Many countries have constitutional rules, granted to prime ministers, presidents or cabinets, that govern early parliamentary dissolution. Although there are sharply divergent theoretical expectations about the consequences of such powers for both democratic representation and accountability, there have been no empirical examinations of these arguments. Using data from the European Social Survey (2002-16) in 26 European countries, we test whether such provisions for early election calling affect citizens' satisfaction with democracy, and if so, which rules and how. While it appears that no form of constitutional rules for early election is directly related to citizen satisfaction with democracy, when early elections are called by prime ministers or presidents, democratic satisfaction drops significantly, and this effect is more pronounced the later in the term the early election is called. These findings have important implications for academic and policy debates about the desirability of constitutional change designed to limit early election calling for opportunistic purposes.

Early Election Calling and Satisfaction with Democracy

Loveless M.
2021

Abstract

Many countries have constitutional rules, granted to prime ministers, presidents or cabinets, that govern early parliamentary dissolution. Although there are sharply divergent theoretical expectations about the consequences of such powers for both democratic representation and accountability, there have been no empirical examinations of these arguments. Using data from the European Social Survey (2002-16) in 26 European countries, we test whether such provisions for early election calling affect citizens' satisfaction with democracy, and if so, which rules and how. While it appears that no form of constitutional rules for early election is directly related to citizen satisfaction with democracy, when early elections are called by prime ministers or presidents, democratic satisfaction drops significantly, and this effect is more pronounced the later in the term the early election is called. These findings have important implications for academic and policy debates about the desirability of constitutional change designed to limit early election calling for opportunistic purposes.
Morgan-Jones E.; Loveless M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/839257
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