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From e-voting to smart-voting : e-Tools in and for elections and direct democracy in Switzerland
Working paper de l'IDHEAP
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To what extent do and could e-tools contribute to a democracy like Switzerland? This paper puts forward experiences and visions concerning the application of e-tools for the most traditional democratic processes- elections and, of special importance in Switzerland, direct-democratic votes.Having the particular voting behaviour of the Swiss electorate in mind (low voter turnout - especially among the youngest age group, low political knowledge, etc.) we believe that e-tools which provide information in the forefront of elections or direct-democratic votes offer an enormous service to the voter. As soon as e-voting will be possible in Switzerland (as planned by the government), those e-tools for gathering information online will become indispensable and will gain power enormously. Therefore political scientists should not only focus on potential effects of e-voting itself but rather on the combination of (connected)e-tools of the pre-voting and the voting sphere. In the case of Switzerland, we argue in this paper, the offer of VAAs such as smartvote for elections and direct-democratic votes can provide the voter with more balanced and qualitatively higher information and thereby make a valuable contribution to the Swiss democracy.
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