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My research blog

I maintain two blogs, one to record my research and a second to express my thoughts on the history and current state of Western Civilization. You can access the later either through the website pull-down menu or by clicking on this link.

  • Writer's pictureGeorge Vascik

I am currently breaking my voting data down into milieu - Conservative, Catholic, Liberal, Socialist - as part of my work on Theodor Tantzen and the German Democrats. Temporally and intellectually consuming. I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine where to place the miniature splinter parties that collected votes, especially in the second half of the 1920s. 38 separate parties listed on the electors ballots! Press voices were apoplectic.

Along the way, I uncovered new polling place information the increases the accuracy of my data. One of the questions plaguing me has been the vast size of the polling places in southern Oldenburg 1. It seemed irrational that my polling places (Westerstede, Edewicht, Zwischenahn and Apen) were so large. Yesterday, reading an online PDF of Der Ämmerländer, available through the Landesbibliothek Oldenburg, I found that each of the four Ämter were divided into more realistically sized polling places. I was able to add 18 new places. In this way I can properly isolate the four larger Amt seats from their surrounding countryside. Sadly, only the 1919 issues of the newspaper are available online. I will need to return to Oldenburg. Boohoo.

Mid-February, ir looked like I was ready to use my data on my project on Theodor Tantzen and the German Democrats. Right On examination, I founds that some of my data was incomplete, particularly for the districts around the city of Oldenburg. I also compiled a list of all my missing results and diligently went back through the copies that i had made of polling place results. I was really assisted in this by PDFs of different Oldenburg newspapers published online by the Landesbibliothek Oldenburg (thanks!) I have described this process and some of the changes that I have made to my map and data on this site under "Current Projects".

One new matter. QGIS has been running quite slowly. I have learned that I can make it rune more smoothly if I correct the projects geometries. The checked geometries feature indicated that I had nearly 12,000 incorrect geometries. When I used the "fix" function, one error would be "fixed" while more would appear. I have begun to corrected this problem by systematically deleing individual polygons and creating new ones using a different method. What little I have been able to do, indicates that this will speed thing up considerably. I hgave also decided to experiment with new formats, i.e, SpatiaLite, PostGIS, as time permits.

  • Writer's pictureGeorge Vascik

I scrolled through the votes by polling place for the problematic second election of 1924. I found that when I ordered rows by polling place numbers and look at the handful of major cities, all of their votes were recorded on a row lower than they should have been. The errant entry was the village of Blandorf, quite high on the list. When I adjusted the row one up, all of the cities lined up. Searching towards the bottom of the data base, I found an entry for Blandorf with all of the correct voting information but somehow given an Oldenburg polling place number. Problem identified and solved.

While I had the early archived list of votes results, I took the opportunity to correct another shortcoming to my Project_Master. When I created the version that I am now using, I did not include the Reichstag elections for 1898 and 1907. Those votes have now been entered and my next step will be to calculate the percentage of votes cast in each place for the competing parties. Once that is finished, I will include the several special elections held in the Imperial period (when a deputy either died or resigned). I had not added the later in earlier version as they seemed to tax the permissible columns in xls. As I have added material lately, this does not seem to be a problem. I wonder what is different? If space is available, it might be interesting to find and add results for the presidential election of 1925 or the various plebiscites that were held during the Weimar era.

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