Among the wide range of theories explaining why some people vote and others do not, one is recently gaining particular popularity. This is the theory of voting as a habit (e.g. Plutzer, 2002; Franklin, 2004; Hooghe, 2004). The empirical evidence supporting this theory covers onlyWestern democracies, so the following question might be asked: is this pattern universal? In the case of old democracies, voting is a habit acquired gradually in a process which starts at the moment of the very first election one can cast the ballot. In new democracies the situation is different, as we can pinpoint the starting moment (first democratic election), which is the same for different voters and thus different age cohorts. In this paper we investigate voting as a habit in new democracies, using data from the Polish National Election Study. We find that voting in Poland has some habitual aspect; repeated voting brings about a (sort of) habit, which has an intrinsic, irreducible effect on voter turnout. We also find that habit of voting is formed likewise in all age cohorts.
Voting as a habit in new democracies – Evidence from Poland
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Mikolaj Czesnik, Marta Zerkowska-Balas, Michal Kotnarowski; Voting as a habit in new democracies – Evidence from Poland. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 March 2013; 46 (1): 95–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2012.12.014
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