In an attempt to capture undecided votes, Cambiemos’ Mauricio Macri and Victory Front’s (FpV) Daniel Scioli have been inching toward the political center with similar crowd-pleasing campaign promises, making it hard sometimes to remember their takes on some of the main issues we actually care about.
Lucky for us, the people from So Connect and Keetup Development came up with an app called “Balotaje 2015” which lets you find out which candidate and party you identify with the most. To do so, they researched the candidates’ stances on a variety of issues as well as where their parties have stood on some of the most important laws and bills introduced over the last four years.
The app is available on android now and will be on iOS next week. Click here to download the android version.
The Bubble spoke with the app’s creator Mario Altamirano to find out more about this tool.
The Bubble: How does the app work?
Altamirano: We looked at these last four years’ most important laws and researched how
the Victory Front (FpV) and Republican Proposal (PRO) voted on them. We didn’t look at Cambiemos because it’s a coalition and we don’t know whether the different factions that form it will stay together after the elections.
The process is the following: You’re presented with a compilation of opinions and laws or bills, which you can vote in favor of or against. After expressing your opinion regarding all of them, we tell you how you align with each candidate and party so that you can see which you identify with the most. We don’t want to tell people who they should vote for, it’s only a tool for them to know the party and candidate with whom they have the highest affinity when it comes to these important matters. We briefly explain every topic and then provide access to more information by linking to the website from which we extracted our information, which is available to the public. After that, it’s up to the user to dig deeper or not.
The Bubble: What was the criteria to determine which laws would make it to the app?
Altamirano: We searched for laws that were most covered by the media and that were of general interest at a national level.
The Bubble: What’s the reason for including the parties’ stances and not only the candidates’?
Altamirano: One of our main goals was to offer different content and not focus on proposals. Since we don’t know who’s going to be our next President, we’re not going to focus on things candidates are proposing, which we don’t know if they’ll stick to. Also, last week, for example, [Cambiemos vice-presidential candidate] Gabriela Michetti said she regretted voting against the same-sex marriage law. That’s why I think it’s good to analyze the parties’ general ideology. The same goes for the Victory Front (FpV). We checked out how each party voted on different laws and based our criteria on that.
The Bubble: Why do you also cover bills that never became laws?
Altamirano: When we talked with PRO officials, they old us some of their bills never made it to the public, so we selected laws and bills proposed by both the PRO and FpV to have a balance of bills and proposals proposed by either party. We have 12 from each party and then six they both agreed on.
The Bubble: Were you surprised by your research’s results?
Altamirano: We follow politics on a daily basis, so we knew the PRO had voted against most laws. I thought I’d find a couple more they’d had approved. That’s why it was so difficult to find an equal number of proposals from both sides. What was interesting was that when we analyzed proposals, we found they weren’t so different, but when it came to passing bills, both parties voted differently.
The Bubble: Did you expect for the app to have such a response?
Altamirano: No, not really. Our goal was to reach 10,000 downloads in two weeks, and we had 15,000 in a day and a half. We hope these numbers keep growing.
The Bubble: You have some valuable information. Has anyone asked you for your data?
Altamirano: We don’t want to be a digital exit poll. We’ve clarified that because we’ve been asked for our information to be used as such. We’ve told them it doesn’t have much exit poll value because the user can take the test as many times as he or she wants and we can’t know how many times that’s happened. Also, our demographic is 20-34 year olds, so we can’t establish a trend because it’s not general.
The Bubble: So what do these rough numbers tell so far?
Altamirano: Having clarified that, the data we have shows a really narrow margin. There are 6 percent of people who have the same level of affinity with Macri and Scioli. I think we could get some reliable information should we get to 100,000 screen views, which would also be a great source of information regarding consumer behavior.
The Bubble: What kind of information?
Altamirano: Marijuana consumption, to name one. How many users have pronounced themselves in favor? Then we could determine what are the three most accepted proposals. What are the three least accepted. It could be valuable for analyzing people’s opinions regarding certain matters. Actually, we have added more analytical variables to generate more similar data.
The Bubble: Ever since the first round’s outcome, candidates have leaned towards the center and made similar crowd-pleasing proposals. What did you do with them?
Altamirano: We drew the line with these proposals, those which everyone would agree with. For example, Scioli wants to implement the 82 percent mobile for retirees, but Cristina went against it at the time it was introduced. That’s why we decided to exclude it. It’s a proposal from Scioli that’s not in line with the FpV. At the same time, Macri raised the subsidies issue, when a couple months ago he said he’d cut them. We want to be as neutral as possible and those changes can confuse people. That’s why we left proposals out when we noticed changes in the discourse regarding them.
The Bubble: Do you think the app could cause people to rethink their vote?
Altamirano: I don’t think so. I do believe it helps people revise what they think of certain subjects. We tell you the level of affinity you have with the candidate you were thinking of voting for so you can draw your own conclusions. I think that’s our added value, we get people to be a little more interested into digging deeper to check whether they have similar stances as their candidates or not. It makes you think about what’s been done these past four years.