Res Publica

Article

Nieuwe vragen, oude antwoorden

Het debat over de opkomstplicht in Nederland

Keywords compulsory voting, proportional representation, turnout, Dutch parliamentary debate
Authors Galen Irwin en Joop van Holsteyn
Author's information

Galen Irwin
Galen Irwin (1942) is emeritus hoogleraar politiek gedrag en de methodologie van politicologisch onderzoek aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Hij studeerde aan de University of Kansas en Florida State University. In zijn onderzoek houdt hij zich vooral bezig met vraagstukken van politieke participatie, electoraal gedrag, opiniepeilingen en opinieonderzoek.

Joop van Holsteyn
Joop van Holsteyn (1957) is als universitair hoofddocent en bijzonder hoogleraar kiezersonderzoek verbonden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Hij doet onderzoek naar en publiceert over politieke participatie en electoraal gedrag, publieke opinie, opiniepeilingen en opinieonderzoek, extreem-rechts in Nederland en politieke cartoons.
  • Abstract

      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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