- Political cynicism, instability and volatility in multi party democracy
- Conference papers: International Communication Association: annual meeting
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Political cynicism has risen in many European democracies in the past decades, while in the same period voter behavior has become less stable. This study investigates the relationship between the two and distinguishes two kinds of voter behavior: hesitation which party to vote for (instability) and change between two successive elections (volatility). We determine whether voters hesitate and change at all and to what extent they hesitate and change between ideologically different parties and thus float between the left and the right end of the political spectrum. Our results, based on a national voter panel survey (N=733) conducted before and after the Dutch 2006 elections, suggest that political cynicism affects voter instability as well as volatility. Politically cynical voters are hesitant in their vote choice and change party more often in-between elections than less cynical voters. Moreover, political cynicism induces hesitation and change between ideologically different parties in particular. The article concludes with a discussion about the implications and relevance of our results in different political systems.
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