As the election approaches, more and more related discussions are taking place. They remind me of my experience as a first time voter at the age of 21.
🗳 In that year, a young man near our home staunchly emerged to challenge the long-serving incumbent village chief.
Our young friend was unafraid of the incumbent and offered some refreshing political views. He convinced me decide to use my very first vote to support his courage.
🏆 Unexpectedly, this young man won the election by one vote.
The opponent refused to accept the vote. However, this did not alter the outcome of the election. Thus, for the first time in Chih Nan Village, there was a new village chief.
🏁 When I saw the data after the deadline of the election registration, I think that had my friend been running for election now, he might be shocked by the intensity of the election. According to the statistics of the Central Committee, there are nearly 30,000 candidates vying for more than 10,000 elected places, including municipal mayors, municipal councilors, urban village chiefs, mountain aboriginal district chiefs and district resident representatives.
🔍 How do we find the right person in this vast sea of people?
This question is exactly what gnv “Vote Taiwan Voting Guide” project sponsor, Johnny (Luo Jincheng), has been pondering.
🎲 Johnny said that when he was young, he had no idea how to figure out the difference between legislators and members. He voted in accordance with his mother’s opinion, which “seems like a waste of our hard-won democracy.”
Stemming from this doubt, Johnny began to categorize the relevant public information and used data and source code for free open access, allowing everyone to work together.
🔢 When you click on the voting guide website, you can see, in addition to the candidate’s political views, information about the candidate’s personal property declarations, political contributions, and even their voting and proposal records during their past tenure. Everything is available at a glance.
In both the 2014 and 2016 elections for the legislature and legislators’ elections, Johnny had launched the “Voting Guide”. This year is the third time that he has launched the project.
📈 After integrating and structuring, these precious materials are shared by Internet users. In the last two elections, up to 400,000 people had used them in the month prior to the election day. This demonstrates that the demand for such materials in Taiwan’s society is extremely high.
It is gratifying to see that this year the project has received the support of the g0v Citizenship Science and Technology Innovation Award and the Kindle Citizen Platform. They have strengthened the design and publicity of the existing foundation. Even people who are not familiar with citizen technology can use it beneficially. Their cooperative experience is undoubtedly another example of social innovation.
🙋 Johnny said on the website, “Even if a democratic system is a good system, it must still have some shortcoming somewhere.”
I think what the voting guide has supplemented is a “political resume”. It is like a compass that helps us find a reliable candidate, similar to the way I voted for the youthful chief candidate all those years ago.