Comparison with the TrudeauMeter: Questions and Answers

The polimeter welcomes the recent arrival of TrudeauMeter. The Trudeau polimeter and the TrudeauMeter both monitor the fulfillment of Justin Trudeau’s election promises with the aim to increase the level of political information of citizens.

While pre-testing the Trudeau polimeter, we were asked questions about the differences between the polimeter and the TrudeauMeter.

Here is a summary of our answers.

(1) What is the main objective of the Trudeau polimeter and how does it differ from that of the TrudeauMeter?

The main objective of Trudeau polimeter is to produce valid and accurate verdicts about the level of fulfillment of Justin Trudeau's campaign promises to improve the evaluation made ​​of them by citizens, political parties and the media. The polimeter enables us to publish comparative research results that are subject to peer review by scientific committees. While we invite readers to comment on the accuracy of our verdicts, our goal is not to receive their opinions about the issues on which Justin Trudeau made ​​promises.

(2) Why are there almost twice as many promises in the Trudeau polimeter than in the TrudeauMeter?

Our method of promise identification was established by the Comparative Party Pledges Group (CPPG), an international consortium of university researchers interested in the fulfillment of election promises. The CPPG method gives clear and precise indications on this step of the analysis. The extraction of promises from party platforms follows a double-blind coding process by two experts trained in advance who do the coding work independently.

(3) Why does the wording of promises in the polimeter sometimes differ from the wording of the TrudeauMeter promises?

The CPPG method is to analyze only the promises found in electoral platforms. Since we are aware that the verdicts regarding promise fulfillment may depend on the wording of the latter, we take care to quote the promises in verbatim from the platform. In doing so, we respect the intentions of those who wrote the promises.

(4) Why do the verdicts of the polimeter sometimes differ from those of TrudeauMeter?

The CPPG method clearly defines and specifies the criteria for determining the verdicts about the level of promise fulfillment. For example, according to our method, the promise of hosting 25,000 Syrian government-assisted refugees has not been broken, but will be fulfilled in part as soon as a contingent of refugees are hosted on Canadian soil as pledged.

(5) Why doesn’t the Trudeau polimeter use the mandate letters as sources to justify its verdicts on promise fulfillment?

The mention of a promise in a mandate letter does not mean that any specific action has been taken to achieve it. Before declaring a promise as “kept”, "kept in part or in the works” or "broken”, we ensure that an explicit action or decision has been or is about to be taken by the government to either fulfill or abandon the promise.

(6) When was the polimeter created?

The polimeter has been in continuous operation since 2011. We tracked the pledge fulfillment of the Harper government elected in 2011, that of the Pauline Marois elected in 2012 and that of Philippe Couillard elected in 2014. We have accumulated extensive experience in analyzing the fulfillment of election promises.

The Polimeter team