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Comparing Party Systems in Germany - VAA on the Federal and Länder Level

Federalism
Voting
Party Systems
Uwe Wagschal
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Uwe Wagschal
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Pascal König
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Abstract

The proposed paper will use Voting Advice Applications from Germany (the Wahl-O-Mat Data), which is prepared by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (the federal agency for civic and political education).Usually Voting Advice Applications (VAA) are used as an information tool for voters to form their political opinion in an election. They can also be used to analyze party positions. The Wahl-O-Mat will be used to gain information on the similarities and differences between all of the German political parties. We take a look at all available data for the federal and the Länder level. This will enable us to look at similarities of the party systems. The similarity of the parties will be ascertained through a cluster analysis, a statistical group-building process. In a further step, the relational structure of the similarities between the parties will be illustrated through multi-dimensional scaling. Finally,we will subject the technique of the Wahl-O-Mat to a critical inspection and refer especially to the weighting problem.