VoteWatch.eu has been a vital tool in the EU politics watcher’s toolbox for sometime – it allows you to see how individual MEPs vote, how cohesive political groups are, and how often MEPs turn up to vote. The data it contains is restricted by the data that is made available by the EP itself (not every vote is a roll call vote for example). But the site is good, and it allowed me to write my recent post on Daniel Hannan for example.
Now they have introduced a new tool (thanks @euro_jonathan for drawing my attention to it) that allows you to say how you, as a citizen, would vote on legislation, rank how important issues are to you, and then see which MEPs are closest to your position. This diagramme shows my result, by political group:
Rather unsurprisingly Greens, Labour and Lib Dems come closest to my preferences (although not in any logical order), with Jill Evans MEP being closest to my views. The red outlier, for reasons I cannot fathom, is Arlene McCarthy.
What – if anything – does this show? According to Nosemonkey:
While it might not be the easiest tool to use, it does nevertheless sum up the sort of complexity MEPs face on an everyday basis. These are two of the issues about which quiz takers have to make up their minds:
Resolution stating that the independent lorry drivers should no longer be excluded from the Working Time Directive and should be subject to the same rules as employed drivers
REVISED EU-USA SWIFT agreement on the transfer of financial messaging data from the EU to the USA for purposes of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program
So I hope that the tool will at least, for some people, demonstrate how complex the EP’s work is.
Fun 🙂 Feels almost like the point is to show just how technocratic and yet wide ranging the EP’s decision-making process is.
Interestingly, Votewatch.eu seems somehow officially endorsed by the European Parliament (or maybe even funded): it is prominently linked on the EP website’s right column.
The official voting results are much more difficult to find on the EP site.