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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

The Debat-O-Meter - A New Voting Advice Application

Political Participation
Electoral Behaviour
Public Opinion
Voting Behaviour
Uwe Wagschal
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Uwe Wagschal
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Thomas Metz
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

So far Voting Advice Applications were based on party platforms, party programs or the positions of candidates. With the Debat-O-Meter it is the first time possible to give a “voting advice” based on real time judgments of the spectators in a political debate. The paper presents an analysis for the German federal elections 2017, where the Debat-O-Meter has been used for the three major political discussions, e.g. Merkel vs. Schulz. All these debates were broadcasted in German television (30.08.17, 03.09.17, 21.09.17). However, all these debates used different settings and discussants. The Debat-O-Meter collects real-time response data from participants (spectators), which were motivated to participate via television (Sat1), newspaper (e.g. Focus and more than 60 other regional paper) as well as social media. The tool is a new resource-saving device which in the end gives the participants information about their choices and votes during the debate. The graphical unit interface (GUI) is also flexible regarding scaling, input mode and items. Because of the high number of respondents validity and spatial representation are better compared with lab experiments based on physical devices. Our paper will present the approach and the results for this new tool.
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