Where Have All the Voters Gone?
By (author) Martin Wattenberg
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Where Have All the Voters Gone? by Martin Wattenberg
Book DescriptionAs the confusion over the ballots in Florida recently demonstrated, American elections are complex and anything but user-friendly. This phenomenon is by no means new, but with the weakening of political parties in recent decades and the rise of candidate-centred politics, the high level of complexity has become ever more difficult for many citizens to navigate. Thus the combination of complex elections and the steady decline of the party system has led to a decline in voter turnout. In this book, Martin Wattenberg confronts the question of what low participation rates mean for democracy. At the individual level, turnout decline has been highest among the types of people who most need to have electoral decisions simplified for them through a strong party system - those with the least education, political knowledge and life experience. As Wattenberg shows, rather than lamenting how many Americans fail to exercise their democratic rights, we should be impressed with how many arrive at the polls in spite of a political system that asks more of a typical person than is reasonable. Meanwhile, we must find ways to make the American electoral process more user-friendly.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674009387
(210mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Martin Wattenberg
Mixed-Member Electoral Systems, Paperback (February 2003)
In the view of many electoral reformers, mixed systems offer the best of both the traditional British single-seat district system and PR systems. This title seeks to evaluate: why these systems have recently appealed to many countries with diverse electoral histories; and how well expectations for these systems have been met.
Parties without Partisans, Paperback (March 2002)
An analysis of the roles that political parties perform in 20 OECD nations. The text finds that parties continue to exercise their traditional roles in organizing elections and structuring the government process, but they are losing the allegiance of a public that is increasingly non-partisan and sceptical about political parties as institutions.
Decline of American Political Parties, 1952-94, Paperback (August 1998)» View all books by Martin Wattenberg
This work looks at the travails of political parties in the United States, by analyzing a congressional election. A new chapter which discusses the return of divided government, via the Republicans' takeover of Congress in 1994, is also included.
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Author Biography - Martin Wattenberg
Martin P. Wattenberg is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine.
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