Wednesday, November 9, 2011

IRCPPS in the Links: Is Mandatory Voting a Polarization Panacea?

via the Monkey Cage:
...the central effect of political campaigns—one identified in over 60 years of research—is to solidify and reinforce the existing social identities as well as partisan, ideological, or policy views of voters.  That is, campaigns tend to bring potentially wayward voters back “in the fold.”  This only tends to polarize voters.  Indeed, it can happen even in the space of a single 30-second ad.  If, under a mandatory voting system, candidates no longer have to worry about mobilizing voters to turn out and can concentrate on persuading voters to support them, I suspect that we would see this same effect, but magnified over the entire electorate.  So it’s entirely possible that mandatory voting may even increase polarization...