Electoral turnout in OECD countries, 1960-2013

Electoral turnout in OECD countries, 1960-2013
This graph shows the maximum, mean and minimum turnout in parliamentary elections in OECD countries between 1960 and 2013. Data comes from the Armingeon CPS dataset. The United States is by far the country with the lowest levels of turnout, mainly due to the weak interest in midterms. Switzerland also has very low levels of turnout, mainly because we vote many times a year in referendums already. Australia and Belgium have very high levels of turnout and very little variation in turnout because voting is compulsory. https://plot.ly/embed.js

One response to “Electoral turnout in OECD countries, 1960-2013”

  1. Low turn out in the USA seems quite natural given how unrepresentative the system, how low the choice is (two party whose differences lye on more on individuals than parties) and how corrupt by lobbying and money the whole political system is.

    Low turn out in Switzerland on the other hand, including for referendum vote which are often very concrete decision, like do you want compulsory six-week annual leave or not, has always stricken me has very surprising. I have been living in many countries and this is by far the most democratic parliament electoral system I’ve seen. It’s proportional representation, the people get to chose who is elected not the party (by being able to double vote or cross over a candidate) and you can even mix several list so that it fits better your belief.

    I’ve read a few studies on the matter and one was very interesting by showing that people who never vote in Switzerland are actually quite rare whereas in other countries, the part that vote is almost always the same, i.e., most people who do not vote on a specific vote do so for personnal reason or lack of interest in the subject but not for lack of interest in politics in general.

    It’d have been interesting to see such a study on an OECD panel to see the exact differences between countries.

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