An attempt to measure political influence computationally

Today Matti Nelimarkka and Mari Marttila presented their preliminary work on trying to measure how much interest groups affected the Finnish government policy statement (in Finnish hallitusohjelma) during and after the 2015 elections.

Their approach was rather simple: trying to examine textual similarities between the government policy statement and any of the interest group policy statements. In practice, this leads about 15,000,000 comparisons.

As can be seen from the initial work, there are a lot of documents with no influence (right side) and some documents which had rather large impact. In Matti’s view, the initial impressions on the workshop were surprisingly positive, not only regarding the results but also on the needs of computational politics.