A look into the mirror : preferences, representation and electoral participation
Title: A look into the mirror : preferences, representation and electoral participation
Citation: Electoral studies, 2014, Vol. 36, pp. 290-297
Voting Advice Applications (VAA) are often praised as tools helping users to find their best matching candidates or parties. Using such tools, so the claim goes, might trigger a positive impact on electoral participation. We show that the relationship between VAA usage and the intention to take part in elections indeed exists. The mechanism through which users are drawn to the polls or, inversely, detracted from taking part in the elections is, however, primarily working through the extent with which users' preferences overlap with those of the political parties running in the campaign. The further users find themselves away – in terms of this overlap – from the political parties, the higher the probability of a VAA deterring this user from participating.
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