Electoral participation in Turkish national and local elections
Çulhaoğlu, Burcu (2007) Electoral participation in Turkish national and local elections. [Thesis]
Previously, studies on electoral participation rate have mainly focused on the voter turnout in the national elections and analyzed the determinants that are expected to be effective on the voter turnout were analyzed at individual, cross-sectional and nationwide level. In these studies, the other forms of elections are only examined in terms of their relationship with national elections. This thesis study, examined the electoral participation rate in local elections as a dependent variable, in addition to that of national elections, and created a dataset encompassing both national and two forms of local elections: namely the mayor of municipality and the members of provincial council elections. In the first regression equation, the impacts of the socioeconomic variables and institutional setting variables on the voter turnout in 1977 and 1999 national and local elections are tested at a provincial-level. In the second and main regression model, the influence of party system variables on the electoral participation in Turkish national and local elections since 1950 is also tested at a nation-wide level by using aggregate data. Appropriate statistical tests covey results that mostly support the expectations about the influences of structural socio-economic and institutional factors upon turnout in local as well as the national elections. Both regression models indicated that application of compulsory voting is the single most important determinant for an increase in voter turnout. In contrast to the rational choice theory assumptions, in Turkey as the economic conditions improve the electoral participation in Turkish national and local elections decreases.
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