Jerry Weyer, a Luxembourgish politician, activist and digital entrepreneur, recently published a detailed catalogue of over 1,100 currently elected politicians in Luxembourg on the new website elus.lu.
Speaking to Chronicle.lu about the motivation behind this endeavour, Jerry Weyer explained that with the upcoming elections in 2023, he was regularly researching the composition of municipal councils on the municipality websites or looking through Luxembourg's statistics institute STATEC's data in order to determine the election system of a particular municipality. He felt it was too complicated to find this essential data and therefore decided to create a reference website of his own.
The aim, Mr Weyer emphasised, was to allow people interested in Luxembourgish politics to easily find information about their elected representatives, at local, national and European levels and to display any related data he could find. He reasoned that it is important to have a good overview of this kind of information in order to discuss the upcoming elections and make an informed choice.
Naming the project was difficult but Jerry Weyer settled on "elus" (meaning "elected officials" or "elected representatives" in French) as "it describes the scope of the application, is a short URL and was available as a domain name". Regarding the project itself, Mr Weyer relied on the publicly available data at data.public.lu to display the localities of a municipality (North, South, Centre and East). "The data is well structured and it was relatively easier", however, as he pointed out, "the main challenge was to collect the data of the elected people at municipal level". He extracted the municipal elected representatives' data from Syvicol's "Annuaire des Communes" which took him about two weeks. He then cross-checked the data with the municipal websites; there are 102 municipalities in Luxembourg.
It took about a month of work to get from the initial idea to the first public launch of the website. Elus.lu is available in four languages, namely French, German, English and Luxembourgish, and has an intuitive navigation, currently displaying information about 1,095 elected politicians at municipal level, 60 elected politicians at national level and six elected politicians at European level (Members of the European Parliament).
Discussing the next steps, Jerry Weyer confirmed that he plans to add the gender and age distribution of Members of Luxembourg's Parliament (deputies), for which he has already found the relevant data. He lamented that he could not find similar publicly available sources at municipal level, but expressed his hope that such data should be available in future, as it would be interesting to show the diversity of local representatives at this level.
Speaking further about diversity in local elections, Mr Weyer mentioned that it would be also interesting to include the diversity of nationalities of people elected at municipal level but again, he could not find such publicly available information.
As with any data collection and analysis, Jerry Weyer found some interesting facts, such as five politicians having identical names, politicians with an affiliation to the "Luxembourg-Campagne" canton, which does not officially exist, and most interesting of all, according to Mr Weyer, was that 39 (65%) out of 60 Members of Luxembourg's Parliament also held a municipal position or had a "double mandate".
Jerry Weyer concluded: "What is certain is that I will include the newly elected representatives once the elections are over [in 2023], as this is the main purpose of the application".