So yesterday I talked about how hard it is to get the information on candidates running for election you need to make an informed vote. In this post I’d like to describe some of the current methods you can use to get information on which candidates are running and if they have been previously elected, what they have done when in power.
Elections Ireland keep a record of all elections happening in Ireland, so you can search for your constituency and find all the candidates running, you can then click on one of the candidates and find out which if any elections they have run in and how they did. If you don’t know your constituency just type the name of a candidate you’ve seen a poster for around where you live and you can see which constituency they are running in.
If the candidate has ever been in the Dail or the Seanad you can use KildareStreet to read about anything that is recorded (debates, questions &answers) in the Dail or the Seanad. The website is uses software created by MySociety, a UK-based charity, they pull in the data from a Oireachtas website. You might ask the question why not just use the Oireachtas website, well give it a try and you’ll find it very quickly. KildareStreet is built to be easy to use, to make the information accessible, the Oireachtas website was built to achieve the political goal of transparency.
3. Election Literature websites
There are two eleciton literature websites out there, one is run by the same people who run KildareStreet, electionleaflets.mygov.ie
The other seems to be a little more successful irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com
The idea is the same, if you receive a leaflet from a politician, you can scan or photograph the leaflet and send it to either of these sites and they will post it up for everyone to see. It creates a record of the leaflets so that politicians are accountable for everything they’ve said in the past and also allows you to read literature was never put in your door.
Dailwatch allows constituents to put public questions to their elected representatives and then keeps their answers, very handy when it comes to election time. It also keeps a track of all the votes that happen in the Dail and displays how each politician voted on their profile. The idea comes from a German charity called ParliamentWatch.
VoteWatch Europe does exactly as the name suggests, you can view the voting record of each MEP.
If you are aware of any other sites that give information on candidates please comment below and I’ll add them to the post.