From Text to the Construction of Political Party Landscapes
This chapter describes a new, hybrid methodology to measure and code party positions on salient political issues. This new method combines expert-judgements based on text analysis with self-placement of parties. The resultant reliable party positions can be used to construct online applications that help voters to decide which party is closest to their own political preferences. The chapter presents the methodology used to identify salient issues and to frame these issues into statements to which users of the online tools are asked to respond. Furthermore, consideration is given to how relevant party documentation is identified and how these textual sources are used to calibrate political parties on the issues. Finally, the chapter discusses the methodological problems of aggregating voters’ opinions into an easy-to-understand output.