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Title: Non-voting : disconnecting from partisan politics
Authors: Vella, Mary Grace
Keywords: Malta -- Politics and government -- 20th century
Malta -- Politics and government -- 21st century
Elections -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Elections -- Malta -- History -- 21st century
Voting -- Malta
Voter turnout -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Voter turnout -- Malta -- History -- 21st century
Absentee voting -- Malta
Political parties -- Malta
Party affiliation -- Malta
Voting -- Malta -- Abstention
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: University of Malta. Junior College
Citation: Vella, M.G. (2018). Non-voting - disconnecting from partisan politics. Symposia Melitensia, 14, 405-418
Abstract: Through the issue of electoral abstention, this paper examines partisan disconnections arising from demobilization and dealignment trends in Malta: a country characterized by ‘near universal turnout’ and strong party loyalties. This socio-political understanding of turnout is examined within a triangular framework, addressing the macro-institutional and micro-individual dimensions of abstention. Apart from the wider socio-political and cultural milieu, several demographic, institutional, and psychological variables are related to turnout. A typology based on the regularity and rationale of abstention proposes four main types of non-voters: ideological, antagonistic, indifferent, and circumstantial. The typology further differentiates between passive and active non-voters and insiders and outsiders to the political system. Despite their vast heterogeneity, non-voters tend to be younger, better-educated, more liberal, and more supportive of left-wing ideology. Non-voting is largely typified by voluntary, strategic, and rational forms of political expression, arising from cognitive mobilization and political protest against present modes of governance. There are some signs that Maltese citizens are becoming more critical and distrustful of political parties and representative forms of democracy. This is also reflected in a more rational assessment of parties through increased floating and cross-party voting, as well as increases in non-electoral forms of political participation. These non-traditional patterns of behaviour present both evidence of partisan dealignment, as well underlying calls for political realignments.
ISSN: 1812-7509
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWCri
Scholarly Works - JCSOK
SymMel, 2018, Volume 14
SymMel, 2018, Volume 14

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