Political directory – User manual
This notice, related to WeCitizens’ Political Directory, does not supercede the various texts concerning the « General Conditions » and « Privacy Rules » governing our website.
Free access enables the user :
- to see who is mentioned in the Political Index : access to all records.
- to consult a limited number of items for a specified profile (as long as the information is available) : name, photo, political party, age, gender, locality, slogan, personal success, political priorities, mandates.
- to carry out advanced searches or consult our Voters Advice Application (VAA)
Quality of the information
WeCitizens provides a platform enabling all the political players to gain wider recognition. They can register and update their personal profile free of charge at any time. “WeCitizens” is not, however, able to oblige the political players to provide a comprehensive profile. WeCitizens will do its utmost to collect all and any publicly available information insofar as this is not protected by intellectual copyright.
The degree of “completeness” of a political player’s personal profile is shown as a percentage point.
The index contains a record for the following :
- all the Belgian politicians who have had a seat in the European, Federal and Regional parliaments during the current and previous legislature;
- the political parties and social interlocutors;
- the mayors ;
- a majority of the candidates who had put their names forward for the May 25, 2014 elections.
Any user who observes a mistake, some missing information or some other anomaly is requested to advise us of this by contacting our website using the “contact” button.
« WeCitizens » calls on the generosity of its many donors and volunteers to help develop the tools of transparency which underpin politics in Belgium.
How to carry out advanced searches :
There are three ways to find a political player’s profile :
- type in (part of ) a name (= simple search)
- request a filtered list ( = advanced search)
- fill in the questionnaire for « WeCitizen »’s VAA. This will enable you to find candidates within an electoral constituency who have been listed according to the closeness of their answers to your own, on condition of course that they have answered the questionnaire.
In the event of an advanced search regarding a specific profile (filters A and B) :
- the user receives a selection (free of charge) in the form of successive screens containing 10 photos. The use of a smartphone does not allow access to the photos but does give a full list of names which can then be clicked on to show the personal profile;
- the uploadable Excel chart showing a selection of the political players and their personal details (at the very least, an email address) is paid for via PayPal at € 1.95 (flat rate) plus an additional € 0.32 for each selected political player. The users who are connected via a « login » are granted a 25% discount on this price.
In the event of an advanced search involving filter C (concerning the various options) :
- the user receives (free of charge) a list of maximum 20 lines and maximum half of the total sample of the selected political players. Each line shows the name of the political player and the available information regarding his/her opinion on the question which has been submitted;
- the uploadable Excel chart containing all the information is paid for via PayPal at a cost of € 1.95 (flat rate) plus an additional € 0.32 for each selected political player. The users who have connected via a “login” are granted a 25 % discount on this price. In addition to the opinion of each political player, the Excel chart contains his/her personal details insofar as these are available.
Membership of WeCitizens is necessary (or a licence has to be purchased) in order to gain access to all the information available for each profile : contact details, CV, electoral score, political initiatives and opinions, etc.
The licence costs € 35 p.a., all taxes included. The membership fee varies according to each category. A basic membership fee costs €15 p.a. The rates can be consulted in the french version.
It is also possible to purchase a group licence which enables all the members of staff of a company or an institution to gain access to the “WeCitizen” data base. In this case, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explanations regarding certain columns
When a date has been chosen, for example, to determine whether someone had a political mandate, the result shows all those who carried out this function for at least one day during the chosen year.
Member of a parliament
When a candidate has been elected but does not sit effectively in the parliament, he/she is considered to be a member of parliament for one day (the day of the elections).
Answers given by the political players to WeCitizens’ political questions
We publish the answers which the players have given us, without a systematic check of the match between their answers and their subsequent behaviour. Within a process of collegial decision-taking, a person may approve a decision which goes against their professed opinions. Any mismatch between the answer given to our questions and their actual vote in Parliament has to be analysed with discretion.
When statistics are published on the internet with regard to the Member of Parliament’s parliamentary business, we refer to this page. Otherwise, we refer the user to the Member of Parliament’s file on the way he/she has voted in that parliament.
Some practical examples
1. How has the proportion of women changed in the Federal Chamber of Representatives ?
Select [Chambre+2013+women] to see the number of women who sat in the previous legislature .
Select [Chambre+2013] to see the total number of federal representative (members of parliament.
Select [Chambre +today+women]/[ Chambre +today].
2. Who are the political players living in my postal code, wathever their political roles?
Just select « code postal » (Postal Code).
3. Who are the French-speaking ministers under 40 years of age ?
Select three criteria : (Member of a government + today ) (language) (age).
4. The list of social representatives and their contact details ?
Select ”Trade Union or Professional federation” and “Social spokesman”.
Click on a name to see the personal details or purchase the Excel chart via Paypal.
5. How many mayors are also Members of Parliament ?
Select the criteria (member of a parliament-today) and (Mayor).
6. Which political players from the Province of Liège mentioned Education as one of their political priorities ?
Select the criterion « Home (ZIP code) » : select >3999 and <5000.
Select the criterion (political priorities) : select (Education).
7. Who are the most popular unelected 2014 candidates ?
Make sure that the point “holds a political function today” is not filtering: click on both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
Criteria : “member of parliament-2015” and “member of a government – 2015” : not a member.
“Candidate for the élections of 2014”: candidate in whatever election.
“Electoral score – penetration level”: greater than 4 % (e.g.).
NB : “WeCitizens” is unable to guarantee that all the popular unelected candidates are listed.