The dishonest vote in Italian parliamentary elections
Title: The dishonest vote in Italian parliamentary elections
Author: GARZIA, Diego
Citation: Contemporary Italian Politics, 2014, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 115-130
In recent decades, citizens have grown increasingly distrustful of politics and its actors. Against this background, the aim of this paper is to shed light on the role of citizens themselves in the process by focusing on the determinants of their voting choices. As a matter of fact, a substantial proportion of voters in democratic elections actually cast a ‘dishonest vote’ – that is, a vote cast in favour of a candidate who is perceived as dishonest by the voter herself. Based on the available literature on political psychology and electoral behaviour, a number of competing hypotheses are advanced. These are tested using national election study data from the Second Italian Republic (2001–08). The statistical analyses presented show that the key determinant of the dishonest vote in Italian elections lies in a perception of every candidate being dishonest and, more generally, in a belief that politicians are ‘all the same’. The probability of casting a dishonest vote is higher among voters characterised by a lack of interest in politics and a comparatively lower degree of ‘civicness’. The results are then discussed along with their major implications for our understanding of democratic elections in times of growing political distrust.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.