"I know what you've been voting last session..."
While every democratic institution's legitimacy relies on a duty of transparency, votes in the European Parliament have traditionally been very difficult to access and make sense of. Yet, a minute recording of such critical moments of parliamentary activity is essential for keeping Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) accountable. A clear record of their votes enables to see who is skipping the vote sessions, who always votes according to their groups' orders and who is capable of sometimes voting on their own; to differentiate those who actually care from those who only follow orders and/or defend specific interests...
European Parliament website only provides the votes in the form of improbably complex PDF files (requiring huge amounts of courage and time to get through, especially if you want to collect and assemble data across different votes), or cumbersome XML files (requiring computer programming skills and resources to go through)... How to better discourage anyone from caring about EU affairs?
Parltrack 2.0 makes these vote data accessible and reusable by and for everyone! It also offers a novel design for displaying the votes of each and every MEP in relation to each and every legislative dossier.
Looking at an example dossier like the nefarious 2019 copyright directive that enabled internet censorship through its #article13, one can see that the votes are not only ordered and visualized by political group, but also by the different Member States. Instantaneous lists of voters per group+countries are displayed when hovering the various parts of the "heatmap".
This way it has never been easier to make sense of the disparities of vote within a group, or within the Union as a whole and between Member States. This way of looking at votes could become a powerful tool for citizens to expose and hold their representatives accountable.
"One cannot care for the EU if they cannot clearly understand what is going on with the votes in the European Parliament. We are glad to break down the barriers of what seems like artificial complexity coming from the EP website, and make this data truly accessible to everyone!" declares Illich Poncho Sanchez, head-honcho scraping officer for Parltrack 2.0