News / Edmonton

Edmonton developer's website helps you access your inner political junkie

The site uses the open data catalogue to track every council vote. Users can check votes on a given issue, or see everything a councilllor has voted for and against — and even check their attendance.

Troy Pavlek displays his website yegvotes.info, which shows how councillors vote.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Troy Pavlek displays his website yegvotes.info, which shows how councillors vote.

An Edmonton software developer is combining his interest in municipal politics and the city’s Open Data Catalogue.

Troy Pavlek created yegvotes.info to help residents track their city councillors’ votes.

He said he wanted something that would help people dig into city politics, without having to become political junkies.

“I made a site that allows you to go as deep as you like, to understand what council does and how they vote,” he said.

The site uses the open data catalogue to track every council vote. Users can check votes on a given issue, or see everything a councilllor has voted for and against — and even check their attendance.

Pavlek said he’s interested in the Uber debate and was frustrated that media coverage made it appear council was unified on the issue.

“All these papers were portraying council as a single entity,” he said. “There are 12 councillors and a mayor, and I didn’t understand if my councilllor, Mike Nickel, if he was for or against it.”

After several split votes on amendments when it was last before council, Nickel did vote in favour of first reading on the proposed vehicle for hire bylaw before council.

Coun. Andrew Knack said he sees the new site as another way for people to stay engaged.

“It just helps give everyone a little more information,” he said.

Knack said it’s also another example of how successful the city’s open data strategy has been. 

“The more you see projects like this, the more it justifies why the city is so invested [in open data] and why we have a whole strategy around that,” he said.

Pavlek said he hopes people see the site as a way to get engaged with politics. 

“I really want people to understand that municipal politics isn’t really boring. It’s the most accessible form of politics.”

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