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Image: Votomatic.ie

Having trouble deciding on the Seanad vote? This handy site might give you a steer...

Basically a quick online ‘Cosmo quiz’ quiz, Votomatic.ie is aimed at cutting through the spin and helping voters work out their position on the abolition of the upper house.
Sep 19th 2013, 6:30 AM 7,316 53

WE’RE JUST OVER two weeks out from the Seanad referendum; the unlikely alignment of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin are all campaigning for the abolition of the upper house, while Fianna Fáil want it to be kept and reformed.

Debate is expected to intensify in the lead up to 4 October. And with that mind, two political enthusiasts have launched a site this morning that aims to cut through the parties’ claims and counter-claims and help voters decide where they stand.

Votomatic.ie basically puts together a list of seven questions to put to people,” co-creator Darragh O’Connor told TheJournal.ie.

“The choice of questions is based on the Government and other parties’ positions, taken from their online material, speeches and so on.

“You go through the options, and the site tells you at the end where you stand — if you’re a traditionalist, an abolitionist or a reformer.”

The site differs from the referendum in that three final options are given, and O’Connor said the feedback they’d received during the site’s trial period indicated a sizeable proportion of people would be in favour of keeping the upper house and reforming it.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of his party’s Seanad campaign (Photocall Ireland)

Votomatic’s Seanad incarnation aims to build on the site’s success during the last general election.

According to O’Connor: “Over 100,000 took the quiz then, and it ended up getting a lot of national attention in the media.

“Voters were given around fifteen policy statements in a range of different areas like health and finance and asked for their feedback.

“People who might have considered themselves, say, a hardcore Sinn Féin voter would have found they didnt’ agree with a lot of the party’s actual policies.

O’Connor and the site’s other co-creator, Michal Boleslav Mechura, are also discussing plans to offer a Europe-wide version of Votomatic in the run up to next year’s EU elections.

He says the long term aim of the project is to “start conversations” and help people engage with issues raised in referendums and elections. The site is run on a not-for-profit basis.

You can take the quiz here.

More: Here’s how the Dáil will pass legislation if the Seanad is abolished >

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