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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Increasing Turnout: A Compelling Case?
Author(s): Saunders, Ben
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Issue Date: Feb-2010
Date Deposited: 22-Aug-2012
Citation: Saunders B (2010) Increasing Turnout: A Compelling Case?. Politics, 30 (1), pp. 70-77.;
Abstract: Recently several thinkers have endorsed compulsion or other measures to increase turnout and revitalise democracy. This article argues that such measures are misguided, because lower turnout (even if unequal across social groups) is not necessarily undemocratic - indeed, it may serve democratic values by, for example, making it more likely that decisions really are made by the relevant constituency, with those most affected getting more say. Encouraging others to vote, or even to turn out, runs the risk of distorting electoral outcomes. If there is no clear democratic case for compulsion, then we should not risk even small limits on individual liberty.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1467-9256.2009.01368.x
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