March 16, 2011 Campaigns and Political Participation
Announcements • Remember that essays are due this Thursday, March 17 at 4pm • All module information is available at www.jkarp.com/s2010 NOT webct!
Voter Turnout • Turnout in comparative perspective. What is low? • How (and why) does voter turnout change over time? • The role of age and education • Does low voter turnout matter?
Voting is the most common form of political participation • Many people also talk about politics and try to persuade others to vote • Very few participate in any other specific way.
Why do people vote? • Voting is the most common form of political participation. • Voting is a “collective good” which means that citizens can enjoy the benefits (ie. policies derived from electoral outcomes) without paying the costs. • Rational citizens may then choose not to vote. • Why then do people vote?
Trends in Voter Turnout in the US VAP=Voting age population (includes everyone over 18, non citizens, felons, etc; VEP=Voting eligible population
Theories of Voter Turnout • pB + D > C • B=collective benefits of voting (ie. Having desired candidate win) • P=Probability of deriving that benefit • D=Civic duty (or any other selective benefit) • C=Cost of voting
Impact of the (abolition) of Compulsory Voting on Turnout in the Netherlands
Party Mobilisation in Comparative Perspective (Reduced Cost/Increase Benefit)
Declining Benefits Source: Dalton (2004)
Are the media to blame? Source: Putnam (2000)
Political Participation in Comparative Perspective Source: Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES), Module 2, 2004
Summary • Can pB + D > C explain political engagement?