Article: article from journal or magazin.
Can PR voting serve as a shelter against declining turnout ? : Evidence from Swiss municipal elections
International Political Science Review
To assess the impact of electoral systems on voting turnout, cross-national studies can be usefully complemented by studies of turnout in local elections in countries using more than one electoral system at that level. In this article, we look at data from a 1998 survey of Swiss municipalities to revisit the findings of our earlier study. This previous study, based on a 1988 survey, concluded, in particular, that there exists a positive relationship between proportional representation elections, party politicization, and voter turnout. The moment is opportune since, in the interval, turnout has markedly declined in Swiss municipalities, as elsewhere. By testing whether municipalities with proportional representation voting were more or less successful in stemming the decline, we learn more about the relationship among these three phenomena. We use the results for those Swiss municipalities which participated in both surveys as our primary source.
Local political parties, municipalities, participation, proportional representation voting, voting system, voting turnout
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