Abstract: When the Polimeter (https://www.polimeter.org/en) was invented 10 years ago at the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Quebec City, there were four main goals: (1) track election pledges in Quebec (starting in 2013) and Canada (starting in 204) in real time to provide citizens, journalists, politicians, and experts with reliable, independent data on election pledges and their fulfillment; (2) generate data for comparative research regarding pledge fulfillment in Canada and internationally; (3) publish edited books on each mandate as well as academic journal articles; and (4) provide young researchers with training and, when possible, early experience in publishing both for academic and general public audiences. The Polimeter is grounded in the methodology of the Comparative Party Pledge Project (https://comparativepledges.net/) to allow for tracking and sharing data during mandates then finalizing verdicts and the end of mandates. By 2019-2020, the Polimeter expanded to track pledges in New Brunswick and Ontario, generating additional data. The Polimeter data contributed to various academic journal articles, book chapters published with the CPPP, conference papers, and a series of edited books assessing the mandates of governments in Quebec (Couillard/PLQ, Legault/CAQ) and Canada (Trudeau I published in 2019 and Trudeau II & III forthcoming) . There have also been PhD theses using this data. The panelists are invited to present their reflections on the Polimeter, its fulfillment of its own goals, its strengths, weaknesses, and future challenges. They are invited to reflect on broader considerations about the potential impact of the tool on democracy through the responses of citizens, journalists and politicians.
NOTE: I will finalize the participants if the panel is accepted. We hope to have panelists including users and producers of Polimeter data. I would like to invite graduate students who work on the Polimeters, professors who used the data for their publications, one professor who is new to our book projects, and one who has participated in all of our book projects. If possible, I will recruit one of the many journalists who use our data as well. I began with Dominic Duval who was the first graduate student to work on the Polimeter and who is now a professor at UQAM. Yannick Dufresne joined the Polimeter in 2017 where he leads the development of digital infrastructure and coaches graduate students working on related projects. Frédérick Bastien has supported the Polimeter through grants from the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship.
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