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Questionaire to match voters to politician

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  • than4213
    Have you guys considered making some sort of questionnaire about a person s stand on issues, then matching them to politicians based on the politicians voting
    Message 1 of 4 , May 5 1:52 PM

      Have you guys considered making some sort of questionnaire about a person's stand on issues, then matching them to politicians based on the politicians voting record?  eg. This bill is increases spending in military, this senator voted for the bill, you specified you'd prefer reductions int military spending, so this senators score would go down for you.


      It looks like we already have info about a congressman's voting record.  So, it seems to me that we would need work in matching bills to issues, and development for making the questionnaire and using the data.  I'm a software developer so I can work on the development side of this.  But I'm not well qualified for matching issues to bills.


      What do you guys think?  Do you think this project would be worthwhile?  Has this been tried in the past? Would matching bills to issues be too much work to justify the project?

       

      Nate

    • Josh Tauberer
      Hi Nate, It s tricky because votes don t often line up with single issues. Most votes are procedural, most bills don t get a vote, and bills that do get a vote
      Message 2 of 4 , May 5 3:00 PM
        Hi Nate,

        It's tricky because votes don't often line up with single issues. Most votes are procedural, most bills don't get a vote, and bills that do get a vote are often about many issues (like big appropriations bills).

        You should give it a try and see if you can come up with something.

        - Josh Tauberer (@JoshData)
        
        http://razor.occams.info
        On 05/05/2014 04:52 PM, than4213@... wrote:

        Have you guys considered making some sort of questionnaire about a person's stand on issues, then matching them to politicians based on the politicians voting record?  eg. This bill is increases spending in military, this senator voted for the bill, you specified you'd prefer reductions int military spending, so this senators score would go down for you.


        It looks like we already have info about a congressman's voting record.  So, it seems to me that we would need work in matching bills to issues, and development for making the questionnaire and using the data.  I'm a software developer so I can work on the development side of this.  But I'm not well qualified for matching issues to bills.


        What do you guys think?  Do you think this project would be worthwhile?  Has this been tried in the past? Would matching bills to issues be too much work to justify the project?

         

        Nate


      • than4213
        Hi Josh, Thank you for your response. It sounds like matching issues too bills would be too much work for me. So I m thinking of making a wiki for this. I m
        Message 3 of 4 , May 9 4:48 PM
          Hi Josh,

          Thank you for your response.  It sounds like matching issues too bills would be too much work for me.  So I'm thinking of making a wiki for this.  I'm no legal expert, so I'd appreciate any corrections to my logic. Here are the pieces of data I'm thinking of gathering in my wiki:

          there would be 2 types of issues, tax/spend and il/legal.  for tax issues I'd gather a percent value, spend would be some type of money value.  il/legal issues would probably just be a boolean and probably a drop down for what type of punishment.

          So, I'd probably have an issue type with a string for name and a drop down for type (tax/spend, il/legal, other?).
          then I'd have a BillIssue type that would have a link to the issue type, a link to a bill in your db and a value discussed above specifying what the bill would do to that issue.

          Of course there will be lots of details I'd need to iron out.  What do you think?  your advice would be much appreciated, and please let me know if you don't think it is a good idea.

          Nate
        • Josh Tauberer
          Hi, Nate. Instead of a wiki, a Google Drive spreadsheet might work better. I don t know how well bills will fall into those three categories, but it s as good
          Message 4 of 4 , May 10 5:37 AM
            Hi, Nate.

            Instead of a wiki, a Google Drive spreadsheet might work better. I don't know how well bills will fall into those three categories, but it's as good a place as any to start.

            But if you're trying to make a questionnaire, you can also take it from the other side. Rather than starting with tagging 10,000 bills, you can look for just a few bills that hit all of the important issues.

            If you look at https://www.govtrack.us/about/analysis#ideology and voteview.org (or this wikipedia page), you'll see that there are really only at most two dimensions that separate Members of Congress (something like economic liberal-conservative and social liberal-conservative), which means in principle only *two* questions are needed to put any person in the right quadrant, and at most maybe 10 questions would be needed to get someone as close to a Member of Congress as you're going to get.

            So you only need to find the 10 votes that do the job.
            - Josh Tauberer (@JoshData)
            
            http://razor.occams.info
            On 05/09/2014 07:48 PM, than4213@... [govtrack] wrote:
            Hi Josh,

            Thank you for your response.  It sounds like matching issues too bills would be too much work for me.  So I'm thinking of making a wiki for this.  I'm no legal expert, so I'd appreciate any corrections to my logic. Here are the pieces of data I'm thinking of gathering in my wiki:

            there would be 2 types of issues, tax/spend and il/legal.  for tax issues I'd gather a percent value, spend would be some type of money value.  il/legal issues would probably just be a boolean and probably a drop down for what type of punishment.

            So, I'd probably have an issue type with a string for name and a drop down for type (tax/spend, il/legal, other?).
            then I'd have a BillIssue type that would have a link to the issue type, a link to a bill in your db and a value discussed above specifying what the bill would do to that issue.

            Of course t here will be lots of details I'd need to iron out.  What do you think?  your advice would be much appreciated, and please let me know if you don't think it is a good idea.

            Nate

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