens to my answers in the user survey?

The answers given in the user survey are anonymous and will not affect the results. They will be used by the University of Luxembourg for research purposes. For more information, please contact info@smartwielen.lu.

Is smartwielen associated with any specific political parties, candidates, special interests, etc.?

No, all organisations involved in the development and operation of smartwielen (e.g., the University of Luxembourg, Zentrum fir politesch Bildung, LISER and smartvote/Politools) are non-partisan and non-profit organizations.