Press

"Freedomvote": 10 questions about digital freedom for the Swiss national election

on:

In anticipation of the Swiss national parliament elections (Nationalrat- / Ständeratswahlen) on 18 October 2015, FSFE Switzerland starts the „Freedomvote“ campaign today, in cooperation with the "Swiss Open Systems User Group“ (/ch/open). The campaign offers an online portal that lists those candidates who will run for election, and their opinion towards Internet policy, Free Software, and open data formats.

The Freedomvote campaign aims to give voters guidance about the candidates who are running for election. For many voters nowadays, it is important what candidates think about aspects of Internet politics, such as freedom and user rights in the digital age. However, many politicians still try to avoid these topics. With its Freedomvote campaign, the FSFE Switzerland wants to change that and bring Internet policy topics and the use of Free Software into the political agenda. All candidates are invited to answer diverse questions affecting digital user rights, e-voting, net neutrality, open data, educational material, Free Software and encryption. In addition, candidates are welcome to explicitly explain their own position and provide answers to each question in a free text field. Based on the answers of the candidates, voters who care about digital rights, receive help to decide for whom they might vote for. To get the best results, it is also possible to set up one's own profile as a voter in order to match your distinct answers with those of the candidates.

„To answer the ten questions, candidates can use our platform directly themself and forward the answers via their party, or directly contact us" says Simon Wächter from Freedomvote, "what we hope for is active encouragement of candidates from all parties to our transparency initiative. The more who participate, the more can the campaign help to offer good guidance for the voters."

FSFE Switzerland sends out hundreds of mails and letters this week, to ask candidates for their participation. You can help them by additionally asking the candidates of your region about their participation, personally.

Besides the development and provision of Freedomvote by FSFE Switzerland and /ch/open, the campaign is supported by various civil rights organisations, such as Parldigi, Internet Society Switzerland Chapter, Opendata.ch, Digitalle Allmend, and Willhelm Tux. The underlying software of freedomvote.ch is self-developed and is published as Free Software.