The purpose of this program is to simulate the Spanish electoral system in order to get objective insight on how it works despite the myths that exist about what is better to do on election day.
Some common myths and questions which are quite common within the spanish society are:
- When I vote to a minor party, is it a loose of force to avoid some evil major party? Should I vote to a less evil major party?
- Who gets benefited or damaged when anyone does not vote, votes blank, null, or does a protest vote to a system protesting party?
- Is the electoral threshold actual damaging minor options? Is that possible in a given election?
Using this program you can simulate vote flows from one option to another, being the options not just parties but also abstention, blank and null votes.
You can also review historical results and use that data to establish a worse case scenario for each so you can keep the faithful voters when simulating vote flows.
This program was started by the 15M movement activists in Sant Joan Despí (Barcelona, Spain) to provide objective arguments about what is worth to do or not on the 2011 Spanish Congress elections, with the hope that although our electoral and political system is quite unfair, we could find holes that we can use to empower our democracy.
How to use it
The program comes with several data sets of past elections you can move from one to another and compare the results. Also with some extreme hypothesis on the next election but with real data about candidatures and electoral census.
The three pie charts above are, from left to right: 1. What every citizen choses to do, including abstention. 2. Proportion of candidatures (removing nulls, blank and abstentions) 3. Distribution of seats
In the middle of the application, you can find some buttons to:
- move from one election case to another
- transfer votes from one option to another
- You can use the drop box or left and right click the transfer sides on the charts.
- save the modified results
- create a renamed copy of the case
- revert the changes to the last saved state of the case
If you want to incorporate more data from the ministry or hypotetical cases than the ones included, there is how:
Data consists in a set of tab separated files. Each column must have 4 fields even if they are empty. The header, which is ignored stands for Siglas, Vots, Escons, Candidatures Which stands for Acronym, Votes, Seats, Candidature The first rows represents special options with special meaning: censo: means census, its 'votes' means the whole number of citizen with electoral rights, its 'seats' mean the available ones to elect and 'Candidature' is used to put the whole case description. participacion: means the voters that exercised their voting rights. Its 'votes' field is a redundant double check field. abstencion: The voters that didn't exercise their voting rights. Its 'votes' is also redundant for double checking. nulos: The votes that were not emitted properly. blancos: The votes that were emitter without ballot in the envelope.
If other than 'censo' have 'seats', envote will consider it a real case and will be a read only case (you cannot overwrite it).
Indeed this data is thought to be easily converted from Ministry official data which can be found here: http://www.infoelectoral.mir.es/min/home.html http://www.ine.es/oficina_censo/cifras_electores.htm The original files of the included data are in sourceData.
- 'originalData' holds original xls files downloaded from the ministry (to be compared if any file gets altered)
- 'cookedData' holds ods files with one election case each sheet with the four columns format explained above.
- 'data' holds csv (tab separated table data) with is handled directly by envote.
To convert cookedData into envote data you can use the generateData.sh script which is in the from cookedData. It is a Unix/Linux shell script.