Update: I added the DTA manifesto too. 

So I decided to generate a quick word cloud from the two biggest parties’ manifestos. Word clouds are fun because they can tell you at a glance what a document focuses on; which words crop up more often than others. Here we can use them as an informal way of looking at the issues these parties talk about in what is really their major declaration of their intentions, policy-wise.

Note though, they can be misleading and are by no means a rigorous appraisal of what these parties’ priorities are.

Here’s why: When making this word cloud, I had to pick to what extent I wanted exact matches for words or put similar ones into the same category: in other words, do “agriculture” and “agricultural” count as two different categories, or as one? What about “farming”? If a word has many different versions, it may not even show up in the count, while others seem large. So, for example, there are many ways of talking about business (industry, entrepreneurship, commerce, etc) while there is only one way of talking about HIV. Even if the focus is on the economy, not health, it may seem like HIV is the main issue because the attention on the economy gets ‘spread’ across different words. Just an example, but still, please don’t take these too seriously.

But still, they’re a lot of fun to look at. Click on an image to see an enlarged version.

First, here’s the one for SWAPO:




And here’s the cloud for the RDP:


Finally, the DTA:


Alternative, more colourful layouts: SWAPORDP, DTA.


More comparisons to follow.