Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is smartvote Tibet? How does smartvote Tibet work?

smartvote Tibet is an innovative online platform, which matches voters to candidates that share their policy positions. smartvote Tibet gives users access to first-hand information collected from candidates. It allows users not only to reflect on their own political positions, but also to learn about the views and positions of the candidates. Furthermore, it allows them to find out which of the candidates correspond best to their own political profile. The questionnaire covers a broad spectrum of political issues. The questions are answered by candidates as well as users. The results are based on the questionnaire and show differences and similarities between the positions of the candidates and the users of the site. It is important to note, that the goal of smartvote Tibet 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 smartvote Tibet works, see the methodology.

How was the questionnaire developed?

The questionnaire aims at measuring political preferences and thus is a central element of smartvote Tibet. The questionnaire was developed specifically for the upcoming Tibetan elections and conforms with the following quality criteria. To learn more about how the questionnaire was developed, see the methodology.

  • First, political neutrality is absolutely essential.
  • Second, the questionnaire should include a broad spectrum of topics. At the same time, the questions should reflect current debates on the one hand, and future discussions which will become important in the upcoming years on the other.
  • Finally, the questions need to be formulated in a clear and comprehensible way.

How are the candidates’ answers and policy positions determined?

All candidates running in the Tibetan General Elections are contacted prior to the election by smartvote Tibet and given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire. Candidates that submit answers have a political profile on the smartvote Tibet website and can be matched with users.

How are the results calculated?

On the smartvote Tibet website users answer the same questionnaire that candidates have already answered. smartvote Tibet compares their answers with those of the candidates by calculating the euclidean distance (the straight-line distance between two-points in a multidimensional space). As a result, smartvote Tibet presents each voter with a specific ranking of all participating candidates in their selected constituency or tradition. Those candidates with the best matching are ranked 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 matching score (%) is based on the agreement value on the basis of which the candidates are ranked. In order to make the results easy to understand, the agreement value is shown as a percentage. It is important to note that this is a geometrical measure of conformity. Therefore, the value cannot be viewed directly as the percentage of questions for which a user agrees with the answers of a candidate. Further information on the election recommendation can be found in the methodology.

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

The answers that a user gives are saved in their computer's local storage. As long as the user does not delete the local storage, the user can revise their results at any time. If you would like to save your results for later reference, you have the option to send your results to yourself via email on the results page.

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

The smartspider is a graphical visualisation of the political profiles of the candidates and user based on their answers to the questionnaire. Each of the five axes represents a formulated goal in a policy area (e.g. Open Society, Political Reform, etc.) based on at least three questions from the questionnaire. A few questions have been assigned to multiple axes and some questions have not been assigned to any axis. For each axis a value of between 100 and 0 points can be reached. A value of 100, at the outside edge of the spider, represents strong agreement with the formulated goal of the corresponding axis. A value of 0, at the middle of the spider, means that there is no agreement with the formulated goal. The more similar the political profiles of a candidate/party and user are, the more their smartspiders will overlap. For more information on the smartspider and which questions are assigned with which axes, see the methodology.

Why are there some candidates, who do not have any answers to the questionnaire and are not included in the matching results?

Ahead of launching the smartvote Tibet website, we attempted to contact all candidates and ask if they would be interested in participating. However, not all candidates decided to participate, i.e. complete and confirm the questionnaire. The number of candidates participating may still increase since candidates have the option of completing the questionnaire up until election day. In order to provide users with transparent information on the Tibetan General Elections, we have sought to include basic information on all candidates (i.e. name, election, and constituency or tradition in which the candidate is running) regardless of whether they have completed the questionnaire or not.

Is smartvote Tibet associated with any specific political campaigns, candidates, or other political entities?

No, all organisations involved in the development and operation of smartvote Tibet (e.g. Project Democracy and Politools) are non-partisan and non-profit organizations.