# Phase 3 – The Parties
(after building your team)
It is important to get the parties on board. Normally, one party alone has no choice but to participate. You wouldn't want to be the only party missing! But if multiple parties are uninterested, you have a serious problem. You should not run an election compass with some parties missing (one or two small parties might be tolerable).
- Select a date where at least a part of your team is available (in about 2 - 3 weeks).
- Find a suitable room with a projector.
- Send out invitations to all parties participating in the election.
- Send our invitations to the press.
- Ask for a meeting and give them a rough idea what you are planning (now the reputation of your institution plays it's part).
- When meeting the parties, you can use the following agenda:
- Welcome everbody
- Present your idea
- Present your team
- Inform them about the timeline and what will happen next
- Listen to their feedback and take time to answer their questions
- (Hopefully) get their approval and support!
- Get some contact details
- One day after the meeting, send them the most important information and thank them for participating.
# A small party doesn't want to participate
That can happen. What's most important, is that you give everyone a fair chance. If a small party doesn't want to participate, that's sad but you can still run your election compass as planned.
# A big party doesn't want to participate
You can try to persuade them friendly. Ask for a smaller meeting in person. If that doesn't help, you can gently build a little pressure by making sure that the press writes about that. Some parties also have youth organizations that might think differently and have a better angle to persuade the party. Don't try to hard though or you will force the party into attack mode.
# Multiple parties don't want to participate
This is probably rather rare, but it can still happen. Some parties are afraid of election compasses. You can try to persuade them (see above), but if that doesn't help, you should switch tactics. Given that they don't have good reasons against participating, if multiple parties are not cooperating, it's a sign that there is something wrong with their understanding of democracy. Especially now, you should proceed with your plans. There are multiple ways to run a voting advice application. You can let the parties answer and position themselves, or you can do it for them (more on that in Phase 6). Read their official programs and extract their positions. This should really be done by political scientists though!