Accessing data to view affinities in voting by Brazilian Senate Parliamentarians

The increase in citizen participation in the public sphere is directly dependent on information access related to the performance of elected representatives, especially with regard to their decisions in voting during their terms. Information Science can collaborate in this process, proposing and evaluating models of access to this information that can be obtained through data to be made available by the official sites of the Legislative Power in the Federal, State, and Municipal spheres.

This article proposes to analyze the process of collecting and usage of data on senator’s votes looking for the appropriation of this model for data collection and its use in other spheres.

Based on the data, the elaboration of an affinity matrix that allows the identification of the relationship between each of the parliamentarians with the others is analyzed, according to the similarities of the decisions taken in the general open votes.

It also analyzes the preparation of initial visualizations and the expansion of the scope of the research through the application of the data obtained in all affinities between parliamentarians and in obtaining an average affinity between parties, allowing new dimensions of analysis to the collected data.

The elaboration of the complete matrices of affinity relations between parliamentarians can provide a rich horizon of possibilities for the elaboration of new forms of visualization and analysis, increasing the visibility of parliamentary actions within society.


  1. Ricardo César Gonçalves Sant’Ana
  2. Fernando de Assis Rodrigues

Full text available at:

  1. Information & Society (Journal)
  2. Research Gate
Fernando de Assis Rodrigues, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., is a professor at Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil.