Direct Democratic Choice sets out to understand how the citizens actually decide in direct-democratic votes. Author Hanspeter Kriesi has analyzed nearly twenty years of post-election surveys in Switzerland (1981-1999), which he has contextualized ...
according to the various political issues and the relevant arguments provided by the political elites. This book's core argument is that the citizens who participate in direct-democratic votes make competent choices. Kriesi's extensive empirical research shows that the majority of these voters arrive at their decisions on the basis of arguments about the advantages and disadvantages of the available options. The less competent and less interested citizens either do not vote or, if they do, employ heuristic shortcuts allowing them to make approximately reasonable decisions. Kriesi provides strong support for an optimistic view of direct-democratic decision-making but also indicates that this process, wherever it occurs, can be improved by proper institutional design and by appropriate strategies enacted by the political elite.
Number of pages: 252
Date of publication: 15/10/2005
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