Monday, June 28, 2021

Which Edmonton City Councillor are you?

I've done this before, and had so much fun with it that I'm happy to once again present: 

A Buzzfeed-style quiz to get you more in touch with your elected representatives!

(it's totally ok if that doesn't excite you as much as it excites me)

Without further ado, here is a quiz for you to play around with. All decision points in the quiz are pulled from real votes in the 2017-2021 city council term, with information and sources provided.


Hopefully that was fun!

Like I said, I've done this before for Edmonton and London, and London was far more excited about it. The work that goes into these is an interesting mix of politics, whimsy, and data work.

The first step is to analyze the City of Edmonton open data set for Votes and Proceedings. For no discernable reason, the data set this term is inconsistent and halfway changes how votes are recorded, as well as changing how councillors are named. It's not particularly tricky to deal with, but it did have to be massaged a bit to be in a consistently usable format.

For this quiz, there's not much point in looking at unanimous procedural votes, so I focused on the 921 (at time of writing) non-unanimous votes. In an ideal world, a set of yes-no choices should require four or fewer questions in order to neatly sort into 13 possible answers (assuming approximately even splitting at each decision point). However, it's much more interesting and easy to answer the quiz when the questions are relevant and engaging. 

Most of the examples I chose for this quiz have news stories attached, which in my mind was a sign of that I'd found adequately interesting votes to base this on, and as a result a user on the quiz can get to a councillor with anywhere from three to five questions, which I was satisfied with. 

Hopefully you are too, because at one point in the design of this quiz one of the leading optimal votes was "That City Council waive the rules on providing notice of motion as set out in section 32 of Bylaw 18155 - Council Procedures Bylaw to allow Councillor S. Hamilton to make a motion without notice regarding the aerial mosquito program." It would've made things work so well but, well, it's hard to really care about it.

Each of the final results in the quiz genuinely leads to member of City Council who voted in the same unique way as the answers you provided. One assumption was made, which was that while Mike Nickel did not vote on his own censure, it was assumed that he would have voted no if he was forced to. 

Hope you had fun!

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