Methodology

Truthmeter provides analyses of the Election Programmes of the political parties through which the citizens could get insight into the activities and the results achieved in the mandate by the party they voted for. Truthmeter also analyses the fulfilment of the election promises and the accuracy of the statements politicians give.

Promises

The promises given in the Election Programmes are considered as separate entities on truthmeter.mk. In order to gain such status, the promise from the programme must include:

  • specific goals – results that the party intends to achieve after coming to/staying in power, as well as
  • measures – activities necessary to achieve the goal.

The promises with specific goals clearly state what the desired result is and enable the voter to clearly recognize when that result is achieved. It means that the expected result should be described in a clear, precise and unambiguous manner, with clearly determined parameters i.e. indicators that are the grounds for measuring the fulfilment of the promise. Precise parameters are those elements of the promise which clearly determine the essential properties (quantity, quality and comprising elements) of the set goal, which have to be satisfied in order to declare the goal fulfilled. Such parameters depend on the nature of the promise and can comprise:

  • Starting and ending magnitudes: if growth is promised in a certain area – precise parameters for the desired growth rates and development in reference to the current situation; the parameters comprise specific sums/percentages when it comes to promises from the financial scopes.
  • If qualitative improvements are promised in a certain area, the parameters must elaborate the promised progress in reference to the current situation. If the promised changes are not empirically measurable (i.e. by numbers (wider policies and strategies, social climate, culture, systems of value, international cooperation), then the parameters must include detailed descriptions of the expected changes with specific short term and long term measures.
  • Institutional parameters – if the promises are related to the legal frameworks, they should particularize the legislative acts, which will help the voter see what changes are being made, to what extent and through which acts. In the case of establishing new institutions, the parameters must detail their level and competences.
  • Pinpointing the mechanisms for monitoring and controlling the indicators of the implementation of the promises, unless that is already covered with the existing institutional mechanisms.
  • Parameters for determining the timeframe for the fulfillment of the promises.

The specific measures represent activities carried out by the promise giver in order to fulfil the given promise, via specific parameters showing that the set goal is be met. Regarding the goal itself, the activities can include:

  • Precise legal framework that will regulate the given area or problem
  • Announcement of a study/research, strategies, plans that will provide the promised result
  • Origin and amount of the resources that would secure the fulfillment of the goal
  • Deadlines for completion of the announced measures
  • Identifying the existing or announcing the establishment of new competent institutions which would implement the stated activities
  • Pinpointing the mechanisms for monitoring the implementation
  • Other activities that should be undertaken in order to fulfil the promise.

The promises which are illogical or given in a way that cannot be checked are marked as inconsistent.

Every identified promise is assessed by its level of fulfillment: fulfilled, partially fulfilled or unfulfilled:

  • Unfulfilled: If there is no activity regarding the given promise, i.e. there is nothing implemented within the deadline
  • Partially fulfilled: several activities are taken to fulfill the promise
  • Fulfilled: the promise is completely fulfilled
  • In progress: the work on the fulfillment of the promise has been started
  • Inconsistent: illogical promise or one that cannot be checked

The analyses and assessments of the promises are published on the Internet, and if possible, are also delivered to the parties. The promise givers, as well as the entire public, have to opportunity to read and to directly respond to all analyses, to file denials, to give remarks, suggestions and additional information and arguments that can lead to modification of the assessment of the promise, either by commenting under the article or by other forms of direct communication with the analyst team.

Statements

The statements given by politicians, public officials or other decision makers or public opinion creators given in the media or at public events are analyzed according to the same criteria within the deadline implied in the statement itself, whereupon they are assessed as:

  • Untrue – the statement is inaccurate
  • Half true – the statement is accurate, but it leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
  • True – the statement is accurate

 

Truthmeter.mk’s experts of various scopes are analyzing the promises of the political subjects and presenting them in an easy-to-read and an aggregated form, alongside with systematic statistic data.

At the moment, Truthmeter.mk contains promises given by the winning parties in the general elections of 2008 which of course had actual opportunity to fulfil those promises. Truthmeter is going to continue with its long term work and will monitor the fulfilment of the winning parties promises’ in the general elections of 2011 as well as the politicians’ statements that can be assessed as promises given between the general elections.

Truththmeter.mk’s main objective is to increase the cognizance of the citizens, media and NGOs, but also the cognizance of the parties and their members, who thereby have the opportunity to become familiar with the multiple aspects of the political process in Macedonia.

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