The Electoral Compass (Kieskompas), voting behaviour and the role of the media in the portrayal of political figures and parties. From different perspectives, VU University’s political and communication scientists scrutinize the process of elections.

Electoral Compass (Kieskompas)

In over 30 countries Kieskompas has helped citizens to find their way in the political landscape during elections, including the U.S. presidential elections and parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel and Portugal. Also at municipal, provincial and Water control board elections, Kieskompas shows which party is closest to one’s own political preferences. The purpose of the Kieskompas is to better inform the electorate about the proposals of political parties and thus to promote the voter turnout.

Political winners and losers

In election time, political parties try to present themselves in newspapers, on television and in Internet discussions. They do this by offering attractive views and by putting themselves against other parties. Above all to radiate success. Journalists surround politicians with an aura of success if they give the impression to win in television debates and opinion polls. But what news is decisive when other political parties try the same?
Research by communication scientists at VU University shows that winning parties are attributed with success and are connected to themes in the news in which they already have a solid reputation. They also make it appear that it is a struggle between them and the rest. The research is part of the research programme of Communication Science: Communication Choices, Content and Consequences: new media, new methods.

Anthropologists for politics

verkiezingen-standplaats-wereldIn the series Anthropological Kieskompas on the weblog "Standplaats wereld", anthropologists wrote about important issues in the Dutch parliamentary elections of June 2010. The anthropologists addressed issues like such integration, development, environment and education. In addition, they try to look beyond the short-lived events and to reflect critically on how is people think and talk about these topics. The anthropological research is part of the research programme of Social and Cultural Anthropology: Constructing Human Security in a Globalising World.