# Method

## How does VoteLog work?#

1. Organizations record their preference for any number of National Council votes.

2. VoteLog calculates the correspondence between these preferences and the real voting behavior of the individual members of the parliament1 and creates a ranking list.

3. Visitors can view this ranking in two ways:

1. They can select an organization and get a ranking of parliamentarians by match. The ranking can be restricted according to certain criteria (parliamentary group, party, canton), as well as aggregated at the parliamentary group and party level.

2. They can view the correspondence of individual parliamentarians with any organization represented on VoteLog.

In the future, VoteLog will offer the possibility to combine ratings of multiple organizations as desired and thus create cross-organizational rankings.

## How does the evaluation come about?#

Under the prototype’s current state:

• All votes scored by an organization are treated the same, there is no additional weighting. So a final vote counts exactly the same as a vote on a single amendment.

• Abstentions are treated the same as a vote against organizational preference.

• Finally, for individual parliamentarians, only those votes are considered in the ranking where they actually had the chance to be present: If a politician was not part of the Council at the time of the vote or was absent with excuse (SO-NC Art. 57 para. 4 item e), the corresponding vote has no influence on their ranking.

The organization ranking for individual parliamentarians is calculated as follows:

$$n = \frac{N_\textnormal{congruent}}{N_\textnormal{total}}$$

$$\sigma(n) = \frac{1}{1+e^{-n}}$$

Where $N_\textnormal{total}$ is the number of all votes which have been evaluated by the organization and in which the parliamentarian concerned has at the same time actually had the chance to participate, and $N_\textnormal{congruent}$ is the number of all votes in which the parliamentarian’s vote matches the result chosen by the organization.

## Rules of the game#

In order to use VoteLog, an interested organization must contact us. In principle, we primarily aim at the organized civil society in the sense of a citizen society definition. However, especially for reasons of transparency, we do not want to exclude economic interest groups. We remain politically neutral, but at the same time prevent a commercial exploitation of our platform by individual actors.

VoteLog is Open-source software, the functionality is therefore independently verifiable by all interested parties. The parliamentary evaluation data generated via VoteLog is made freely available as Open data, which allows researchers and journalists to further contextualize the data independently of VoteLog and to critically question our work.

## Limitations#

• At this time, the data is limited to the 51st legislature. In the future, it will be possible to make cross-legislative evaluations.

• It is not yet possible to weight individual parliamentary votes. However, we are working on a corresponding option.

• Due to the data situation, so far only an evaluation of the voting behavior in the National Council is possible, but not in the Council of States.

• VoteLog works retrospectively, i.e. only with data from parliamentary votes that have already taken place. This means that VoteLog can only be useful for citizens when it comes to the re-election of existing parliamentarians, but not for the evaluation of new candidates.

1. Currently, this only includes members of the National Council. See Limitations↩︎