With a growing economy, government revenue is increasing. This can be put back into the economy in the form of tax cuts or increased spending on public services, or it can be used to reduce the national debt.
Should high earners pay more tax than they currently do?
There are two income tax rates: the standard rate of 20% applies to all income up to a certain amount (€33,800 for a single person); and the higher rate of 40%, applies to all income earned over that amount. The Universal Social Charge is also payable at different rates depending on income.
The Department of the Environment provides funding to local authorities for Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes), but many local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition.
Should the state do more to cover the cost of childcare?
The cost of childcare in Ireland is high by international standards. From September 2016, children over the age of three will be entitled to free pre-school for three hours a day. Beyond that it is up to parents to pay.
Should we accept more refugees in Ireland than we currently do?
In response to the migrant crisis, the current government has agreed to accept more refugees. However, Ireland still takes a relatively small number of refugees compared to some EU countries (such as Germany and Sweden).
Some argue that greater integration is necessary to tackle EU-wide issues such as the financial crisis and the migrant crisis, while others believe that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states.
Should we sign up to the EU’s targets on reducing emissions?
The European Commission wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Some groups are opposed to this because they believe it would have a negative impact on certain sectors, such as agriculture.
Currently only the government can call a referendum. In some countries, citizens can initiate a referendum to introduce or overturn legislation or amend the constitution, once a certain number of signatures are collected.
We’re committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We fully respect an individual’s right to privacy and actively seek to preserve the privacy rights of those who share information with us. Any personal information which is volunteered to us will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality.
This policy explains what information we collect about candidates who use our website and how we use it. Any questions should be sent to email@example.com.
WhichCandidate is an independent website that aims to provide information to voters on the policy views of election candidates and political parties in Ireland during specific election campaigns. The policy positions of candidates are provided by the candidates themselves or by their political party.
WhichCandidate is run by academics at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick as an educational tool, provided free of charge to voters.
Legal Basis for Processing
WhichCandidate relies on the following legal bases for the processing of personal data:
Consent of candidates through their voluntary submission of their personal data so that we may fulfil our purpose outlined above.
The performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
What types of information do we collect on candidates?
WhichCandidate aims to provide a profile page for all officially registered candidates in a given election. The default information provided on these profile pages are
A photograph of the candidate (from the candidate’s official twitter account or campaign website, both of which are publicly available)
Links to candidate’s official and publicly available social media or web sites
For party-affiliated candidates, the positions of the candidate’s party on a range of policy issues. These positions are supplied to us by the parties who respond to our policy survey.
All officially registered candidates can voluntarily register on our site using their personal email account and edit their profile page. Candidates are responsible for keeping their user passwords confidential. By registering on the site, candidates can provide voters with information about their campaign. Candidates can also complete the policy questions, or they can alternatively continue to have their party policy positions displayed on their profile page. Candidates can also choose to provide their contact information on their profile page, such as email address.
If you have a profile page on the site, you can edit your information at any time by logging in, or you can withdraw your consent to processing and request to have your profile removed by contacting Rory Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is information on candidates used?
This information will be publicly available on the website for the purposes of informing the general public. An anonymised version of the completed questionnaire will be stored in a secure location by the University of Limerick and may be used for research purposes, for example research on political representation.
Candidates’ email addresses, used to log-in to the site, will be stored in a secure location at the University of Limerick and will not be shared with third parties. Candidates’ email addresses will only be used for the purpose described above and will stored only as long as the candidate has a profile page on the website.
Candidates are responsible for keeping their user passwords confidential. The operator reserves the right to delete a candidate’s account or to block content in the event of incorrect information or misuse of any kind. The operate assumes no liability for errors in information entered by candidates on their profile page.
What type of information is collected from visitors to the site?
WhichCandidate does not collect any identifying information about web visitors on this website. If you answer the policy survey on the website, or if you complete the optional questionnaire at the end of the survey, we will retain this information for research purposes (described below). None of these questions ask for information that could identify the user.
WhichCandidate uses New Relic to collect anonymous performance data to help us analyse technical performance and troubleshoot errors. We have configured New Relic to not collect cookies or personal data. See New Relic cookies used by Browser
How is information on website visitors used?
The anonymous information collected on web visitors is used for the following purposes:
Answers provided to the policy questions are used to provide information to users on their match with election candidates.
Answers provided to the policy questions and to the optional questionnaire are used for academic research on public opinion and political representation.
Answers provided to the policy questions and to the optional questionnaire are shared with election candidates on an non-partisan basis, at no charge, to help improve the policial system.
Information collected by New Relic is used to monitor technical performance of the website.
For technical reasons, we use session cookies on our website, which are stored on your hard disk for the duration of the link. We also use session cookies to retrace usage behaviour in anonymised form. The anonymised usage data is recorded, processed and used only in order to gear our website to users' needs. These session cookies are not used to collect any personal information about you. Session cookies are automatically deleted as soon as you leave our website or the dialog is ended. When using our website, you can decide whether you wish to accept or decline these cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. However, if session cookies are disabled on your browser, you may not be able to use certain features or sections of our website. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.
You have the right to withdraw your consent to processing and request to have your candidate profile erased/deleted by contacting Rory Costello at email@example.com
You have the right to request a rectification to your personal data or to restrict our processing of your personal data.
You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data.
You have a right of access to your personal data which we process on your behalf. You may request access by contacting Rory Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org
You have a right to lodge a complaint about our processing of your personal data to the Data Protection Commission by contacting them on email@example.com
Frequenty Asked Questions
What is WhichCandidate?
WhichCandidate is a ‘voting advice application’ that allows voters to compare their own policy views with those of the candidates standing for election.
It aims to inform voters about the policy positions of candidates and to help voters to make a more informed voting decision.
How does it work?
A set of relevant policy issues are selected by the research team in advance of the election. Election candidates are contacted to complete a questionnaire on these issues. Each participating candidate is given a public profile on the website, incorporating their answers to the questionnaire.
Voters who visit the website are asked the same set of questions, and their answers are compared with the answers of the candidates. A customised results page is then presented to each user, containing a ranking of candidates ordered by how closely their answers match.
How is the ranking calculated?
First, we calculate the proximity of a user to a candidate on each question. To give an example, a question might have three answer options: Agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Disagree. Proximity can in this case be either:
1 (if the user and candidate select the same answer)
0.5 (if one selects the middle option and the other selects Agree or Disagree)
0 (if one selects Agree and the other selects Disagree)
We then take the average proximity between the user and candidate across all the questions that the user has answered. If for example a user has a proximity score of 0.5 to a candidate across all questions, the overall match with this candidate is expressed as 50%.
Some issues are more important to me than others. Can this be taken into account?
You first select the issues that are important to you, and you are then presented with questions related to those issues. You will only be matched with candidates on those issues. In addition, if there are any specific questions that you are not interested in, you can simply select 'no opinion' and they will be excluded from calculation.
Some candidates appear to be missing
We endeavoured to contact all declared candidates. Some candidates have declined to share their policy views with us and are not featured on the website. If you would like to see more candidates from your area on the website, please urge them to contact us and complete the survey.
If you are a candidate and were not contacted by us, please let us know.
Is it independent?
WhichCandidate is not associated with any political party or election candidate. It is run by researchers at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. It is supported by funding from the Irish Research Council.
Who do I contact?
Any queries or feedback on WhichCandidate can be sent to Rory Costello at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick