For Sudanese voters who are overwhelmed by the long list of candidates and the number of votes they will have to face in April, the “Sudan Electionnaire” could provide some needed navigation through the labyrinth of Sudanese politics. (At least for the small majority of the population who are literate and the very few who have access to the Internet.)
Created by Media in Cooperation and Transition in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the University of Khartoum, the Electionnaire is a quiz that aims to help voters figure out how their political beliefs align with those of the parties participating in the upcoming elections. It does so by matching the participant’s answers to 30 questions (in English and Arabic) on the large political, economic, and social issues of the election season, to those of 17 political parties.
Questions range from political theory (ex: Should larger and stronger states be created within the federal system instead of smaller states?), to the everyday (Should more goods of basic need be directly subsidized by the government?), to questions about the effectiveness of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Interim National Constitution—the main documents governing the political and economic arrangements in Sudan after the civil war—in rectifying the economic and political inequities since their writing in 2005.
The Electionnaire uses your answers (yes, no, or neutral) to compile a ranking of parties—starting with the party that answered most similarly to you. The makers of the Sudan Electionnaire do offer a caveat: “You are, of course, not supposed to vote just according to this result. Rather, the tool is meant to offer you greater background information before you go to the ballot box.” Aside from the quiz, the Electionnaire page is an information gold mine, offering in-depth profiles of the 17 parties they feature, overviews of the major debates governing the elections, as well as links to all major treaties and laws relating to the elections. While accessible on the Internet, voter education on the ground has largely been ineffective—recently, the EU chief elections observer expressed concern over the lack of awareness among Sudanese voters. As the chief elections observer said, “And it’s difficult because…some people have never voted.”
Which Sudanese political party is most in line with your beliefs?
Photo: Voter registration booth in Juba, southern Sudan (Enough/Maggie Fick)