Average Annual Turnout for Swiss Referendum Votes, 1879-2013

31 10 2012

Turnout rates for Swiss referendum votes went down after the Second World War to low annual averages of fifty and then even forty percent during the 1970ies and 1980ies. During that time many cantons changed institutional incentives. With the exception of the canton of Schaffhausen they all dropped compulsory voting. Over time three further overlapping trends can help to explain turnout variations: 1) short-term referendum votes on topics such as the relation of Switzerland to Europe or the EU as well as ballots related to immigration and foreigners can boost participation; 2) mid-term a lack of competition between political parties (during the politically very stable phase of the ‘magic formula’ for the distribution of parties in government) can have a demobilizing effect on voters; 3) long-term women are tending to participate at equal rates as men or even more often. Older women who did not grow up with full political rights and thus tend to participate much less than men are slowly disappearing from the electorate.




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17 08 2014
Nigel Farage shows a brief glimpse of sanity and promises ‘direct democracy’… But the rest of his policies are still horrifying. | angry meditations

[…] collected from Election Guide here and here for the Switzerland, and from UK Political Info here and here for the […]

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