DOI: 10.5553/RP/048647002010052001003

Res PublicaAccess_open


Nieuwe vragen, oude antwoorden

Het debat over de opkomstplicht in Nederland

Keywords compulsory voting, proportional representation, turnout, Dutch parliamentary debate
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Galen Irwin and Joop van Holsteyn, "Nieuwe vragen, oude antwoorden", Res Publica, 1, (2010):19-43

    Arend Lijphart has generated recent discussion on the topic of compulsory voting within political science. He also notes that there was not a broad discussion in The Netherlands concerning the repeal of compulsory voting in 1970 and asks whether there would have been more discussion if the members of Parliament had been aware of the consequences of repeal (i.e. lower turnout, class and age discrepancies in turnout). And could political scientists have warned members of parliament of these consequences? Our contribution examines the contents of the parliamentary debates over compulsory voting, in particular at the time of repeal. It concludes that the arguments in Parliament centered on the rights and duties of a citizen in the state and that there was little or no discussion of the consequences of repeal. Data were available that could have made it possible for political scientists to make fairly accurate predictions concerning the consequences of appeal. This, however, was not an element of the parliamentary debate.

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